Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the past 10 years, you will no doubt be familiar with the term, “The Cloud”, but what exactly is “The Cloud”? In short, Cloud Computing is a phrase used to describe services provided online (or stored somewhere other than your premises). The cloud is a huge series of data centres and servers found around the internet, which are used to provide these specialised services.
Despite being a relatively new technology, cloud computing is in use everywhere; on most days, you might be making use of it without even noticing. A popular example of its use is Dropbox, every time you upload a file onto that site, or use it to synchronise documents between computers, you’re making use of cloud computing technologies. The files you upload are sent to the cloud, which is essentially a group of servers which are physically located somewhere else in the world, and accessed through the internet. Many Google services make heavy use of cloud computing; online applications such as Google Forms and Docs, are cloud computing services.
No single organisation owns “The Cloud” but lots of organisations offer cloud based services. In essence, you are attaching to their systems and renting a small part of them.
What can it offer?
From Email, Backups or Data Storage Solutions to Full Server and Phone Systems, Cloud Computing can open up to a huge range of possibilities, for both general consumers, and businesses. Cloud services can provide an easy method of keeping data backed up; without having to invest in expensive hardware. Information can be accessed anywhere, and you are essentially renting a small slice of a multi-million-pound platform.
It also offers an extra layer of security for its users; if for instance, your systems have a horrible accident, everything sets on fire and your data is broken beyond repair, any backups you keep on site will likely be destroyed along with it. If your data is kept on the cloud, you’ll still be able to access your information on a suitable computer with an internet connection.
It doesn’t just stop at that though, some cloud based services allow you to rent out virtual machines, based solely on the cloud and not at your physical location. You can rent out virtual PCs or even servers. This is another big benefit Cloud Computing can provide to small businesses.
The future of cloud computing
Every day cloud technologies are increasing in complexity and functionality, and this is especially great for businesses. As already mentioned, cloud computing can offer extra virtualised systems and servers; in the future, this might even become the standard. Businesses built entirely off the back of cloud technologies will likely become more prominent in the next decade or so, thanks to increases in internet bandwidth and how accessible and affordable this technology is becoming.
More and more businesses are incorporating cloud services into their organisations, and for good reason. You are buying into a state of the art system that has world class security, redundancy and technology for a relatively small monthly retainer. Most providers offer free upgrades and the latest technologies as part of your service plan.
For further information on how Cloud Technologies can help your business, speak to the Jupiter IT Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01482 974444