Time to Talk About the Cloud
Right off, you are probably wondering if we like the cloud or not. The truth is, there’s no single answer to that question. There are as many different answers as there are different types of clouds. The short answer is that we generally do not reccomend cloud applications. We’ll get into the why later. That said, there are some good uses for the cloud where it does indeed fit your workflow and help out. Scroll on down and we’ll talk about when you should and should not use the cloud.
Before we can go any further, we need to explain what the cloud is. To put it simply, the cloud is someone else’s computer. Its resources are dedicated to you (for things like storage space, running programs, hosting websites, or quite a number of different uses) and you use the internet to connect to it. So for example, if you stored files on our server which you could access remotely, our server would be the cloud.
Why use the cloud?
It is a magical and convienent place. Start a document a home and pick it right back up at work. Then pull it up on your phone while traveling. Simple and useful. It also tends to be cheaper than outright buying your own hardware (to an extent anyways). Plus, you aren’t the one responsible for the technical know-how to maintain that system. But didn’t we say we don’t tend to support the cloud? Unfortunately, yes. More on that below.
Know the Dangers
The Cloud is someone else’s computer and network.
Is it maintained and updated? How secure is the program you are using and the connection to it? Cloud breaches are more common that these companies want you to know. And since you don’t control their environment, there is really nothing you can do about it.
The Cloud isn’t free.
We mentioned earlier that the cloud can be cheap. But it isn’t free. And those costs are monthly. At some point, the costs will be more than they would have been if you just bought the hardware. And they will still keep acruing. Plus, if the cloud hosts something more critical for you, you’ll be wanting to pay for multiple internet providors.
No Internet, No Cloud
If your internet goes down, so does your cloud access.
If you don’t have it on site and you can’t connect to it over the internet, that’s not good. Down time is lost money. And that cloud is only as fast as your internet. Your signal has to go out from your computer, bounce around the internet, talk to the cloud, and bounce around the internet coming back. Trouble at any point means no go for you. And it can never be faster than having the files or programs on site.
But I need the cloud!
And we understand that. Sometimes the cloud is the best option for people (just make sure to give us a call so se can verify it will truly be your best option). We use it too for some of our work! So what do you do when you need the cloud? Only use the best, business level solutions. To simplify that further, look at Microsoft’s offerings or Amazon’s AWS setups. Don’t use some small company like Dropbox or iDrive. Truth be told, we don’t even reccomend Google Drive. Microsoft and Amazon are top level companies who use the best of practices. Even then, there’s a lot to consider when using the cloud in a business environment. Talk to us and let us get you set up correctly.
And this goes without saying, but we see it waaaaay too often: if you use a bad password, it doesn’t matter how good your cloud system is… your data will be gone before you know what hit you. The best passwords are phrases, not singular words.