So what the hay is ‘The Cloud’

As the office manager at Insane I have come to realise that working with a bunch of techs is not that bad. Since I started at Insane I have heard the expression ‘the cloud’ thrown around like it is ‘Microsoft’, ‘Apple’ or ‘Google’.  But like many I had no idea what it was!

According to Wikipedia, “Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction”.[*]

Put simply, the Cloud generally refers to purchasing IT services (which are delivered via the internet) in a similar way to how we pay for electricity or water. You pay a fixed price (per user for example) to access the service and don’t need to purchase servers, software licenses or pay for the maintenance and support of the equipment – it’s all bundled together.

These services are delivered via the internet, by multiple servers so as to provide a level of redundancy.

Typical “Cloud services” that you may already be using include:

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  • Hosted Exchange email services
  • Online backup services
  • Remote Desktops
  • Web based applications – SalesForce, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter

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The media tends to bundle any service you can purchase and consume via the internet without having to outlay money on equipment as being “cloud based”.

One of the biggest requirements for taking advantage of some of these services is ensuring you have a high-speed, reliable internet connection. If the NBN goes ahead, providing fibre based connections for businesses, we will see a huge increase in Cloud based business tools in Australia.

Security and ‘The Cloud’

As a result of the media hype over the Cloud, many businesses have rushed to take advantage of this so called new technology. Whilst the Cloud has much to offer, we need to be careful as to who and how we consume Cloud services to ensure we aren’t putting our business data at risk.

No doubt you’ve read the recent news regarding a number of big corporations who have had their services hacked. Google, Amazon and Sony are some of the companies which have recently had their “cloud based” systems hacked – resulting in the confidential records of individuals being accessed and critical business data lost.

The concern here for businesses considering the Cloud is on security. How secure is my data? How is my data backed up? How can I restore my data if it is accidentally deleted?

We’re not saying Cloud services are bad – but whether you are a small business or large, you need to be aware that there are risks in adoption of Cloud based services for your business.

Is Cloud Computing for you?

Every business is different and the Cloud offers a multitude of choices, so what works for some may not work for others.

If ‘Cloud Computing’ interests you please contact us to discuss how the cloud can enhance your business! (07) 5539 6116

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