The Advantages of Cloud Computing
What is cloud computing? You’ve probably heard of the term the cloud frequently in the last few years and how it’s revolutionizing small businesses everywhere.
Cloud Computing is the practice of storing and accessing your data and programs on remote servers or infrastructure hosted on the Internet rather than a local server. By having your data in the cloud, you essentially have access to your data at any time, as long as you have internet connection.
The label “cloud” has been attached to everything with a power supply these days but we maintain that true cloud means the following things:
- The underlying infrastructure is abstracted from the user – that is, the user of cloud infrastructure does not know or need to know how the cloud vendor has built the systems – they just need to understand how to get the best out of it and what service level the vendor will provide.
- Fast provisioning – if you need more horsepower you can provision up more servers, infrastructure, whatever it is instantaneously or near instant. Likewise, you can provision down when the demand goes away.
- Quick setup – no need to order servers and wait weeks, sign up and go!
- Support and Interface – cloud should give you web-driven tools to manage your infrastructure and a great support team to allow you to achieve your goals.
- Cloud is made up of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) and some vendors offer some or all of these categories. All of these allow users to run applications and store data online with different levels of flexibility.
Cloud Computing is all the hype right now and there is a very good reason for it.
A huge advantage of cloud computing is convenience. Imagine having a room all cleared up because you don’t have any in-house servers. By having all your data accessible in the Cloud rather on a local server, you clear up physical space that your servers may use and don’t need to worry about the server environment including power, cooling, physical maintenance. As an additional bonus, cloud computing leaves less of a carbon footprint, meaning you’re going eco-friendly!
With internet access, cloud computing allows you can access all your data on all your devices (laptop, smartphones, PCs) effortlessly. You have the ability to share documents and data for easy collaboration and can allow much room for flexibility for employees. Just don’t lose that internet connection – consider two if you can’t do business without your new cloud.
Disaster Recovery & Downtime
Most cloud computing vendors are modeled for at least 99% (two 9s or higher) availability uptime. They often will provide ways to ensure you have server and data replicas that make it easier to build disaster recovery and business continuity plans. However, it is always important to understand a vendor’s limitations and the recommendations they make to construct highly available systems or properly exploit their uptime promises.
Scalability is a huge benefit of cloud computing. If your business needs to upscale or downscale its IT infrastructure, the Cloud meets your business requirements almost instantly. Cloud vendors provide solutions in which you only pay for what you need with quick setup. Cloud computing allows you to increase or decrease your existing resources to accommodate for any business changes.
Imagine trying to navigate through New York City with a taxi. You wouldn’t just buy a whole taxi for ride from Main Street to 6th Street, would you? Rather, you pay the fare for the amount of time you used the taxi. Likewise, with the Cloud, you’re bringing your costs to a minimal by only paying for what you use. With less capital investment in hardware and infrastructure, you are also looking at spending less money to fix your in-house servers if any problems should arise.
Cloud Computing isn’t just a hype – it’s a progressive way for small businesses to run efficiently. In our next article, we will go over some misconceptions and drawbacks of cloud computing.
Contact Squeeze Technology today if you have questions about implementing the cloud into your IT infrastructure.