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Know Your Limits: SharePoint in a Private Cloud vs. Office 365

Presented by Malcolm Eaton and Chris Schwab on April 29th, 2014 at 11am EST

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Know Your Limits: SharePoint in a Private Cloud vs. Office 365

SharePoint and the cloud work together to bring out the best in the platform, but are you getting full functionality from your cloud? For our latest webinar, we partnered up with special panelist Malcolm Eaton of the PSC Group to identify the difference between Office 365 and private cloud hosting and to examine the limitations shared or public cloud environments like Office 365 place on your environment.

Topics this webinar covers:

  • Differences when dealing with dedicated vs. shared resources
  • What business needs can be accomplished under each cloud type
  • How to develop a cloud strategy that is custom-fit to your business
  • How shared environments will limit your SharePoint control and access

Difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

The challenging decisions you have to make when moving to the cloud include deciding what solution is best for you, what you actually need from your cloud, how you are going to get users to adopt to the change, and how does the move align with business goals. Furthermore, how do you balance all of those end user needs with compliance, government constraints, legal, and costs? First thing to do is to compare the differences between SaaS, PaaS, and Iaas.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a standardized platform that is targeted to end users. Office 365 can be thought of as a Software as a Service, it is a standardized platform for people to work on. It provides SLAs at both the hardware and the software level. However, the challenge with that is you only get minimal customizations because the app development model is not mature enough for more complex changes.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a combination of the features of SaaS and IaaS making it ideal for app developers and designers. This solution gives you architectural and development access to app services, storage and app runtime. PaaS has all the same infrastructure level SLAs as SaaS. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model gives you the most customization ability. In this model your information is delivered as metered services, and you receive complete app control and customization.

Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud

In the public cloud (SaaS) model, infrastructure is shared by multiple customers. Because resources are shared, customers have limited customizations. Also, the environment is managed by 3rd party on behalf of customers, so customers do not have to worry about patches or updates. In comparison, the private cloud scenario you will have much more control your environment. In a private cloud, the infrastructure is maintained solely for the customer and the customer receives full customization capabilities so you can build any type of application that you want. In a private cloud, the environment can be managed by the customer or by 3rd party providers.

SharePoint Online Limitations

There are many limitations of SharePoint Online; the following are some of the high level limitations of Office 365:

  • Incoming email to lists and libraries
  • Timer jobs for launching reminder notifications
  • Basic charting web parts
  • Use of full-trust code solutions (farm solutions) in Office 365
  • Advanced tools:
    • PerformancePoint
    • Advanced BI or a Records Center integrated with 3rd party systems

Furthermore, there are many customization concerns for companies using Office 365. In particular, not all third party products are compatible with Office 365 and if they are, the security tools may not work. Customers should be aware that not all custom code or partner solutions will work with Office 365.

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