Why the Cloud Reigns
Cloud computing is, at its basics, storing your data and information remotely (instead of on your personal hard drive) and being able to access it from any online connection from any device. That being said, a cloud is not storage in thin air. Rather, your data is stored in immense server warehouses that you access online; it is very much in physical storage that you just never see. Once moved, data in the Cloud is housed on the servers of your provider rather than within your own computer.
As cloud computing allows you to free up RAM and hard drive storage on your personal machine, it allows your programs, tasks and software to run more quickly and efficiently. While the cloud is relying on many servers to do the work, causes for crashing are lower and the ability to switch from one server to another on their end becomes seamless.
In 2011, The National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a document in which they define the “5 Basic Cloud Computing Essential Characteristics” as such:
With these parameters in place, we can infer Cloud computing, from the end user’s perspective, as capable of storing our data and doing the heavy lifting for us. The ability to store data in a Cloud system frees the end user from limitations on storage and increases the productivity of the end user’s machine.
If you’ve ever used an email client like Gmail or Yahoo or have a Dropbox account, you’re already familiar with Cloud storage. You log onto the service’s Cloud and the data is store there rather than on your machine. Archiving, encryption and search capabilities across your business’s email platform are just some of the features available within Hosted Exchange.
Similar solutions are available for businesses, like Hosted Exchange. Hosted Exchange can house your company’s email platform for a monthly fee or flat rate, allowing employees access to their business email from any device at any time.
Many businesses with only a single location need their data to travel with them. In the course of an off-site meeting, they may need access to data they did not save locally on their machine. With Cloud computing, this info is on the move with them and always accessible.
And what if there is trouble at the location? Stored information in the Cloud will not be destroyed, damaged or lost in the event of a fire or flood at the location. It is stored safely and remotely. In the event of one or more machines being damaged, lost, or upgraded there is no worry of lost information or data. The data will reside outside of the physical location and is standing by, ready when you are.
The Cloud is increasingly becoming a popular choice amongst businesses. The Cloud, however, does not provide total data security. Just like individual hard drives, data stored in the Cloud is also at risk to hackers and breaches.
Cloud providers are always improving security measures. Steps are being taken not only to increase security against outside attacks, but also to prevent companies using the same Cloud storage from seeing each other’s data. Companies using the Cloud are taking their own measures, encrypting their data before it is sent and stored within the Cloud.
Giving control to a Cloud provider does hold a business susceptible to the provider making changes and addressing issues. Good Cloud providers put measures into place to wall off one company’s data from another’s. They take steps to evenly distribute resources as one company maybe using more.
While progress and improvements are constantly being made, many businesses are making the move to Cloud Computing, taking advantage of the lower costs and higher availability of the Cloud.
Collaborating with colleagues and outside partners becomes much easier with Cloud computing, eliminating the question “What is the latest version of this document?” Employees are not tied to one machine as they once were; bringing their data with them wherever they go increases productivity.
Managing large amounts of data archiving older files in the Cloud frees up RAM on individual machines allowing for a faster and smoother experience for everyone. Keeping old archives and dated incarnations of documents clogs hard drives; the Cloud eliminates this problem for everyone using it.
Back up is never an issue with the Cloud if one, more or all of a company’s machines and devices have issues. All data is readily accessible from anywhere when a business it utilizing the Cloud.
If you are interested in Cloud Computing or other server options, Cosmotronics can help. Please contact us and our knowledgeable staff can assist you with any questions you may have.