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What is the Cloud?

cloud computing

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When someone mentions that their office runs in the cloud or that all their files are stored in the cloud, it conjures images of harp-playing, cream-cheese-eating office employees resting nonchalantly on pillowy white clouds.  But it’s probably safe to say that most people who have their fingers in technology at home or at work are familiar with the concept of the cloud.  Just in case, though, here’s one definition, courtesy of Wikipedia:

“Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing that provides
shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other
devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand
access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources.”

In other words, by using cloud computing, we are storing our files and/or software on someone else’s computer and accessing them via the internet.  Sounds good, right?  A lot of people seem to think so, which is why the growing trend in business and personal computing is to convert from a static system to a cloud-based one.  But, for those of us who aren’t as familiar with the specific in’s and out’s of cloud computing, we might wonder what the benefits and shortcomings are.


For starters, in the cloud, there is no need to buy server hardware, since you’re storing your information elsewhere.  Many offices will upgrade or replace their servers every five years in order to adequately serve company needs.  That’s one cost that can be eliminated from the budget.  Not to mention the physical space that is free’d up when old servers are removed.  And remember that humming noise you used to hear in the hallway?  Gone.  The dull hum of your server’s fans will no longer be a problem.

The benefits keep piling on once you’ve moved to the cloud.  Your storage limits are entirely scalable, meaning that it’s quite easy to add or remove storage capacity when needed.  While physical servers can be upgraded, they do reach a ceiling, when no more storage can be added.  This can be especially dangerous for businesses whose storage needs fluctuate as contracts close and new clients are taken on.  With most providers, you only pay for what you need; some will even alert you when you’re in need of a top up.  Not only that, but if you’re running software through the cloud, installing updates or setting up new software is simple, since all your workstations point to the same source.  There should no longer be the need to assemble a project team to oversee software implementation.

So is moving to the cloud right for you?  Everyone’s situation is different but if you have questions please feel free to contact us.


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