What is Cloud Computing? A lot of people still have this question. Cloud computing is when you run your computing infrastructure which includes servers, applications, websites, and desktops in the cloud. But still, what is the cloud? A dedicated data center is a cloud, basically, any offsite infrastructure storage facility is a cloud. You can move your IT infrastructure to a data center in a different city, state, or country and call it a cloud.
Cloud is divided into two categories, Public & Private. Examples of Public Clouds are Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud. A private cloud can be a local data center or a collocation facility. Private cloud is not accessible to the public and is only available to businesses themselves, they can go touch their infrastructure, change hard drives, and update servers. whereas in the public cloud you don’t know where exactly your infrastructure is stored. You will know what region or data center it's in, but not exactly in which rack or what hardware. Public cloud provider uses identity management and a user interface to give out access and manage security.
Public cloud computing offers a lot of benefits over on-premises. Here are the top 5 benefits:
One of the main reasons why cloud computing emerged so fast is because of the fast setup time. You don’t have to order a server, wait for shipment, unbox it, rack it and set it up. You just log in to the cloud provider portal and with a few clicks, you can have your server or application up and running. You can select what OS you need, and what Size VM you want to create, you can make it private or publicly available by assigning it a public IP right from the portal and configuring additional controls. Cloud providers also offer automation scripts where you don’t have to go through the manual process every time you need to create a server, you can simply run the script and boom.
What will you have to do if you want to increase storage or RAM on an on-premises server? Can you do it on the fly? No. You will have to find the compatible storage device or RAM, order it wait for it, and install it. With Cloud computing, you simply turn off your resource, upgrade storage or RAM with a few clicks and turn it back on. You can also enable features like scale up and scale out which automatically increase resources on your servers when needed. If you have an e-commerce website and on a busy day you get more than anticipated traffic, these features can increase resources like hard drive size, and memory on the fly as needed. It can even add more servers to handle the load. Crazy, right?
What are the costs associated with managing on-premises server infrastructure? You need to buy hardware upfront and ventilation costs, electricity costs, and security costs also add up. With cloud computing, you don’t have to worry about paying a large sum of upfront cash, and no need to worry about ventilation, electricity, and security cost. You can pay as you go, which means you only pay for what you use, or you can pay upfront at a discounted price. Another way of saving money in the cloud is to only run resources when you use them. If your business is only open from 7 AM to 7 PM, you can turn off your resources from 7 PM to 7 AM and you will not accumulate costs for the time when you don’t use resources with the Pay as you go model.
When you host your data on-premises, how will a remote user access it? They will have to use VPN to connect to the corporate network and then access the data. VPN server needs to be configured either on a server or firewall. What If this device goes down or the internet goes down? Data is not accessible anymore until the device or internet is restored. Moving data and resources to the cloud fix this problem because servers or data in the cloud is not relying on one firewall or one internet connection. You can still choose to have users connect to VPN in the cloud and then access data or you can implement strict authentication and authorization controls that will limit access to authorized users only.
Reduced IT Infrastructure
If you migrate to the cloud, you don’t have to have a big server room with a server rack. You don’t need a ventilation system to keep the servers cool, you don’t need big UPS to support the servers in case of an electricity outage. Moving to the cloud greatly reduce IT infrastructure which again saves electricity and security cost.
Whether it's physical security or data security, the cloud has you covered. Cloud provider data centers are secured with advanced security standards and personnel security. Only authorized personnel have access to these data centers. As far as data security goes, data is encrypted while at rest or in transit which makes data less accessible to an unauthorized user. There is a lot of security control cloud providers offer which can be enabled on per user or per resource basis. According to a survey, 94% of businesses saw improvement in security after moving to the cloud and 91% said the cloud makes it easier to meet compliance requirements.
Have questions about cloud computing? Not sure if moving to the cloud is right for you? We at Enfology can answer all your answers. Find more information at www.enfology.com and book a free consultation.