To Cloud, or Not to Cloud

 

The cloud is revolutionizing how computing power is generated and consumed. Cloud computing, if done properly, can make your business much more efficient. However, a cloud solution is only as good as the quality of the research, the implementation, and the follow-through. So, how do you know if moving your business applications and data to the cloud is the right answer for you? Let’s answer a few questions to find out.

What exactly is the cloud?

This is a tricky question in and of itself. Just like the clouds in the sky, there are many clouds when it comes to technology. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and applications over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. It is using a network of computers to store and process information, rather than a single hard drive.

Not all clouds are the same. You have options with Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hybrid. Choosing the right options for your business comes down to the needs and the amount of control you would like to have.
 

Private Cloud vs Public Cloud vs Hybrid

Public Cloud: owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider, which delivers their computing resources such as servers and storage directly through the Internet. With a public cloud, the hardware and software are owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.

Private Cloud: unlike the public cloud, the private cloud is used by only one organization. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud.

Hybrid: Combines a traditional “Onsite Server” with a cloud offering, either Public or Private. Your data is sync’d and stored to a lesser or greater degree in the cloud in addition to being on your local, on-premises server. Hybrid can be used as a stepping stone to migrate to the full cloud.

 

Is it safe and reliable? As mentioned before, cloud computing is the way of the future. We know it is easy and inexpensive – but, is it safe and reliable? What good is saving money and switching to a cloud solution if it will bring additional risks to my business? Most cloud service providers offer encryption features such as service-side encryption to manage your own encryption keys. So, in reality, you ultimately decide how safe your solution is. As far as reliability goes, in many cases, cloud computing can reduce the amount of downtime to seconds. Since there are multiple copies of your data stored all throughout the cloud, there is no single point of failure. Most data can usually be recovered with a simple click of the mouse.

In the end, though, companies shouldn’t make decisions entirely based on what they are comfortable with or what is cheapest. What should be most important is deciding whether or not transitioning into the cloud will work for your business.

To cloud, or not to cloud? The choice is all yours. Do your research and ask the right questions.