Cloud Computing is taking one or more IT services and placing, them onto a server in a different location, to be accessed via the internet.
There are a variety of approaches to bear in mind when looking at Cloud Computing. We will outline two of the most common.
This is where you place your server, and everything on it, in a different location. This allows you to remove your server from your premises completely.
This could be done for a number of reasons.
You may want to minimise loss in the event of natural disaster. This makes disaster recovery much easier, as all your data is unaffected.
Outsourcing the server to a dedicated data centre can remove many running costs. Such as the electrical costs not only for the server itself but for maintaining the correct temperature in the room the server is located.
Back up procedures are often outsourced to the data centre, also. Removing any worry or hassle related to performing these actions yourself.
One matter to consider with this approach is that all of the users in your business would be reliant on the internet to access the hosted server. If there is insufficient bandwidth then the network can be compromised; in terms of speed.
This is where the applications that run on your PC, are instead, run in the cloud. This approach can be utilised with both an on site sever or a hosted solution.
One useful example is anti-spam software.
This allows the software to scan emails, in an offsite data centre, before they enter your local network.
Scanning emails, to see if they are spam, in this location frees up system resources and can stop malicious emails or attachments, before they enter the network. This lessens the security risk for your network.
Another example would be Office 365. This is Microsoft's Office package of software. It includes Word, Excel, Outlook etc. These all can all run in the cloud instead of your PC.
Cloud Computing is an incredibly powerful tool and can be very beneficial when implemented correctly.
If you are curious as to how cloud computing can be of benefit to your company get in contact with your IT support provider to discuss the options best suited to you.