Different Types Of Cloud Solutions Explained
This is where all your applications and data are put on the other side of the firewall (in the cloud) and accessed through various devices (laptops, desktops, iPads, phones) via the Internet.
Although “pure” cloud computing has valid applications, for many, it’s downright scary. And in some cases is NOT the smartest move due to compliance issues, security restrictions or performance issues. A hybrid cloud enables you to put certain pieces of existing IT infrastructure (say, storage and e-mail) in the cloud, and the remainder of the IT infrastructure stays on premise. This gives you the ability to enjoy the costs savings and benefits of cloud computing where it makes the most sense without risking your entire environment.
Another option would be simply to put certain applications, like SharePoint or Microsoft Exchange, in the cloud while keeping everything else onsite. Since e-mail is usually a critical application that everyone needs and wants access to on the road and on various devices (iPad, smart phone, etc.) then often this is a great way to get advanced features of Microsoft Exchange without the cost of installing and supporting your own in-house Exchange server.
Public Cloud Vs. Private Cloud
A public cloud is a service that anyone can tap into with a network connection and a credit card. They are shared infrastructures that allow you to pay-as-you-go and managed through a self-service web portal. Private clouds are essentially self-built infrastructures that mimic public cloud services, but are on premise. Private clouds are often the choice of companies who want the benefits of cloud computing, but don’t want their data held in a public environment.
Question: What if my Internet connection goes down for an extended period of time?
Our Answer: While this is a valid concern, we overcome this by adding a redundant internet connection.
Question: What happens if the Internet slows to the point where it’s difficult to work productively?
Our Answer: We resolve this by adding a redundant internet connection.
Question: What about security? Isn’t there a big risk of someone accessing my data if it’s in the cloud?
Our Answer: In many cases, cloud computing is a MORE secure way of accessing and storing data. Just because your server is onsite doesn’t make it more secure; in fact, most small to medium businesses can’t justify the cost of securing their network the way the right Minneapolis cloud provider can. And most security breaches occur due to human error; one of your employees downloads a file that contains a virus, they don’t use secure passwords, or they simply e-mail confidential information out to people who shouldn’t see it. Other security breaches occur in on-site networks because the company didn’t properly maintain their own in-house network with security updates, software patches, and up-to-date anti-virus software. That’s a FAR more common way networks get compromised verses a cloud provider getting hacked.
Question: Do I have to purchase new hardware (servers, workstations) to move to the cloud?
Our Answer: No! That’s one of the selling points of cloud computing. It usually allows you to use existing workstations, laptops and servers.
A “cloud integrator” is a fancy name for an IT consultant who helps you set up and integrate the various software and solutions into a cloud service specific for your business. But buyer beware! You don’t want just anyone setting this up for you.
Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, the computer repair and consulting industry (along with many others) has its own share of incompetent or unethical people who will try to take advantage of trusting business owners who simply do not have the ability to determine whether or not they know what they are doing. Sometimes this is out of greed for your money; more often it’s simply because they don’t have the skills and competency to do the job right but won’t tell you that up front because they want to make the sale.
From misleading information, unqualified technicians and poor management, to terrible customer service, we’ve seen it all…and we know they exist in abundance because we have had a number of customers come to us to clean up the disasters they have caused.
Automotive repair shops, electricians, plumbers, lawyers, realtors, dentists, doctors, accountants, etc. are heavily regulated to protect the consumer from receiving substandard work or getting ripped off. However, the computer industry is still highly unregulated and there are few laws in existence to protect the consumer – which is why it’s so important for you to really research the company or person you are considering to make sure they have the experience to set up, migrate and support your network to the cloud.
Anyone who can hang out a shingle can promote themselves as a cloud expert. Even if they are honestly trying to do a good job for you, their inexperience can cost you dearly in your network’s speed and performance or in lost or corrupt data files.
KLH – Minneapolis IT Managed Services Provider
Scott Johnson COO, KLH 651-328-6121