What is the Cloud and why do I care? Part 2
Let’s move on to part two of our cloud services explained.
DATA DELIVERED and STORED
Without a better way to say this, we consider the second part of the Cloud services are those which deliver or hold data for you.
This Data Delivery is the most mature cloud offering available on the internet.
My first cloud-based service was my Hotmail account. I remember signing up for this Hotmail account (eventually bought by MSN) and subscribing to all of the different news services’ daily blasts.
Remember your first time using internet email? Remember all of the jokes between you and all of your friends? We don’t do this anymore thanks to social media however it was very popular. Ok, let’s get back on track.
I am taking and giving!!
The second category in our cloud offering is any part of data you deliver to the web for storage or delivered to you.
What are these services?
- Online email applications like Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook.com, and now Office 365.
- Online data storage like dropbox.com, box.com, MediaFire, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.
- Online backup vendors like Intronis, Storagecraft, Carbonite, Mozy and Crashplan.
- Online spam filtering from vendors like Barracuda, AppRiver and SpamTitan.
Taking and Giving
This category includes both taking data from the internet and giving data back to them.
Consider, first, the taking. We use these cloud services to deliver email or email spam filtering. You can download the content from these online vendors and then disconnect. You can download mail to your Outlook client and work. You can use your spam filter to scrub your email and then deliver to your inbox.
Giving is easy and these providers make it so. We can give these companies our data and this is typically a second copy of our data. The second copy should be for items like files for file sharing and data backup so we have a redundant copy of our data. None of these services require that we are online to work.
Why would I use this?
These services are basically low cost ways to help you drive your business. Are they necessary to your business? Well, yes and no. If you use the delivery model you might need your email to come in to communicate but you can work offline for a while. You do not need the backup service to run your business. It is, of course, nice to have the backup vendor online when you need to restore a file.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The good features of the Data Delivered service of the cloud is that you are not required to be online to make this work. The features are also typically low cost such as Microsoft Office 365 hosted business class email for only $5 per month.
The bad features are that some of these services are not all that quick. If you are a backup vendor you would need a huge amount of bandwidth to support all of your clients to upload data. However, they might limit the speed for each client to help cut down and maximize their connection. Of course, not all providers do this.
The ugly is simply support. Let’s say you have a question about why your Gmail is coming into your spam folder or how to restore a file from three weeks ago. You can’t just call up Google and start asking questions. End users need support for a number of these services. Companies like IRIS Solutions are qualified and often have business relationships for end users that allow us to provide service for these products.
The most mature offering for cloud on the internet is the services that provide you the option of storing or delivering your data. Most all of the businesses that use the internet have some type of cloud service and this is typically the type we see.
Don’t be so anxious, part 3 is coming.