By Helleni Moon, EIDOS Technologies
Cloud computing has been at the forefront of many current discussions. You might already be using services or applications that utilize cloud technology without even knowing it. In short, the cloud is a fancy name for a large set of servers that assumes tasks normally reserved for your local computer. You can think of the cloud as an online facility to access data and applications. Unlike a local network, the cloud can be accessed from anywhere using almost any device – provided you have an internet connection. These server farms can scale accordingly as needed and offer excellent redundancy. Ultimately, you will not be offline even if your computer develops a fault.
A major benefit of the cloud is the ability to have unlimited access to data using a variety of devices. As more businesses rely on some form of remote access, this is one area that the cloud really shines. But the cloud is more than just data access: companies that provide software aimed at business now offer those same applications on a subscription basis through the cloud. Utilizing cloud-based technologies offers a scalable solution without having to spend large amounts of money on hardware and software up front, which provides a tremendous cost benefit without the drawbacks of upgrades and patches.
Cloud-based services address security concerns and disaster recovery planning. The servers can only be accessed by the appropriate people after passing on-site security approvals. Moreover, the servers are run by high-security data centers that contain built-in backup and redundancy measures. Typically, cloud-based providers offer 128-bit encryption alongside strong password policies to ensure your data is protected.
Using the cloud to store your data or provide access to your applications affords you the opportunity to focus on your core business. Alternatively, hybrid solutions are worth considering if you have concerns about being fully cloud-based. Like any decision, moving to a new technology requires forethought and planning if it is going to be successful.
Helleni Moon is the owner of EIDOS Technologies (eidos-technologies.com), which is headquartered in Manassas. Helleni is a lifelong resident of the DMV area: she was raised in Potomac, Maryland, educated at American University and currently resides in Woodbridge.