Cloud Computing is an important function of almost all mordern day businesses. Cloud Servers are used in a lot of businesses for storing and accessing data remotely. To know how Cloud Computing can benefit Businesses, keep reading.
What is Cloud Computing?
The Cloud is a global network of servers that functions as a single ecosystem. This term is used to refer to accessing information technology (IT), computer and software applications by accessing data centres. It makes use of Internet connectivity or wide-area networking (WAN) to operate. The Cloud is just a bunch of computers/servers connected to the internet in the most basic form. The process of using servers hosted on the internet to manage, process and store data instead of local servers or personal computers is known as Cloud Computing.
How Embracing Cloud Infrastructure help my business?
Cost-effectiveness is the number one reason businesses are considering to resort to Cloud Computing. Most business running a server will need to pay for the maintenance of the server along with the running cost, like electricity. If you are running a server in the ‘cloud’, this can help reduce the price as you will only pay for what you use. On average, most businesses refresh their hardware every three years. This ensures that they get optimum performance out of their servers. In return, they get optimal performance in business processes.
If you are using a server in the cloud, you do not need to worry about the ‘three-yearly’ outlay of cost. This is because you will have optimum servers provisioned which you can update on the go. You can store data of your organisation according to various cloud storage options. There are many organisations which have embraced cloud technology to such an extent that their entire setup is based on cloud infrastructure.
Who are good cloud service providers?
There are many cloud providers in the market today. However, some of the more prominent players that you will hear often are:
AWS (Amazon Web Services) – Launched in the year 2006 by Amazon, it was one of the first players in the market. ‘Regions’ are the 16 data-centres of Amazon, which is spread all over the world.
Azure – Microsoft’s cloud offering, this was launched in 2010 so has not been around as long as AWS. Azure has by far the most’ regions’ as they have the most data-centres around the world. They have approximately 30 areas, and this number is growing yearly.
GCP – This is Google’s cloud offering, the letters stand for Google Cloud Platform. Google was the newest players in the market, having launched the service in 2012. In addition to around ten regions that GCP has till date, the numbers are rapidly increasing with every single day.
Region – Three of the biggest companies use this to define the location of the physical data-centre your machine is on.
Zone – Each region can have multiple zones or data-centres within one region. This pinpoints precisely which data centre in any given region is in use.
IS THE CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE SAFE?
Many people, for instance, still believe that Cloud Security is still a significant concern. However, Cloud Providers have fantastic protection. So, AZURE, AWS and GLP all have the best security audit passes.
However, there are a few things which the businesses can do so that they can ensure security:
a. Make sure your implementation is secure.
b. Limit Public Ports.
c. Take advantage of VPN connectivity and ACLs.
d. Encrypt your guest machines.
HOW POPULAR IS THE CLOUD?
In a poll recently done on one of SIOS’ webinars, we found that the majority of webinar attendees in 2017 have between 0-25% of servers running in the cloud. This might seem like there has been a relatively low uptake of the cloud. However, most businesses will select a few systems within the company to migrate into the cloud.
CAN THE CLOUD GO DOWN?
There are outages in the cloud! In March 2017, there was an outage with AWS in the eastern region where some of the lower end storage went down. Usually, website hosting and other such services require this type of storage. Again, in March 2017 there was an outage with Azure and GCP. Would your business survive an outage?
HIGH AVAILABILITY & DISASTER RECOVERY IN THE CLOUD?
Above all, it is essential to use HA/DR plans for cloud servers. We would highly recommend making sure you are spreading loads across different regions and maybe even across various providers. However, as you need to reduce the type of outage described above, there are options available such as SIOS DataKeeper. SIOS DataKeeper allows you to create SANLess clusters across different regions/zones and occasionally various providers.
At Open Minds, we help organisations to reduce their downtime to increase their productivity. We do this with the help of our various solutions like SIOS Protection Suite for Windows, SIOS Protection Suite for Linux, DataKeeper, SAP cluster software and more. To know more about cloud-related services, call us on 0121 569 2503 and our team of experts will be available to help you.
If you wish to know which is the best cloud provider, please read our article on the best cloud service provider.