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There are lots of different terms for the Cloud - Virtual servers, cloud storage, managed servers, cloud computing, hosting services - based on this, it's really easy to get confused over what a company actually needs. Cloud and managed hosting have a variety of benefits, which we'll discuss below.
Whether you are considering a public cloud provider or a hybrid cloud option (that is the combination of a public cloud provider with a private cloud platform) (one that's developed for use by one organization), the question is - Is cloud computing the right choice for your business at this stage?
Ultimately we recommend that an advisor at COLOpeople walks you through a series of questions to find out what best suits your needs for today and in the future. COLOpeople's existing Cloud Provider clients are some of the largest in the US and Europe. We can REALLY help you get exactly what you need in a matter of a few days. In the meantime, here are some things you will want to know about cloud computing that may help you decide:
A cloud computing solution can certainly save you money in many cases. If you are running six or more servers, with the expense of purchasing, maintaining, power and cooling, and you move all of that data into the cloud, removing those in-house servers, then you will see a cost savings. It turns your capital expenditure into a running cost. You rent server space on a monthly basis, and your upfront cost to transition your business to the cloud is minimal in comparison to the cost of new hardware. With your monthly recurring cost you eventually break even and it will cost you about the same as an on-premises solution, however it makes cash flow better, helps with budgeting and you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs of hardware failure, upgrades etc. That’s all taken care of as part of your monthly fees.
When you switch to cloud computing you instantly get a remote working facility and your company data is stored on the servers of your cloud provider, accessible through an Internet connection. This gives your business flexibility. Your colleagues can collaborate; quickly share information and work together from any location with an Internet connection, and on any device. Productivity often goes up, and with it, so does morale, as flexible working is an important employee benefit.
One of the biggest concerns with cloud computing is the balance between convenience and security. Cloud service providers continue to work hard to develop security measures and techniques that help maintain this balance, providing the convenience of accessing records from a desktop, laptop or mobile device with solid security. The business cost of a data loss, whether it is temporary or permanent can be disastrous and there is a much higher chance of that sort of a data loss happening if your servers are in the corner of your office versus at a secure 24/7 monitored data center. Cloud services can provide a greater physical security and redundancy than having a single business server. It also provides security from computer theft, as the information is not stored on the computer directly, helping protect businesses from liability or bad publicity due to a physical security breech.
You need good connectivity and though an Internet dependent solution carries a risk of downtime, that risk is no higher than the risk of downtime with an on-site solution.
When you switch to a cloud solution, you do lose a bit of control. Your company data is being trusted with a service that you have little, or perhaps no control over. So it is important to partner with a cloud services provider that you can trust.
- Separate your public-facing and private-interfacing cloud sites or applications. By keeping these separate, it's much harder for someone to unintentionally or intentionally access records that are intended to be kept private, even HIPAA records.
- Put your private cloud on a dedicated server. A dedicated server usually has higher levels of tech support, is more reliable and has administrative access, allowing you to note what resources are being used and to head off problems before they happen, as well as allowing you to run updates and install software you feel would be more beneficial to your particular situation.
Not all businesses are prepared to transition to the cloud, however if you feel you are ready to make this change, it doesn’t have to be a big deal and a lengthy process when you have COLOpeople on your side. As your business needs change, and technology changes, you may find that cloud is the right solution for you. COLOpeople can offer you the cloud management services you need to take your business to the next level.
COLOpeople works with many of the top cloud computing companies. The decision to move to a cloud based services solution can be overwhelming when you start evaluating all of the choices of cloud service providers and hybrid options. COLOpeople has already done this research for you and we can help you choose a reputable cloud computing provider that will give you the cloud computing services and security levels you require. Committing yourself to a long contract with the wrong provider will cause problems down the road.
Cloud hosting refers to a computer service that has a business' software located on a remote server instead of on your own computer directly. This means that the software, apps, or file storage can only be accessed with an Internet connection, but may provide greater physical security and redundancy than a single business server.
Managed hosting is when a separate IT business provides cloud storage, dedicated hosting or other managed services at a remote location for a business. The managed service provider maintains the hardware, provides strong physical security and has a variety of redundant systems in place to ensure minimal downtime. This type of service is also referred to as a data center or colocation operation.
Cloud hosting provides several benefits over a traditional on-site hosting system. Because of the redundancies that are in place, your clients and employees can still access their information even if your office is destroyed. A cloud server will usually experience lower downtime when compared to a traditional on-site hosting option because the business of the managed service provider is to keep your virtual server operational. Cloud services also provide security from computer theft, as the information is not stored on the computer directly, helping protect businesses from liability or bad publicity due to a physical security breech.
One of the biggest concerns of today's consumers is the balance between convenience and security. Cloud service providers have worked hard over the past several years to develop security measures and techniques that help maintain this balance, providing the convenience of accessing records from a desktop, laptop or mobile device with strong security. Here are a couple options to consider in securing your cloud service:
Separate your public-facing and private-interfacing cloud sites or applications. By keeping these separate, it's much harder for someone to unintentionally or intentionally access records that were intended to be kept private, even HIPAA records.
Put your private cloud on a dedicated server. A dedicated server usually has higher levels of tech support, is more reliable and has administrative access, allowing you to note what resources are being used and to head off problems before they happen, as well as allowing you to run updates and install software you feel would be more beneficial to your particular situation.