What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is a term often used to describe networks that are accessible from the internet. This has led to huge leaps in business mobility, because when we are on a customers site, we can still be connected to our business. E-mails can be read, documents worked on and anything done at our office, can now be done elsewhere.
There are various types of cloud environments: Public, Private and Hybrid. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Public – Offerings like Dropbox, Amazon Online, Office365 and Google Apps are all examples of Public Clouds, where they implement their own security at the entry point onto their network. These usually have high availability and low costs, however the bigger the target, the more hacking attempts
Private – This can be any business with an internet connection. By utilizing various web applications or VPN (Virtual Private Network) solutions, your office can be accessed through your own private secure channel.
Hybrid – Some businesses, usually at the large end, will have systems that cross between the two. For example internal Exchange Servers could be linked to Office365 to share the e-mail burden and to have some for pure internal and pure external use, while being in the same organisation. This can also be a step for migration from one to the other.
Having everything open to the internet, means that security is a very big concern and something many businesses overlook, until something gets hacked. The most common hole into a business network, its bank accounts, twitter, facebook, etc is through the owners mobile phone. With no password on that phone, a business can be wiped out in minutes.
– Think about your wallet.
– Right now, its got money, credit cards, photos of loved ones. It’s probably in your pocket, or right next to you.
– Imagine it open
– On a table, in a park, in broad daylight
– and you are sitting at your desk, 20km away
That can be what your business looks like with cloud computing.
Different security models, will change what can be accessed in the above scenario. Some will hide the money, some will hide the credit cards, some will close the wallet, or hide it entirely. The biggest problem is that people get annoyed with Passwords and some people remove them entirely, which puts us right into the scenario we see above.
One area where a business can greatly suffer from moving to a cloud solution is by not having the right type of internet connection. When all of your data is located inside your office, you have very fast connections and saving a document is fast. When moving to the cloud over an ADSL link, that can be very slow, the more users, the worse the effect. As downloading 10Mb can take seconds and uploading taking minutes or more. There are numerous technologies that can be used over the cloud and it is important to pick the right one for you business size. Dropbox for 5 users may be brilliant and at 40, it could be crippling your business. So it is always important to have the right link and right software for your business now and allowing for future growth. In the above scenario, using ADSL, is like having to walk the 20km to get to your wallet and at the other end of the scale is Fibre400, which is like getting there in a Ferrari, on a straight road, with no traffic.
Using the cloud is a great solution for many business, however some quickly jump before making sure it will be great for them. At Adaptable IT, we can help you determine what your needs are and what will be the best solution for your business, so that it can grow with ease and know that it is secure. We are partnered with many of the best cloud providers and also the Telco’s to make sure that you have the best connections. Give us a call and find out how you can best achieve your businesses goals.