There are Giants in the Sky
… or, so it seems when beginning to get ones mind around all of the “Cloud” solutions popping up everywhere, even down to “what in the world IS the cloud, and why should I care?”
In networking terms, “the cloud” is nothing more than the Internet-at-large, that is, anything outside of your local network and firewall. ”Cloud-based-solutions” can then be defined as services and products offered and hosted outside of your network, whether that be the network at your place of business or your home. The variety of products and services being offered as cloud solutions grow daily, from backups, phone services and accounting software, to most recently music services.
The main selling point of a cloud solution is your ability to have services and products that have no reliance on you, your computer, your network or your technical ability to keep the products up-to-date or running at all. All of that is handled by the provider. They also give “access anywhere” ability. No longer do you have to be tied to your computer at your desk to get your accounting done, or listen to the music from your collection. These definitely make compelling arguments to use them.
Is there a downside? Potentially, yes. These external services DO rely on you having connectivity to them to use them. If you find yourself in a location without Internet access, you’ll be out of luck. Also, you’re placing your faith in that company that has your stuff and that they’ll always be around to serve it up to you. Choose wisely, and go with big providers when you have a choice. Saving a few dollars on the front-end won’t pay off if you find yourself without the data later.
So, what’s our recommendation? Use them, but in hybrid. Leverage the cloud solutions to your “use-them-anywhere” advantage, but be smart to have your own local copies of the big stuff.
And the reference in the title of this article? We’ll give a free $49 performance tune up to the first person who calls in with the correct answer.