“The Cloud.” Do we have it? Do we need it?
The nature of “the cloud” is nebulous. The truth is there is no cloud, just other people’s computers. It’s more of a concept than it is a thing. Files “in the cloud” are stored in servers that are distributed all over the world. Cloud computing is shared pools of configurable computer system resources and higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the Internet. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale, similar to a public utility. Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive are examples of these. The Wikipedia article on cloud computing is extremely informative if you want to learn more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing
Let’s suppose your company uses an outside sales force but they still need to access files, forms and data that the rest of the company is updating. Your first solution might be for the sales teams to use remote access programs like Remote Desktop, Logmein or Splashtop to access a workstation, virtual desktop or server at your office. These are not “the cloud”.
As your company grows, your data will generally grow along with it. You may arrive at a point where your remote team needs more internet bandwidth than you can provide and you are unable to increase your access… maybe your company is headquartered in a rural area that only offers DSL or satellite internet service. There are a couple of options that take advantage of cloud solutions.
- A co-location facility. A co-lo is a data center housed at a third party site. Your servers and your data would be located in a secure facility that will generally have redundant systems for power and internet. This is, basically, your private cloud. It is maintained entirely by your tech staff or a Managed Service Provider like Gnosys Networks. Not the cloud.
- Common cloud solutions like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or any number of other providers that will host some or all of your data. Your internet connection becomes critical. Without the internet, you have no access to your data. Now we are on “The Cloud.”
Most companies use some combination of these options. Many companies have on-site servers that store sensitive data or run applications that are critical to their operations and so they do not want these systems to be at the mercy of an internet outage, and use cloud solutions to store and share data across the company. Very few companies use “the cloud” for everything. Most simply use It for email hosting and offsite backups. Gnosys Networks can assist you in navigating the best solution for your company’s particular needs.
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