DATE : 08.20.2013
POSTED BY : Staff
 


Cloud-Busting: The Business Advantage of Cloud Computing

Though it has been a buzz word in the tech industry for some time now, small and enterprise-size businesses are beginning to take advantage of the uses and benefits of what is colloquially referred to as “cloud computing.” Though the imagery in the name suggests a mechanism where data naturally evaporates into the sky and then falls down like rain, the cloud itself is made up of a massive infrastructure of hardware, computers, servers, applications, and storage devices, all efficiently working together to provide software, storage, operating systems, and all forms of data to end users around the world.

Think you’re a tech Neanderthal?

Chances are you already use some form of service that works off of the cloud:

- When your smartphone meets its watery death in a sink or a toilet, the replacement phone connects to the cloud and backs up contacts, music, and even specific app information.

-Logged into your gmail, yahoo, or any number of email accounts? All of that information is stored and is accessible via the cloud.

-Want to catch up on new episodes of Arrested Development on Netlflix? A perfect example of cloud “virtualization,” which is the sharing of cloud server space to most efficiently send and receive media.

Cloud Computing for Business

“…look at that personal computer and take out every moving part except the keyboard and the mouse.” (Steve Jobs talking about cloud computing in 1997, bit.ly/mebFP5)

In 1997, Steve Jobs introduced iCloud in 1997, one of the first wide-spread consumer-friendly cloud applications. He described the shifting use of computer technology from computation to communication, and the role the cloud could play (back then, simply not having to back up data to a disc was revolutionary). These days, there are myriad business applications to cloud computing:

Backup/storage is one of the most obvious and most widely-used purposes of the cloud. Businesses no longer have to invest heavily in the purchase of on-site servers or the maintenance of these servers. Having instant redundancy in the storage of sensitive and not-so-sensitive data (from medical history files to the office basketball pool) is an obvious plus of cloud technology.  

Bringing down the bottom line is a goal of any enterprise. In 2013, businesses can simply rent space or service with one of many different hosting companies who, in turn, manage these servers and data at a nominal price – transferring this obligatory business expense from a capital expense to an operating expense. No more hunting for the fastest computers or buying up “memory” like it’s going out of style. Cloud computing drastically reduces hardware costs, but also software costs. Instead of buying a software license per head, buying a single service and monitoring use, cuts down on the bottom line.

Disaster recovery is vital in case of an emergency, and cloud computing is the new go-to remedy. From devastating tornadoes in the Midwest, to hurricane winds on the East coast, to the simple realities of life, being able to operate a business, access proprietary software, data, and any aspect of a work station, all virtually, is a reality now.

Secured data sharing (VPN) is a notable use of the cloud. Connecting with people from all over the world on a private network now seems to be the norm. The California site and the Connecticut site aren’t a phone call away, they’re a click away.

Reducing your carbon footprint is that much easier through cloud computing. People are going green, and instead of every business having their own climate-controlled and high-powered servers and backup servers, groups of cloud service-providers are sharing the load, reducing energy use, cost, and waste.

Undoubtedly, cloud computing will continue to grow in capability and importance in the years ahead. If you have any questions about how you and your business can take advantage of cloud computing, give us a ring at WHITECAP and explore how cloud technology can help you.

 

Sources

Holzle, Urs. “Cloud Computing Can Use Energy Efficiently.” New York Times, September 23, 2012. Room For Debate. Retrieved June 2, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/09/23/informations-environmental-cost/cloud-computing-can-use-energy-efficiently

Jacobs, Frederic. “Steve about cloud computing in 1997.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube June 5, 2011. Web. Retrieved June 4, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or7zaUaP-J8.

Strickland, Jonathan. “How Cloud Computing Works.” Howstuffworks. Retrieved June 4, 2013. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing/cloud-computing1.htm.

Thoke, Om. “Understanding What Cloud Hosting Really Is!” About.com Guide. Retried June 4, 2013. http://webhosting.about.com/od/Clouding-Hosting/a/What-Is-Cloud-Hosting-And-Should-You-Consider-It.htm.

 

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