The Cloud: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of It
BLOG WRITTEN BY BRAD HALLIDAY.
The Cloud - It’s not what is in the sky and about to ruin your weekend, it’s actually the term of choice in the technology world as every year it seems to be adopted by more companies and respectively more users. The cloud is something that has been around since the dawn of the internet and you have probably used it in one way or another possibly without even knowing it.
What is it?
The cloud is in its simplest terms storage that exists somewhere other than your computer. It means a space on the internet that you can store pictures, files, music, or anything you’d like. Let me give you a scenario that you may have experienced in the past:You are working on a document from home that you will need at the office. Instead of printing it at home (you’re probably low on ink) you attach the file to an e-mail and send it to yourself so you can print it when you get to the office. This could constitute as cloud storage in an archaic sort of way. You have given this file to the internet to hold on to so that you can access it somewhere else.
Why Should I Care?
Fast forward to the technologies that are available to you today and you will find that there are actually free options that are specifically made for this without cluttering up your e-mail. Examples of cloud service providers include Box, Dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive. All of these cloud providers will give you a private space for you to store items in order to keep them safe and/or access them remotely any time you would like. These types of clouds also give you a file structure very similar to your computer. You can create private folders that you don’t want others to access or share specific folders in order to make them available to a co-worker to share documents. Most cloud storage providers even include a client you can install on your computer that automatically syncs the folders in your cloud, making them that much easier to manage right from your computer In the case of an emergency, you can wager that no matter what happens in the world around you, data that is held in the cloud will always be available. When you save a file to cloud storage, the servers that are holding on to your files will be backed up several times on different servers in different locations perhaps globally. If your computer was stolen, damaged in a flood, or lost to a fire, your wedding pictures will be accessible from any other computer, anywhere in the world via the cloud.
What Are the Business Applications?
In short: there are endless business applications. The cloud offers the opportunity for you to offload the real-estate, cost, and potential downtime of managing your own IT infrastructure by letting you “rent” it as a service – Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The same can be said about software – software as a service.
Infrastructure as a service is best exemplified using a backup example. Most businesses value their data extensively and should therefore go through all the necessary scenarios to protect it. Say you currently have a server that backs up to another server in your office. This would be satisfactory if you needed to restore a backup after a power outage. However, if the office was destroyed, you would lose everything. This situation can be circumvented by using the very basic idea of the cloud – saving your data somewhere else over the internet. Instead of solely backing up to a server in your office, you now also backup all of your data to Skycomp’s data center every night over the internet to storage space that you rent from us. You don’t have massive servers in your office, you don’t need to manage your backups or space, and you don’t have to worry about that data going missing. Your business is now safe thanks to the cloud. Software as a service is something you may already subscribe to. Many clients choose to have Skycomp host, manage, and keep their e-mails through hosted excahnge. A hosted Exchange service brings all of the features of Microsoft's very popular Exchange Server such as ActiveSync to your front door without any of the hassle. You don't have to worry about downtime, backups, user management, storage management, or rack space because it's all made available to you over the cloud - let us take care of the backend work.
I hope this long-winded article helps to ease some of the fears that you’ve heard about the cloud. It’s not a man hovering over you trying to steal the files on your computer, it’s a new technology that can make your day-to-day life easier, and your business more efficient. Let Skycomp show you how you can take advantage of what the cloud can do.