The Best Guide to Cloud Services
Posted by Timothy Platt on Apr 15, 2018
Cloud services have come to the forefront as the best way for businesses to meet their rapidly changing IT needs. Cloud services offer high performance, reliability, and scaling – without upfront capital expenditures. But before you can leverage the advantages of Cloud Services (also known as “Cloud Computing”) you need to understand the options. In addition, there are considerations that will impact your choice of service for your case. In this article, we’ll review at the highest-level benefits and considerations of making the switch to cloud services, such as Microsoft Office 365.
Cloud Computing = Running on Someone Else’s Server
Firstly, “cloud computing” at the most basic level means the service or application is “running on someone else’s server”. It’s really that simple. Why is this a good thing? Because you then don’t have to manage that server (and everything associated with it) – software upgrades, physical space, power, cooling, internet connection, backups, security, software licensing, and many other aspects become someone else’s problem. These factors mean minimal capital expense and no need to maintain (or manage) expensive staff for these activities. The cloud provider is much better equipped to provide these services, and specializes in having a lot of robust servers (with all the associated support equipment) available quickly should you need them. Lastly, these providers have economies of scale that a small company simply could not compete with.
Let’s face it – you want email, but you don’t want all the hassle and expense of maintaining and upgrading an email server. Combined that with the fact that a professional email hosting service can do the job far better (reliability, uptime, performance) than you could hope to do as a small to medium size business, and it becomes a simple decision.
In a nutshell ….
- Reduce capital expense – no need to invest in rapidly depreciating hardware (servers, network, storage, etc.)
- High reliability (uptime/availability) – Cloud providers have massive redundancy – everything from power to cooling to network and even entire data centers! – that you can’t possibly replicate at a reasonable cost
- Scaling – Scale up or down your computing power based on need, often in minutes
- Pay by usage level – Efficiently pay for what you use on a flexible basis
- Less maintenance – No need to perform time intensive maintenance – it’s taken care of for you
Disadvantages of Cloud Services
It can’t all be rosy though – here’s some considerations
- Distance – The “Cloud” data center might be hundreds of miles away from your location. This can impact performance – depending on the size of the data you work with and what you are trying to do with it. (Consider for example editing video files of hundreds of gigabytes – not a good use case for cloud).
- Data is under someone else’ lock and key – you are completely trusting the provider to maintain your data and security. In some situations, this could be an audit or regulatory compliance issue.
- Perpetual expense – There’s no concept of “bought and paid for” in the cloud. Think of it as the difference between buying a car vs leasing a car (or renting a home).
- Integration – Some cloud services will play nice together, and some won’t
Do Cloud Services make sense for you? As they say, the devil is in the details – Virtual Operations can help find a solution that makes sense for your timeline and your budget.
Managed IT Services by Virtual Operations
The technology partner you choose can make all the difference. We believe cloud services are often the best way for businesses to meet their IT needs! We are Orlando’s best cloud services experts, and that is the advantage that Virtual Operations provides.
Our IT Managed Services provide:
- Complete IT support 24x7x365 – both cloud and on-premises
- Access on demand to deep and broad skills – we can handle any technology you have. You are supported by a team, not an individual.
- A proactive focus on everything from your network to your key business applications – it’s in our best interest to prevent a problem, rather than fix it afterwards
- Quality and consistency – Our thorough documentation and repeatable procedures let us deliver maximum customer satisfaction
- Management oversight and planning – day to day and strategically. You don’t just get IT technicians – you get a CIO, an IT manager, and a project manager – for a price competitive with hiring IT employees
- Lastly, we provide a 60 day – money back guarantee
At the end of the day, moving your IT systems out of the office and into the cloud is a big decision. If you have any questions about cloud services and would like to speak to an cloud services expert, please call us at (407) 268-6626.
This is the 1st part of a multi-part series discussing the advantages of Cloud Services and you can read the second part here.
The Orlando IT Company that Cares About Your Small Business
Virtual Operations is the Orlando IT company that cares about your small business. The computer support partner you choose can make all the difference. Our Managed IT Service offering provides the expertise and proactive care required to ensure your technology works for you. We are Orlando’s top small business tech support, and that is the advantage that Virtual Operations provides.