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In traditional business operations, if you wanted to get access to anything in your company, it had to be done through software locally installed on your computer. Email clients and office application software suites are required to be installed locally in order for anything to function.
Thumb drive and external drives enable some flexibility for people to transport essential files, however, there are limitations to storage space, as well as security, redundancy, reliability and can easily be lost or stolen. VPN’s and remote desktop also enable a great form of accessibility, however can be limited or inaccessible if there are restrictions or ports blocked on your network connection.
Cloud Services can change all of these classic methods with the capability to access all your files and applications, housed or installed on servers on the cloud, with a simple Internet connection. Cloud computing utilizes a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than storing on a local server or a personal computer. It can provide organization for company data, user permissions, licenses, and lower the cost of hardware and personnel to maintain traditional, on-premise servers. While there are many great sounding benefits, decision-makers must also decide if they can rely on and trust third-party services and personnel to protect their data.
This article will highlight all the essentials you can get from cloud services.
Types of Cloud Services
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is the most basic category of cloud computing services. IaaS allows you to rent IT infrastructure. This includes servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems. The pricing structure from a cloud provider is typically on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. Platform as a service (PaaS) is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet and is typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage software applications and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades, security patching, and support. Users connect to cloud service applications over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.
Types of Cloud Deployments
Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider, which delivers computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet. Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are examples of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account online.
A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources that are used exclusively by a single business or organization. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. A private cloud’s services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
Hybrid clouds combine both public and private clouds. They are connected by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. Hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more deployment options.
Online Software Applications with Cost Savings
Cloud computing can provide businesses and users cost savings and flexibility to have applications and documents readily available, whether it be on their laptop or mobile phone.
Online software applications are being developed to sync with localized versions of software. For instance, Microsoft One Drive and Dropbox enable users to access their files anywhere, whether on laptop or mobile, while automatically syncing localized versions of files to files stored online. With cloud service applications like Office 365 and Office 2016, files can be edited on local versions of software as well as on online versions of software applications.
Storage is readily available and with services like Dropbox or One Drive cloud files and directories are automatically synced to an assigned local system file directory.
Many services offer free or low-cost versions of their online software and services with the option to upgrade when they have outgrown their current plans.
Backups are typically provided with the option of being able to revert to previous versions of documents.
Opportunities for Collaboration; Work from Anywhere
With documents and applications being available online, online cloud applications enable flexibility to collaborate with colleagues and co-workers regardless of your location.
Using online applications, documents can be edited together in real time. Alternatively, applications like Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2016 can communicate together and enable users to collaborate together in real time on documents stored on One Drive Business.
Applications like Slack and Sharepoint enable efficient file sharing and communication between parties, allowing permissions to be controlled on a project or person to person basis with built-in chat and other collaboration features.
Run Applications on Any Hardware, and Have Your Own IT Dept
Online accessibility enables cloud services to be run on any hardware and accessibility to online-stored documents. With cloud services, local computer memory and storage worries are a thing of the past. Cloud-computing enables access and productivity from simple, low-cost, low-processing computers to tablets and mobile phones. All storage can be kept online, providing security in case devices are stolen or lost.
Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running colo datacenters. No worries of renting or purchasing server racks, the 24/7 electricity for power and cooling, or the IT experts for managing the infrastructure.
Backups with Multiple Versions
Cloud storage typically provides built-in backups, giving users and IT personnel peace of mind. Backups, such as in One Drive, give you access to copies of multiple versions of documents.
Services like Carbonite, also offer backups to the cloud, regularly backing up newly changed data at scheduled times. Backup services typically also offer multiple versions of backed up documents.
Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and reduces cost. Data can be mirrored at redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
While data is central and safe from physical theft of devices, certain risks exist such as data breaches, poor credential management, insecure interfaces, system vulnerabilities, account hijacking, malicious insiders, physical catastrophe, provider faults, denial of service, share technology vulnerabilities and more.
While data should technically be safe with software provider giants like Microsoft or Google, you should still be ready for the worst and keep a backup of your most critical data, or keep a traditional copy of it on a fireproof/waterproof physical external hard drive.
Scalability on Demand
Cloud infrastructures are designed to be scalable, whether it be adding more storage, bandwidth, software capabilities, and features. Providers are able to provide services and software on demand and often times, instantly.
Vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking pressure off capacity planning.
Any of the above benefits would be enough to convince many businesses to move their business into the cloud. Many businesses are beginning to adopt the cloud and have discontinued using their old hardware in favor of new features, flexibility, and backups.
Cloud-based services are a convenient mode of storing essential data; as long as they are from a dependable provider, they are typically safe and secure.
Visit Remotedba.com to learn more about performance tuning and scalability planning.