The Cloud is a continuously growing reality of current Internet use. It allows transfer of files from one computer to another without being connected to the same network. In fact, you don’t have to be in the same country. Web-based applications are slowly replacing server-based ones for the sheer purpose of mobility, support, and efficiency. What makes web-based applications and Cloud use so special?
Most applications that are in the Cloud are web-browser interfaces. This means that nearly any computer device that uses programs such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome are able to utilize them. This also allows tablets and smartphones to use the applications as well.
Server-based applications usually require a database program such as SQL Server that can eat server resources. With Cloud-based computing, there is nothing to install on the server and the only resource that could be eaten up is Internet bandwidth.
The Cloud allows several computers around the world to be connected to the same virtual network for file sharing and access. By connecting to this form of VPN, you can literally drag-and-drop files from one computer onto another one on the same network as you could in a physically connected one.
Many web-based application databases and Cloud services utilize military-grade encryption. Although nothing is 100% fool-proof, 256-bit or higher encryption methods are extremely difficult to crack into. Even seasoned hackers will move to easier targets rather than face that level of security.
As opposed to having to physically be at your computer station at work to access files, a Cloud-based network allows you access those files from anywhere at any time. Late night working sessions could easily be done from the comfort of your home.
For larger organizations who primarily utilize the server for every aspect of business, the network administrator is a very busy individual. From a business standpoint, it could be more cost efficient to move some of those attributes to the Cloud reducing the workload and maintenance on a server and network.
By loading the Cloud with all attributes of the small business, essentially the server could become obsolete. Of course, this would greatly depend on the business practices and what software is mandatory. Theoretically, a small business could need nothing more than an active Internet connection and a router if everything is Cloud-based.
In some circumstances, the cost of Cloud services could be more affordable than to upgrade your computer network for new software. For instance, a server built in 2003 has less chance of being compatible with 2012 software due to hardware incompatibilities.
Many web-based and Cloud applications can update perfectly across all platforms of computer devices. As browser-based applications are more forgiving on hardware requirements than most installable ones, updates to content can be deployed without worry of needing extensive hardware upgrades to keep up with the technology.
Most Cloud-based companies will supply 24/7 tech support on their systems. They know that your information is invaluable and tasks need to be completed timely. In many cases, these techs will know there is a problem before you do and will have it fixed before you can call them.
These ten points of the Cloud are the most common concerns for those looking into the service. As you can see, it could be more efficient than the current standard of a hardware-based network. Whether it is compatibility of software titles across different computer systems, or perhaps your network is too far behind the times and would cost a small fortune to upgrade, the Cloud could be the answer you’re looking for.
Regardless of your organizations purpose, applications that are based in the Cloud can cover a wide range of uses. The limitations are only the imaginations of the programmers for such applications. Could this be a welcome form of future business practices, or could this Cloud dissipate leaving millions up in the air?