When you work in technology, some of the most common questions you regularly get asked are questions about the ins-and-outs of cloud computing. It makes sense that people have a lot of questions about cloud computing; of all of the industries that are out there, the technology industry is full of a lot of technical jargon and concepts that you don’t interact with every day. The only time the majority of us interact with technology is when it fails us or when something goes wrong and then we often rely on a professional.
But as a small to medium sized business owner, you need to understand the cloud, why it works and why so many businesses are moving over to it. You don’t need to know how to rack up your own colocation center or set up your own anti-virus systems, but you do want to know that the cloud is secure and if setting up your business in the cloud is the best move for your company. So let’s get some of your questions answered.
Question 1: What are some of the benefits of the cloud?
Answer: The cloud offers a high tech solution for companies with minimal upfront investment. Rather than purchasing expensive new hardware such as servers, routers and firewalls you can instead opt to go with a ‘virtual server’ and join the millions who now reside in the cloud. A Virtual Server is similar to an apartment building. There is a large main building (Virtual Farm Server) with several residents that live there, each with their own private key. As your needs change your block of resources can easily change with you. Residing on a virtual server means that you don’t have to worry about buying any equipment or updating that equipment once it gets out dated. You simply just rent the resources that you need.
As your company grows, all you have to do is let your IT service company know you need more space or bandwidth and BAM! It is yours. IT issues, when you don’t have your own IT department, can be one of the most difficult and frustrating parts of your business. Residing on a Virtual Server offers you all the expertise available to large corporations without the high cost, and the cloud grows with you as your business grows.
Question 2: What are some cloud services I am already using?
Answer: Questions about the level of security that the cloud offers always come up when the cloud is discussed. One way to help consumers understand and feel comfortable with the cloud is to point out to them that they are already using the cloud in many different capacities, even if they haven’t realized it yet.
For example, email. You check and send email every day of the week. Email servers, such as Yahoo & Gmail, are cloud based. You aren’t saving all of your emails to your personal desktop or to your computer; they are just in your inbox, in the cloud. That is why you can access your email from any internet connection. Other cloud applications that you are probably already familiar with are iTunes, Pandora, and companies like Amazon. Once consumers realize they are already using the cloud in their daily lives they will start seeing the benefits to using it and feel comfortable applying it to their business lives as well.
Question 3: How long does it take to set up cloud services?
Answer: The actual process from start to finish is relatively simple. By talking to a service provider, like CyberTrails, that offers cloud computing, you can determine your needs and custom configure your environment to fit where your business is today and where you want to be in the future. A virtual cloud environment helps companies maximize their resources to better focus on the bottom line.
By setting up and renting space in the cloud with a company that offers Managed Services, you will have access to 24×7 customer support and personal guidance to help craft the best solution for your business . A good IT company never applies a one-size-fits-all philosophy to any client, so the time of set up will depend on your size and what exactly you are looking for, but the process itself is very simple.
Question 4: Why do companies move to the cloud?
Answer: The primary answer to this question is it saves companies time and money. Utilizing a virtual cloud environment means that your company will have access to the knowledgebase of a full IT department without the direct cost of having to hire all of those employees. When you work from the cloud you are renting someone else’s equipment. That means you don’t have to worry about buying the right equipment or keeping it up to date and servicing it.
The majority of Virtual Farm Servers (ie Cloud Servers) are housed in a SSAE16 audited Data Center which supplies redundant power and bandwidth. The NOC (Network Operations Center) constantly monitors the temperature in the data center, security access, and the servers themselves. Their job is to keep your business up and running. It is often very hard for small to medium sized companies to supply all of these services to their tech equipment, and not just hard but very expensive. Companies use the cloud in order to have access to all of the latest technology, all the bells and whistles and protection for a flat monthly fee, paying someone else to run their equipment so that they can run their business.
Question 5: What are all of the components of the cloud?
Answer: The cloud is a server that is stored in a secure location that you can access from any internet connection. When configuring a Virtual Server you need to specify the number of CPU’s needed, the amount of RAM, and the amount of storage space needed. Depending on your company’s needs you can either opt for a Public Cloud, where your information resides on a Virtual Farm Server owned and managed by data center, or a Private Cloud where you own and control the environment. An IT company such as CyberTrails can help you determine the best solution for your IT needs. Not only can they point you in the right direction, they can configure, build, network, and monitor your information no matter where the server resides.
Hopefully this cleared up some of your questions about cloud computing, but if there are still a couple dark Strata and Cumuli in your mind, click here to read additional information in our blog, 5 Smart Reasons Why Productive People Float on the Cloud and hopefully you can get them all answered once and for all.
Image Source: http://blog.api-digital.com/blog/?Tag=colocation%20data%20center, http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/14599-its-time-for-a-riddle/, http://blog.mhginsurance.com/2011/09/01/retirement-101-why-you-need-to-start-saving-now/piggy-bank-2/, http://www.ruralgateway.org.uk/en/contacts/community-websites, http://www.etsy.com/listing/70068922/linocut-print-you-can-have-it-all-black