Cloud computing is one of the most exciting, growing technologies. Just five years ago it was still very much a concept, but today it’s a widely used, highly useful service for businesses and consumers alike. However, because cloud computing is still on the rise, not everyone is completely up to speed on how the cloud works and what it offers So we thought we’d clear up some of the most interesting questions we’ve been asked…
1) Can the cloud run my whole business for me?
Don’t go sacking the workforce just yet. Although a virtual data centre can reduce the need to purchase and manage a physical infrastructure, it’s not yet up to decision-making standards. So it won’t be doing your taxes for you.
2) Is the cloud the future of media delivery?
Yes and no. Private cloud platforms could certainly prove useful in media storage or network operations, but they don’t physically deliver media to your users. So you’ll still need the traditional outlet portals for that.
However, as technology advances, and the way we consume media changes, the cloud begins to play a bigger part. Digital books, newspapers and magazines can all be hosted and accessed via the cloud. And the recent misfortunes of companies like Blockbuster and HMV have been largely due to consumers abandoning traditional media sources such as DVD rentals, and instead preferring downloadable or live streaming music and movies from services like iTunes, Netflix or Lovefilm – all of which use cloud based technology.
3) Won’t my data get mixed up with everyone else’s?
If you choose a private cloud, that’s exactly what you get – private. You get a dedicated network, storage hardware and Cloud Orchestrator, all located in a private colocation cabinet. It’s yours, for your use, and nobody else’s. Even multi-tenanted environments do an excellent job of keeping your data separate and secure from other tenants – so if you choose a sensible provider, your data will never be mixed up.
4) Can other people access my data in the cloud?
No, cloud services are as secure as traditional infrastructures, and only you can access your data. With a private cloud platform you have the security of knowing that everything is dedicated to you. And a virtual data centre allows you to connect with your data via ADSL or high speed Ethernet without crossing the public internet. And if you choose the right provider, you’ll also benefit from industrial strength security, all managed by an expert team, to protect your data. Which makes it perhaps even safer than traditional setups with standard firewall protection.
5) Isn’t cloud computing just the latest fad, like the Mini-Disc or Tamagotchi?
With real significant benefits and cost saving potential, cloud services are continuing to grow in popularity, and figures suggest that trend is going to continue. It’s definitely not just the latest flash in the pan.
6) If I don’t replace my old racks with the cloud now, will my business be out of date?
Cloud services are a reasonably new technology, and definitely offer advantages that a traditional infrastructure doesn’t. But depending on your specific requirements, you may not need to jump straight to the cloud. By adopting a Hybrid Cloud you get cloud-computing options as well as traditional, so you can test it out and transition in your own time.
It is widely expected that most businesses will adopt a hybrid model, using various flavours of cloud mixed with traditional colocation and on-premise set-ups. The cloud may not be right for all your needs, but in some areas it will save you money and make your business more agile.
7) Can you upload your thoughts to the cloud?
While a futurist from Google claims we’ll be able to upload our entire minds to computers within 30 years, sadly it’s currently still only the stuff of science fiction. So you’ll just have to keep your thoughts inside your head… or get them out on Twitter.
Are you interested in cloud networking solutions? Talk to an expert to find out what cloud computing offers and how it can benefit your business.