One of the things that make us geeks chuckle is when someone talks about the one and only “Cloud”. THE Cloud, as if it is one singular puffy white cloud floating in the sky that everyone magically uses to store information. That would be really cool if it was true, alas it is not. First of all, there is not 1 cloud; there are millions upon millions of clouds. “The Cloud” in digital terms simply means the use of 1 or more computers networked at a given place to host applications and to store data accessed through the internet. A cloud can be used to host software programs, store data, and provide backup and disaster recovery solutions. A cloud can be as big as an Amazon data center or as small as your own company’s multi server network used to host applications for remote users. Amazon’s “Cloud”, also known as AWS, Amazon Web Services, is truly massive and incredibly complex. AWS consists of 11 “regions” across the world, each region has multiple sets of data centers. The data centers each contain 50,000 to 80,000 servers. Globally, it is estimated that AWS, that pink fluffy “Cloud”, consists of 2,000,000 servers and possibly more!
We get questions all the time asking, “Should I run my company from the cloud?”. Questions that we would ask are:
- What information do you want to host on a cloud?
- Who’s cloud?
- Do they meet data center protection guidelines?
- Who has access to your cloud?
- How is my connectivity to my cloud?
- If something breaks on my cloud, what recourse and resources do I have?
- Ask yourself how long you can live without access to the data that is on the cloud in case of internet outage and what affect would that have on your company.
It is hard to have a conversation about cloud computing without talking about the wave of software vendors that are migrating all of their products to their clouds. (Healthcare EMR/EHRs, Office 365, backup programs and many others.) This is the wave of the future and will continue to grow when possible. There are many applications where a particular vendor’s cloud makes sense. There are also equally as many times where this does not make sense for how you run your business.
If you would like to talk about this further, please feel free to contact F1 Solutions to discuss what is right for you and your business.