Cloud managed service provider (MSP), an expert that sees beyond today's cloud service
- 작성자 Kim Jongseo
With the recent acceleration of digital transformation, the Managed Service Provider (MSP), a cloud-based operating service, has become more important, and the MSP-related market is rapidly expanding and shows much potential. Following the trend, the existing SI companies are also trying to become MSP operators. We will look at why MSP is rising today and the trends in the MSP market and relevant technologies.
With the recent acceleration of digital transformation, the Managed Service Provider (MSP), a cloud-based operating service, has become more important, and the MSP-related market is rapidly expanding and shows much potential. Following the trend, the existing SI companies are seeking ways to transform themselves into MSP operators.
The concept of MSP and the difference between MSP and CSP
Why has MSP become a hot topic lately? MSP stands for Managed Service Provider, indicating businesses that provide operational services. SI companies are mainly involved in the provision of IT operation services.
However, what makes the MSP business outstanding is that it is cloud-based. It operates the standardized cloud service provided by the Cloud Service Provider (CSP). The CSP services include Amazon AWS, MS Azure, Google GCP, and Naver NBP. Samsung Cloud Platform, officially launched by Samsung SDS in the second half of 2021, is also garnering a lot of attention.
Why MSP? Why do companies pay attention to MSPs?
As businesses are increasingly relying on IT technology and competition grows, the demand for outsourcing IT tasks, cloud management, and security is increasing, allowing organizations to solely focus on their core functions. As a result of the continuous progress, cloud services are also widely introduced in businesses and public sectors. As the need for new technologies, like hybrid and multicloud, increases, various issues, such as the establishment of governance and related regulations, lock-in solutions for CSPs, and the acceleration of the modernization of applications, are emerging. Meanwhile, companies are required to work on continuous cost reduction and task optimization using cloud services.
|MSP service areas||
[MSP Service Areas]
|Item||MSP in the Past||MSP of Today|
|Role||Focus on infrastructure transformation/building/operation of the cloud environment||Require cloud-based SI role (cloud–native application migration/establishment/operation)|
|Require migration/building/operation experiences and know–how through manuals||Require framework and process for automation|
|Optimize resources and costs within a single–cloud environment||Require management for multi–hybrid cloud environments|
|Ability||Focus on execution and operations||Design, architecture, automation|
|H/W-based solutions||Cloud & S/W–based solution|
|Device–based SLA||Solution/Application–based SLA|
|Manual-based change management||Change control based on SRE, DevOps, CI/CD, and IaC|
|Static threshold-based monitoring||Dynamic threshold, AI/ML-based monitoring|
[Changes in MSPs]
The scope of MSP services and changes
The scope of MSP services is divided into a professional service that provides cloud consulting, architecture design and building, and migration services, and a managed service that provides cloud-based operation and technical support.
The role of MSPs continues to change as the environment evolves. We are consistently implementing automation-based operations, such as application modernization from cloud infrastructure-centered environments into cloud-native environments, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), and Infrastructure as Code (IaC).
MSPs have secured differentiated competitiveness by providing various cloud methodologies, architecture centers, processes, solutions, and platforms based on their experiences.
We are consistently implementing automation-based operations, such as application modernization from cloud infrastructure-centered environments into cloud-native environments, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), and Infrastructure as Code (IaC).
The image shows an example of the cloud migration (rehost) process flow chart.Cloud migration (rehost)
Launch a project
- Prepare for launch
- Establish a project plan
- Finalize the project plan
Analyze the status
- Prepare for migration
- Analyze the infrastructure and application status
- Define requirements
Design the clouds
- Establish S/W migration plans
- Establish migration strategies
- Establish migration implementation plans
- Design the migration
- Implement migration
- Transfer service operations
Close the project
- Final report
- Project report
[Samsung SDS cloud methodology - cloud migration (rehost) example]
[Samsung SDS Architecture Center]
MSP market status and trends
While traditional industries face growth limits, tech-based digital innovators and new businesses are accelerating their emergence. To overcome such crises and gain competitiveness, efficient business operation and rapid digital transformation are essential, and the cloud service lies at the center of the journey.
Since many companies are using different types of clouds for technical, cost, and regulatory reasons, integrated cloud management capabilities have become an important aspect. For example, companies working with a MSP can operate their business more efficiently, compared to when hybrid cloud (public+hybrid) and multicloud (public+public) exist together. Clients want to use multi/hybrid clouds in order to address concerns over lock-in effect of certain CSPs and utilize optimized services, and an integrated operation via a MSP is preferred.
The continuous growth of the MSP market
The MSP market, including the CSP market is growing at a CAGR of 17.6%. As MSPs are increasingly providing a variety of services, including consulting, new technology, and Application Modernization (AM), both the domestic and global MSP markets are expected to grow rapidly. Following the trend, MSP operators are expanding their businesses from cloud infrastructure-oriented implementation and operation to high-capacity consulting, cloud-native, SRE, and AI/Big Data. SI operators are also rapidly changing their constitution to cloud-based MSP operators by reorganizing their businesses and organizations and hiring cloud experts.
The image shows the size of the MSP market in the form of a graph. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2021 to 2025 is 17.6%. Please refer to the table below for the scale of MSP and CSP growth for each year. Source: Gartner
|연도||MSP||CSP||MSP, CSP 합계|
|2021년||218 billion dollar||326 billion dollar||544 billion dollar|
|2022년||255 billion dollar||405 billion dollar||660 billion dollar|
|2023년||286 billion dollar||501 billion dollar||787 billion dollar|
|2024년||305 billion dollar||610 billion dollar||915 billion dollar|
|2025년||308 billion dollar||732 billion dollar||1040 billion dollar|
[MSP market size]
|삼성SDS||예정||예정||예정||지원 有||지원 有||지원 有||지원 有|
|AWS||지원 有||지원 有||지원 有||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無|
|구글 클라우드||지원 有||지원 有||지원 有||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無|
|애저||지원 有||지원 有||지원 有||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無|
|베스핀글로벌||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 有||지원 有||지원 無|
|메가존 클라우드||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 有||지원 有||지원 無|
|LG CNS||지원 無||지원 無||지원 無||지원 有||지원 有||지원 有||지원 有|
[MSP player trends]
MSP technology trends
As mentioned earlier, many enterprises are migrating their legacy systems to the cloud. Applicable technologies vary greatly depending on the cloud migration level of the legacy systems.
For example, you can use cloud native applications or change the platform. The most stable and simple way for migration is to create and copy the operating system (OS) image as it is. You can also build and apply a business system by introducing Software as a Service (SaaS) instead of developing applications.
Six types of cloud migration - 6R
There are 6R types of cloud migration that provide methodologies optimized for target-specific environments. The 6R types include Retire, Retain, Repurchase (SaaS applied), Rehost (image copy migration), Replatform (platform change applied), and Refactor (MSA applied). The early stage of the cloud was centered on rehosting, but the demand for cloud-native (Replatform & Refactor) is gradually increasing. To go into more detail, Rehosting provides the exact same environment by hosting the existing infrastructure again using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), along with the lowest risk and relatively low cost of transition.
Replatforming changes products, such as OS, DBMS, and middleware, with no changes to the application architecture. Refactoring redesigns and redevelops your application architecture to implement cloud native. It is the most difficult and expensive migration method, but business agility and cloud optimization will be the two strong points. As you can see in the figure above, MSP ensures clients’ digital transformation by utilizing different technologies and services provided by CSPs, including the 6R cloud migration, design/implementation, and operation.
The MSP technology of Samsung SDS: SRE and DevOps
Now, we will look at the SRE & DevOps platform, one of the MSP technologies owned by Samsung SDS. Through the SRE & DevOps platform, you can improve development productivity and operating efficiency by enabling automatic implementation of application and infrastructure deployment.
cloud based application Re‐factor Cloud Native
business agility service, microservice Re‐purchase Cloud Native
software build and management Re‐platform Cloud Native
cloud infrastructure, private/public/hybrid Re‐host Cloud Native
development and deployment process. Re‐factor Cloud Native
software development environment Re‐factor Cloud Native
[How to switch to cloud native by area]
Rehosting (Lift and Shift)
- Determine Migration Path
- Use Migration Tools (Automate)
- Determine Migration Path
- Determine new platform
- Modify underlying Infrastructure
- Use Migration Tools
- Determine Migration Path
- purchase COTS/SaaS & licensing
- Manual Install & Setup
- Redesign Application/Infrastructure Architecture
- App Code Development
- Full ALM/SDLC
[Cloud migration types]
|MSP||Application dev. & operation||DevOps & Automation|
|Business/Application Service||Cloud Infra|
SCP (Samsung Cloud Platform)
[MSP service range]
|Dev Team||협업툴 연동|
|CI/CD 파이프라인||Landing Zone||Monitor & Logging|
Container > Monitor & Logging
|Ops Team||협업툴 연동|
|CI/CD 파이프라인||Landing Zone|
|VCS (GitLab)||Rrd.||Infra Pipeline||
[Examples of SRE & DevOps platforms]
It takes 20 minutes to install Samsung SDS DevOps Delivery Toolkit and 30 minutes to deploy the infrastructure.Tool installation list
- Tool settings
Installing the rest of the tools, creating Route53 Record
Installing Keycloak, creating Route53 Record
Installing Prometheus/Grafana, creating Route53 Record
Adding Vault credentials
Installing Vault, creating Route53 Record
AWS Account, infrastructure configuration, tool installation information, others
Creating an S3 bucket to store terraform state files
Creating resources, such as VPC, EKS, RDS, domain, and certificate
Installing ALB ingress controller
- SR Status
- DevOps Pipeline Status
- Toolchain Status
- Pipeline Approval
- Code Repository
- Code Catalog
- Infra Deployment Code
- Toolchain/SW Installation Code
- Toolchain/SW Configuration Code
- DevOps Pipeline Code
- DevOps Pipeline
- Deploy > Run
- DevOps Toolchain
- SDS Cloud
[DevOps Delivery Toolkit]
The figure above is an example of the SRE & DevOps platform. To summarize the implementation technology and the effect, the platform complies with open-source policies and is equipped with security features, such as blocking Internet access. Besides, change control can be applied through the Change Management Portal when deploying applications, and it is possible to deploy various applications via CI/CD. The configuration management and automation were implemented by IaC.
IaC has the ability to solve the lock-in problem of CSP by implementing Terraform and Ansible with a multicloud environment. This operation environment enables continuous infrastructure optimization and service and system trust-based SRE operations, including script standardization and integration management, infrastructure and SW installation automation, and CI/CD pipeline automation.
There is also DevOps Delivery Toolkit (DoDT), which provides toolkits consisting of infrastructure configuration/deployment codes, automation scripts, and standard templates as for frequently used tools. The toolkit provides automation scripts for standard template DevOps-related tools, making it possible to build infrastructure fast and implement CI/CD pipeline, monitoring, and logging integration quickly with ease.
- Professional, Kim Jongseo / Samsung SDS
- After taking his first step into the IT world as a DBA, Kim started his career as a PM and core TA for a company's cloud migration project in 2008, the early stages of the cloud, and is currently working on various projects, such as cloud migration, design, implementation, and consulting. Jongseo worked on building SDDC using technologies focusing on initial infrastructure virtualization technology and cloud projects using the RedHat platform in consideration of the importance of open-source solutions. Nowadays, he is working on various cloud projects, including AWS, SRE, SCP, etc., and he is also doing his best to share technologies in his organization. Kim wants to learn more, be humble, and grow in line with the consistent change and development of IT technologies and the environment.