3 Things You Need to Know About… the Cloud
Cloud technology is used by most people, every day. Yet most people don’t know the basics. Here are the three simple things you should know about the cloud.
The name is misleading
Because we don’t physically see ‘the cloud’ when we use it, it’s easy to forget that it’s actually a network of physical servers, located somewhere else. When you save a photo on your phone, it’s stored on your phone’s memory drive or SD card. When you upload an image to Facebook, you’re uploading it to the cloud. That means it’s going to servers elsewhere – most likely overseas.
It has risks as well as benefits
For businesses, cloud computing is really about weighing the flexibility, convenience and cost-saving benefits against the security risks.
Cloud computing is incredibly flexible. It lets you expand and contract your resources on demand. It’s easy to scale your IT capacity up or down to match the seasonal peaks and ebbs of a business, or to handle increasing workloads as your company grows.
On the flip side, trusting your data to be transported and stored somewhere else does have some risks.
Providers know that security is the biggest concern for their customers. The big players (Google and others) are fighting this with extra security measures including encryption at rest and in transit, physical data centre security, and platform security. They are also improving privacy and data controls like where your data is housed and how long providers can store your data.
It saves you from spending on infrastructure
Using the cloud, you don’t have to buy new servers or replace ageing hardware. You can access newer and more powerful hardware virtually (and you won’t incur capital expenses). There are two main ways you can go about it:
- The cloud provider hosts all your applications and data on its servers and storage systems so you can access them through the web. This usually incurs a monthly fee and it’s known as ‘software as a service’ (SAAS).
- Another option is ‘infrastructure as a service’ (IAAS), where the provider has the virtual machines, physical servers, storage, switching, and connectivity resources to run your applications. If you choose this type of cloud service, you are responsible for installing and maintaining the operating system and applications. The service provider manages the hardware that the applications or virtual machines run on.
If you’d like to know more about cloud computing you can ask one of our experts. Our techies can guide you through your options and answer any questions you may have. Of course, you can also outsource your technology management altogether so you can get on with your day-to-day business. After all, it’s what we do.
Yes, we can help you with one-off major infrastructure and migration projects too. If you want to find out more on our Technology risk management, Managed It Services, Medical IT, Technology strategy and Data integrity
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