Cloud Computer

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all

Month: August 2018

Accessing Data Using Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a type of computing that relies on sharing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. To enable this sharing, cloud computing uses networks of large groups of servers with specialized connections to spread data across them. This shared IT infrastructure contains large pools of systems that are linked together. Often, virtualization techniques are used to maximize the power of cloud computing.

The cloud is also not same as having a dedicated network attached storage (NAS) hardware or server. Storing data on a home or office network does not count as utilizing the cloud.

Cloud computing is necessarily accessing your data or your programs over the Internet, or at the very least, have that data synchronized with other information over the Web.

Some of the benefits of having a cloud infrastructure and implementing cloud solutions are as follows:

Capital-expenditure Free

Cloud computing is cost effective. Businesses can simply “pay as you go” and enjoy a subscription-based model instead of incurring huge expenses on hardware. In addition, there are the advantages of less IT cares and concerns.

Agility

Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses in the phase of expansion or undergoing fluctuating bandwidth demands. It is easy to scale up or down your cloud capacity depending upon the business needs. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors.

Disaster recovery

Large businesses invest majorly in robust disaster recovery. For smaller businesses investing on disaster recovery is often more an ideal than the reality. With Cloud computing now small businesses too can realize their ideals. Small businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.

Automatic software updates

In cloud computing, there is no headache about maintenance. Vendors take care of them and roll out regular software updates, including security updates. It ensures that no time is wasted in maintaining the system.

Enhanced productivity

With easier access and ability to share and edit documents anytime, from anywhere, teams are able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time and gives them full visibility of their collaborations.

Flexibility

With cloud computing, an internet connection is all that is needed to be at work. Businesses can offer more flexible working perks to employees so they can enjoy the work-life balance that suits them without productivity taking a hit.

Some say the cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulonimbus cloud, accepting connections and rolling out information as it floats. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive.

Reason Using Cloud Computing

The Basics.

As businesses expand, they begin to experience some really difficult and expensive information technology (IT) challenges. Maintenance of hardware and software facilities can be a pain in the neck with traditional business computing systems. Cloud technologies and services present a smart, user-friendly solution. It’s also cheaper than traditional systems and increases the productivity and workflow of the business.

Cloud computing, by definition, is technology that makes use of the internet and servers centralized in remote data centers to store and maintain data and applications. So, Cloud technology makes computing more efficient by centralizing the storage of data, processing, and bandwidth.

Cloud services and products also allow users to make use of applications and software without installing the application on their personal computers or mobile devices. Users can access their personal files and documents by using any computer or device with internet access. The costs in effort and money spent on maintaining an in-house IT infrastructure is are gradually being replaced with Cloud-based infrastructure. While Cloud-based services are perfect for large enterprises, they’ve also proven ideal for small and medium-sized businesses.

Private Cloud or Public Cloud

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)- Examples of SaaS include SalesForce, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, Gmail, and so on. With these services, just login with your credentials and get full access to the application and your previously stored information. With SaaS services, you can access your information anytime, anywhere, as long as you have internet access.

Private Cloud-The term “Cloud computing” or “the Cloud” also includes the utilization of outsourced hosting environments for remote data and file storage. Primarily, there are two cloud hosting scenarios that should be considered. These are shared, virtual servers, or dedicated, private Cloud servers. A private Cloud consists of servers that are dedicated to your company and data. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are the largest providers of Cloud hosting solutions.

Why You Should Use the Cloud.

Money savings-Cloud computing saves you substantial amount of money, the cost of Cloud computing is much more flexible than traditional methods. If there is need to pay for any service, you only need to pay for the services that you are using.

Disaster Recovery-With Cloud computing, it’s very easy to recover any file as long as they are backed up on the Cloud. So, if your physical devices malfunction, or are lost or stolen, your data is still safe and easily recoverable.

Work anywhere-Cloud computing enables you to access your files from anywhere as long as you’re connected to the internet. Many Cloud services also offer mobile apps so you can have access to your files irrespective of the device you are using.

Reduce Hardware-The use of Cloud computing reduces the amount of hardware used and the size of data centers. Some organizations eliminate physical data storage completely by operating their business totally on the Cloud.

Improved Collaboration- Cloud computing improves collaboration by allowing groups to meet virtually. You can view and edit shared documents and material with controlled access. This ability reduces the time spent to market and increase product development and customer service.

Understanding Cloud Computing

Another decade, another buzzword. If you are involved in IT it is likely that you will have seen terms like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Application Service Provider (ASP) and Utility Computing appear in technology and business media more frequently. Whatever you care to refer to it as they all essentially mean the same thing. In the US it is known as Cloud Computing.

What exactly is Cloud Computing?

The Cloud Computing concept is one based on the outsourcing of computing resources. Rather than purchasing certain hardware or software at relatively high capital expenditure, companies instead rent applications from service providers and access them over the Internet. An alternative to managing traditional IT resources – a host company takes care of the background technicalities and you simply connect to your services through a secure Web-browser, using them whenever needed. These services are hosted online on secure servers – a network of computers collectively referred to as ‘the cloud’. If you have ever had a free MSN Hotmail or Google Mail account you will have used a Cloud Computing service in the form of hosted email.

Nicholas Carr, technology writer and former chief editor of the Harvard Business Review, recently claimed that cloud computing is “a paradigm shift similar to the displacement of electricity generators by electricity grids in the early 20th Century”. The idea is that in the future a company’s IT infrastructure will be viewed as a utility expense not dissimilar to that of a water or electricity bill. It might seem far fetched, but it is quickly becoming a reality.

What does Cloud Computing mean to the small-medium sized business?

Firstly, a utility based delivery of IT services can have a huge cost advantage for the SME. By avoiding the initial expenditure of hardware and software licences, companies can save money and utilise resources. Their system infrastructure now becomes only an operational expense – since there is no hardware to purchase or maintain. IT staff no longer need to spend time on maintenance jobs and can set about improving efficiency in other areas of the company. The Cloud model can also help companies avoid return on investment (ROI) risk and uncertainty. Should their cloud service not work for them they can easily cancel their subscription and switch to an alternative provider – avoiding the nightmare of fixed asset failure six months down the line.

This ‘pay-as-you-go’ model also offers improved scalability. Businesses can allocate more or less funds to their cloud provider depending on how many licenses they need – increasing or decreasing over time. Cloud computing is a great advantage to start-up companies. By avoiding upfront capital expenditure, small firms can get up off the ground and running much quicker. This can be a massive benefit – with no initial cost barrier holding them back they can drastically decrease time to market.

The advantage of location independence is another key benefit of cloud services. Advances in 3G and Wireless Broadband technology have made accessing the Internet on the move easier. Users can connect to their software applications and store data and information instantly over the net. The result is freedom from the office. For companies with multiple users in the field, applications no longer need to be installed directly onto the user’s machine making them run more efficiently and securely.

What are the disadvantages of Cloud Computing?

Some argue that Cloud Computing will not take off because users are too reliant on Internet connections. Google has already anticipated the delay in open connectivity and user-preference for local computing by making some of its cloud applications downloadable – characteristically covering all bases. This a sign of uncertainty from normally the most confident of companies.

Others also suggest that accessing key company applications over the Internet poses some serious questions regarding security. However, cloud providers will argue that their services are no less secure than internet banking – in many cases more so. Using certain cloud-based applications means less critical data resides unsecured on company hardware and the reputable cloud-service companies all employ sophisticated encryption technologies.

Is Cloud Computing the future?

Some might say. But like all new technologies and concepts Cloud Computing needs it’s ‘killer app’ – something to really validate the proposition to the masses. The internet, for example, had email – so what do the experts think is killer app for Cloud Computing? Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates thinks it is online backup and storage. Gates believes that cloud storage is cloud computing’s proof of concept because its use is “without tradeoffs”.

Whatever your opinion of Cloud Computing, it cannot be denied that many small business are already profiting heavily from its adoption. Perhaps the biggest advantage of cloud computing is it’s ability to deliver focus. Without having all the time-consuming IT maintenance tasks holding them back, organisations can concentrate on performing core competencies to their highest potential. With more focus, companies can maximise efficiency in their core tasks.

Facts About Cloud Computing

Background

In the last 3 years dramatic changes have been taking place in how business computing happens, especially in larger companies. Traditionally companies build their own IT infrastructure, buy expensive equipment and servers and install everything locally. They need to keep hardware running, software compliant while making sure that the information input and output actually meets company needs.

Things have changed. With the advent of Cloud Computing a company can have reliable and safe business computing delivered like a utility service. Today we no longer dig wells for water, or run our own generator for electricity. These services are available as a utility service. So too with IT, you can “buy” IT infrastructure as a service, pay for what you need, and focus on the business not the technology.

1.What is Cloud Computing?

Computing delivered over the internet like a utility service that can be accessed by any device that has internet connection. Computing horsepower is located and happens outside the company on external servers, so no computing hardware needs to be owned and operated by the company. In fact, a well-known market research company, Gartner, has estimated that by the end of 2012, 20% of all companies will own no IT assets! The move to the cloud is underway.

2.What would full Cloud Computing look like in my office?

Imagine your server room or server area gone, no more major capital expenditures on equipment and facilities. Imagine desktops that don’t crash and hard drives that don’t fail, but with the same user experience. Imagine a secure safe environment for your systems and data taken care of by experts not on your direct payroll for a flat monthly fee that covers everything at a lower cost than you currently pay. This is what Cloud Computing can look like NOW.

3.Why isn’t everybody doing it?

Big companies have commonly been using Cloud Computing technology for a while now. Now smaller companies are increasingly changing to this way of running IT. Specialized managed IT companies are helping these smaller companies move their IT to the cloud and then run their IT efficiently – and this is accelerating the trend.

4.With Cloud Computing do you have to buy servers?

No. There is no cost burden of server ownership and therefore no expensive capital expenditure. You buy “server use” from a virtual server created for you in an external data center and pay for it by means of a simple monthly fee.

5.Company specific software

In a Cloud Computing setup, a company’s current servers, with their existing enterprise software, is transitioned over to newly created virtual servers which are theirs only. The company accesses everything as before as normal, with the exception that it is now communicated over the internet not the company’s local area network.

6.How Cloud Computing can get rid of PCs

With a full Cloud Computing implementation there are no servers or PCs at the business locations. Data is securely protected and continuously monitored on servers in a safe local physical environment and backed up behind a firewall. All PCs are changed to “Virtualized Desktops”. Employees will have a Thin Client, mouse, keyboard and screen but nothing will change in their computing experience. They will be looking at their screens with all their familiar programs such as Office, Outlook, etc.. They will be able to save to “My Docs” and other drives as normal.

The cloud management company will take care of equipment, Microsoft software licensing, antivirus, Spam Filtering, Security, secure backup, server and virtual desktop monitoring, and all the other IT headaches that you would rather not worry about. It’s easy to add desktops as you grow, or take them away just as easily if you need to downsize, paying for what you need.

7.Cloud Computing and the IT person /department

The typical IT person working in or for a company is spending up to 80% of their time keeping stuff up-and-running – PCs, hard drives, updates to office software, virus spam protection issues. It’s “busy work” which does nothing to improve the company’s performance. With a Cloud Computing solution a company does not have to spend time on these activities. More time can be spent on activities that support the business; or, if appropriate, staff can be cut or redeployed.

8.Can Cloud Computing save money?

It is easy to forget how much Information Technology is costing. As well as the “Hard Costs” like cost of hardware, infrastructure, software licenses, there are the more intangible “Soft Costs” such as IT staffing, troubleshooting, energy costs to run the servers and desktops and cool the server room and building. Typically you should be looking for fully costed savings in the area of 30-50% a year. With these levels of savings a business owner should, at the very least, be looking at Cloud Computing in their organization.

9.IT people often say Cloud Computing is less secure than in-house infrastructure. Is this true?

Typically because of the physical security and data security used, cloud security protection is almost always much better than most local company networks. Security over the internet is extremely high with firewalls that form barriers and which are monitored continually. Advanced backup and data recovery mean even a catastrophe can be quickly recovered from. And because all the company data is held on the company’s remote servers and is not being held all over the place (such as on local hard drives, thumb drives etc.) the likelihood of software and data contamination and theft is reduced.

10. What happens if a cloud server goes down or there is a catastrophic loss of data?

This is a very important topic. Companies frequently think that their own server rooms are somehow immune from catastrophe and they are also very often woefully under-prepared for a disaster. Simply doing tape backups, putting tapes in fireproof boxes and other methods can give a false sense of security. The reality is if disaster strikes, you need the very latest backup data recovery technology so that you can be up and running in minutes or hours not days or weeks or never! Cloud computing solutions typically take incremental snapshots backed up to multiple locations physically elsewhere to ensure you will be up and running again very quickly.

11.Moving Offices if you are using Cloud Computing

Moving offices or facilities is trivial when a company has a Cloud Computing setup. Because the infrastructure is in place (separate from the old and new company facilities) data can be accessed from anywhere. In theory once the internet connection to the new location is up and running the whole company can be up and running and back to normal as fast as thin clients can be hooked up to the internet!

12.Mobile Computing

With Cloud Computing, your Virtual Desktop can be accessed anywhere and anytime. Other solutions require your office PC to be turned on, and your office Internet connection to be live. Most Internet connected devices, such as laptops, tablets, smart-phones, can be used to connect to your desktop. Imagine being able to run Excel, PowerPoint or any of your business specific software from an iPad or a smart-phone! And security remains at a high level for remote access since only keystroke and screen refresh is sent between the data center and your smart device, but no actual data.

In summary, the benefits of moving to the cloud are great. Cloud computing already is increasingly the way IT is being handled, and owners would therefore be wise to take a look at and embrace the technology now.

© 2018 Cloud Computer