cityscape under cloud cover

What really is “the cloud?”

Everybody is talking about "the cloud" but really, what is it? As the savvy business person that you are, making a decision without all the information probably creates as much anxiety as when you forgot you had an econ test for 75% of your final grade, and had to ace it to pass. We get that the unknown can be scary, and change terrifying especially when it seems there is no going back (even though switching to the cloud isn't really permanent, but more on that later.) We're here to clear up some confusion so you can move forward knowing whatever decision you make is the best one for your business.

Warning: There's definitely going to be a pitch at the end of this piece. But, it's a small one, and the information in-between is very useful, so it shouldn't stop you from reading. We thought we should give you a heads up. Continue on...

  1. It's not actually a cloud
  2. If your image of "the cloud" is all of your company's data floating somewhere above your head waiting to be blown away by the next big windstorm, you're not the only one. The reality is "the cloud" is just a fancy name for a group of very large servers that replicate and store your data but aren't physically in your building. Basically, you're renting space in these servers and they store all of your information. You get all the benefits without the overhead and maintenance.

    "I just don't like not knowing where my data is." We get that. Some companies, like NW Technology host their own private clouds so you know exactly where your data is located. You can even physically see where it's stored.

    Most importantly migrating to the cloud isn't an all-in, one-way decision. If the cloud isn't your thing, you can get an in-house server and load all your information back onto it. Your data is still your data to control as you see fit.

  3. How can something like a cloud be secure?
  4. If security is your concern, it will depend on who hosts your chosen cloud's server. No server is impenetrable, but any credible storage provider is going to have protections in place that ensures only the people you want can access your information.

    The benefit is that professionals are monitoring those servers, so if something does go wrong, it will be quickly addressed. If someone accesses your private server and you don't have an in-house IT team or MSP monitoring it, you may not notice right away. That could lead to irreparable damage being done to your company data. Which leads us to our next point...

  5. The cloud isn't the answer to everything
  6. If you're searching for dependable back-up, the cloud isn't your simple solution. Having your data replicated across multiple servers does add an extra level of security, if one sever goes down there's a handful of others that still allow you to access your business's information. But the reality is, servers do fail, whether it's in your building or in someone else's, so you should definitely look into your backup options.

    And here's where that pitch comes in...

    NW Technology can help migrate your business over to the cloud, whether you're moving to the Microsoft cloud or would prefer to be hosted on our private server.  We'll answer all of your questions and help the process move as smoothly as possible. We also offer back-up services for your piece of mind. Send us an email for a free consultation.