What Exactly IS Cloud Computing?

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There’s a long answer, and then there’s the short answer this article will share. It’s now become common language for IT professionals to use the  phrases cloud or in the cloud  as a metaphor for the internet and web based applications, So when we say cloud computing, all we really mean is performing certain computing functions over the internet. However, the consumer cloud and the business cloud aren’t the same thing.

According to PCMag.com, the term “cloud computing” can be simply defined as ‘the storing and accessing of data and programs over the internet instead of your PC’s hard drive.’ Let’s take a look at some business and private benefits of cloud computing, and some points to consider before getting ‘into the cloud’…

Consumer Cloud Computing

Cloud computing in the consumer market has really taken off in the past few years, with companies like Microsoft leading the innovation pack. A simple example of consumer cloud computing can be seen in the case of file sharing services like WeTransfer and Dropbox. The service provider takes ownership of your data (storing it on their servers), and sends a download link to the recipient – who then is able to download the data from the service provider.

Business Cloud Computing

Business cloud computing differs slightly from consumer cloud computing in that there is an added ‘cloud tier’ where information can be stored. For example, our Stratus IT cloud computing clients are able to store their information on the Stratus IT cloud (on our servers) via the internet which connects their network to ours. The concept is the same, however instead of storing your information on a foreign server you know nothing about – you’re storing it with a local business you can call and even visit to see where your information is being protected.

With the Protection of Private Information Act (POPI) having taken effect in South Africa, many cloud computing service providers are facing a difficult time indeed. This is because many store their client data remotely on servers based overseas. This has serious legal implications, as most clients won’t even know that their data is in the hands of foreigners they’ve never met before. Choose a cloud computing service provider that stores your data within the South African borders to ensure your data is in safe, local hands.

Points to Consider

Consider these points when choosing a cloud computing vendor:

Scalability

Your cloud computing vendor might be able to support your data storage needs today, but what about in a year or two’s time? Choose a service provider that is able to grow their capabilities and accommodate you as your business grows.

High Expertise

You could go with a cloud computing provider that JUST hosts data on a server in their garage; or you could team up with a family of IT specialists that perform a broad spectrum of internet and IT industry-specific services – one of which being solid cloud computing services.

Cloud Computing IT Solutions

While cloud computing might seem like a scary notion to some, you have nothing to fear when trusting your business or private data with a local client-centric forward-thinking IT family like Stratus IT. To find out more about the cloud computing phenomenon, contact Stratus IT right here!

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