The overwhelming majority of cloud computing platforms consist of dependable services relayed via data centers and built in servers with varying tiers of virtualization capabilities. These services are available anywhere that allows access to the networking platform. Clouds often appear as single arenas of access for all subscribers’ enterprise computing needs. All commercial cloud platform offerings are guaranteed to adhere to the customers’ quality of service (QoS) requirements, and typically offer service level agreements. Open standards are crucial to the expansion and acceptance of cloud computing, and open source software has layed the ground work for many cloud platform implementations.
The article to follow is what Nubifer Inc. CTO, Henry Chan, recently described to be his summarized view of what cloud computing means, its benefits and where it’s heading in the future:
Cloud computing explained:
The “cloud” in cloud computing refers to your network’s Internet connection. Cloud computing is essentially using the Internet to perform tasks like email hosting, data storage and document sharing which were traditionally hosted on premise.
Understanding the benefits of cloud computing:
Cloud computing’s myriad of benefits depend on your organizational infrastructure needs. If your enterprise is sharing large number of applications between a varying number of office locations, it would be beneficial to your organization to store the apps on a virtual server. Web-based application hosting can save time for people traveling without the ability to connect back to the office because they can have access to everything over their shared virtual private network (VPN).
Examples of cloud computing:
Hosted email (such as GMail or Hotmail), online data back-up, online data storage, any Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application (such as a cloud hosted CRM from vendors like Salesforce, Zoho or Microsoft Dynamics) or accounting applications, are examples of applications that can be hosted in the cloud. By hosting these applications in the cloud, your business can benefit from the interoperability and scalability cloud computing and SaaS services offer.
Safety in the cloud:
Although there are some concerns over the safety of cloud computing, the reality is that data stored in the cloud can be just as secure as the vast majority of data stored on your internal servers. The key is to implement the necessary solutions to ensure that the proper level of encryption is applied to your data while traveling to and from your cloud storage container, as well as when being stored. This can be as safe as any other solution you could implement locally when designed properly. The leading cloud vendors all currently maintain compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, SAS90, FISMA and HIPPA.
Cloud computing for your enterprise:
To determine which layer of cloud computing is optimally suited for your organization, it is important to thoroughly evaluate your organizational goals as it relates to your IT ecosystem. Examine how you currently use technology, current challenges with technology, how your organization will evolve technologically in the years to come, and what scalability and interoperability will be required going forward. After a careful gap analysis of these determinants, you can decide what types of cloud-based solutions will be optimally suited for your organizational architecture.
Cloud computing, a hybrid solution:
The overwhelming trend in 2010 and 2011 is to move non-sensitive data and applications into the cloud while keeping trade secrets behind your enterprise firewall, as many organizations are not comfortable hosting all their applications and hardware in the cloud. The trick to making cloud computing work for your business is to understand which applications should be kept local and which would benefit most from leveraging the scalability and interoperability of the cloud ecosystem.
Will data be shared with other companies if it is hosted in the cloud:
Short answer: NO! Reputable SaaS and cloud vendors will make sure that your data is properly segmented according to the requirements of your industry.
Costs of cloud computing:
Leading cloud-based solutions charge a monthly fee for application usage and data storage, but you may be outlaying this capital expenditure already, primarily in the form of hardware maintenance and software fees—some of which could be wiped out by moving to the cloud.
Cloud computing makes it easy for your companies’ Human Resource software, payroll and CRM to co-mingle with your existing financial data, supply chain management and operations installation, while simultaneously reducing your capital requirements on these systems. Contact a Nubifer representative today to discover how leveraging the power of cloud computing can help your business excel.