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Is Your Head in the Clouds?

published on June 10, 2010

Is Your Head in the Clouds?

Cloud computing is the next big thing in business, but what exactly is it? Why is it better than traditional computing? This article investigates cloud computing and what it means to small businesses.
Cloud Characteristics
Cloud computing has a few characteristics that distinguish it from typical computing. The main differences are:
• Cloud is completely done on the internet.
• It is being sold on demand. You pay for only what you use; as a small business that is a pivotal point.
• The services are sold a la carte. As a consumer, you are not required to pay a pre-packaged deal. You chose what you want to use and consequently use only what you need.
• Cloud can be fully managed by the providers.
Public or Private Cloud?
Private cloud aims to let companies choose which services to have in house and which services to have virtually. The downside of this arrangement is it is still a very expensive way to get an IT infrastructure in place. You will still have to spend the capital for the in house services and you won’t get a break on the IT Administrator salary or work requirements.
Public cloud has everything accessible from a virtual perspective. You have the option of Software as a Service (SaaS) where your vendor gives your company an IT infrastructure while allowing your customers to access the service from anywhere. Think of Project Management tools like Manymoon. Public cloud also brings hardware as a Service (HaaS). HaaS allows companies access to hardware that is virtually managed and hosted, to get a better idea think of Amazon’s EC2 or Google Apps.
So, What are the Benefits?
Cloud Computing is a big step forward for small businesses and can offer a variety of benefits. Some of the benefits offered by cloud computing are:
• Less capital required and less expensive maintenance costs.
• Better customer service available, both Microsoft and Google offer a 99.9% uptime on their cloud computing service.
• Cloud makes it easier to deploy security applications. Your entire infrastructure is remotely managed and updates and maintenance are easily handled.
• Greater employee satisfaction and flexibility. You are only using the products and services your company needs, so your staff is not bogged down with applications that you don’t use. Your employees can work from anywhere, helping you to create that ever elusive work-life balance.
• Easier to reallocate your resources. It becomes easier to see the bottom line and to evaluate where your resources should go and how to move forward.
• Ability to complete and deploy disaster planning. Having your IT infrastructure virtual makes disaster planning a breeze. You now have your client information and files in a secure, offsite storage center. If something should go wrong, that information can be accessed from anywhere.
Small businesses are usually behind the curve, but cloud computing levels the playing field. The ability to compete with the big boys just got a whole lot easier.

Resources
Shavit, Y. ( 20 Nov, 2006) Amazon, Microsoft web services edge toward direct competition with MSPs.
SearchNetworking Channel.com retrieved from http: search networkingchannel. target.com/news/article/0,289142,sid100_gci1230786,00.html
Wetherford, B. ( 27 May 2010). Time to kill the private cloud. IT News for Australian Business.
Retrieved from http://www.itnews.com.au/News/175953,video-time-to-kill-the-private-
-cloud.aspx

For more information on Manymoons, visit their website at https://www.manymoon.com.
For more information of Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing, visit website at http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

published on June 10, 2010

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