What Is Cloud Computing Exactly, and Is It for You?
Generally speaking, when individuals or organizations choose to “work in the cloud,” it means they’ve moved all applications and stored data outside their firewalls onto shared systems that are managed by a cloud provider. Those programs and data are accessible via the internet, instead of through office hard drives, and the provider maintains the network infrastructure, not you or your organization. Four notable cloud providers are Microsoft, Amazon, Rackspace and Salesforce – but many, many others are out there.
For some, it’s uncomfortable to have all your business’s important information floating around somewhere in cyberspace. But the truth is: If you’ve ever used Gmail, Facebook, Instagram or Flickr, then you’ve already used “the cloud” already. (Yes, information and photos you post on Facebook are in the cloud.) The data is securely encrypted, and cloud providers do a great job of having backup servers on multiple continents to protect their users.
At HBS, we provide cloud computing for clients as part of Backup Disaster Recovery services and through our provision of Microsoft Office 365, which includes Microsoft OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive). OneDrive is the Office 365 service that provides free, personal cloud storage up to the 15 Gigabytes (GB), with users able to upgrade to obtain additional storage for a monthly fee.
Why Hungate Clients Should Know About OneDrive
We’ve found OneDrive – which has both an individual and a business subscription version – to be a great, money-saving option for many small and medium size businesses (SMBs), because it eliminates the need for purchasing, deploying and maintaining all the infrastructure needed for an office network (i.e., the software, server and storage). Clients need only have an Internet connection and web browser to access these resources. Also, as mentioned earlier, OneDrive follows a pay-as-you-go model, which allows SMBs to easily add or remove services – up to 5 Terabytes (TB) of storage – depending on their need.
In addition, for some (larger) businesses, we’re starting to recommend Microsoft Azure, which offers 500TB of storage and a broader set of management options. While Azure charges for each GB of data stored, it also provides redundancy and advanced backup management – which OneDrive does not.
If you would like to know more about OneDrive or Azure or about cloud services as part of a disaster recovery plan, call Hungate Business Services (HBS) at 276-243-4026 or email our help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you to determine if any of these cloud services is a good match for you.