What is The Cloud?
In the past, photos, business documents and programs were all stored on a physical piece of hardware. To access these items, you had to have the actual computer, disk or CD where they were stored. Today, we often take for granted we can access information, like photos, music or movies, remotely. Services like Flickr, Netflix and Pandora make retrieving data on any device simple.
In a nutshell, the Cloud is an internet based way of storing data remotely. Basically, it’s an application that is hosted or run on Internet servers. Companies who offer these services have servers or server farms, allowing them to store data for a large group of users.
There are number of advantages to moving to the Cloud. Here is our short list.
- Greater Accessibility: Your data can be opened on any device with Internet access at any time.
- Having a Backup Plan: Backups are controlled and maintained by the cloud server. These services have redundant storage resources, unlike your local computer. Items stored on the Cloud are available even if your hard drive crashes.
- Smaller Footprint: Less computing power is required for Cloud based services, which means they take up a smaller amount of storage space on your hard drive.
- Low Maintenance: With services run on the Cloud, you no longer have to purchase or maintain hardware. This means there are no costs relating to the repair of failed equipment or software upgrades.
- Easily Scalable: If you need more space, because you are adding users or data, you can quickly increase your usage, though additional fees may apply.
But, there are a few disadvantages to consider as well.
- Connectivity: You can’t access your data if you don’t have an Internet connection. Also, if you don’t have a reliable Internet service, you may have trouble retrieving your data.
- Bandwidth: Running the Cloud can use a large amount of bandwidth. Make sure your Internet service is up to the challenge before switching over. Start by taking a look at your company’s Internet usage. Transferring, downloading or uploading files; streaming music and videos; or using other Cloud based services increase your bandwidth needs.
- Time: Transferring large files can take more time from the Cloud than from in-house, company servers.