The concept of ‘cloud computing’ is causing a lot of stir at the moment. And it’s no wonder, as it is arguably one of the greatest technical revolutions since the invention of personal computing. However, while most of us have come to grips with the basic functions of our PCs and laptops, there exists a lot of confusion surrounding cloud computing, even amongst the most seasoned computer user.
At its most basic, cloud computing is ‘internet computing.’ Essentially, it involves the accessing and storing of applications and services over the internet. So far, so simple. However, the term ‘cloud’ itself seems to be one of the main causes of confusion. People often ask: ‘What exactly is the cloud? and ‘Where is it?’ The best way to answer this is to think of ‘cloud’ as an umbrella term for the data centres that store these applications and services. There is no one physical cloud in the sky in which this data is stored. Rather, there are huge centres all around the world that hold this information. Just think of the hard drive on your laptop or the server in your office, but on a much larger scale.
The truth is that the layman has been using cloud services for quite some time now, though they may not have been fully aware of it. Take, for example, your internet banking, your Gmail or Hotmail accounts, and of course, your social networking. All of this information is both stored and accessed remotely. Whether you log in to your email account from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC, what you are essentially doing is accessing data that is stored in a remote centre, possibly thousands of miles away.
When the concept of cloud computing is simplified, the personal user realises that there is little to be afraid of. However, in the business world, adopting cloud services can seem like an ominous task. This is due in part to the high level of data that most organisations would need to transfer to the cloud. It is also due to the wide variety of cloud solutions that are available to business customers. Some more common questions: ‘How do I know which is the right cloud solution for my company?’ ‘Will our sensitive information be safe?’ and ‘How long will the migration process take?’ This is where Cloud Compare steps in. As Ireland’s first cloud services brokerage, Cloud Compare acts as the independent middleman between service providers and customers, ensuring the right cloud solutions are adopted for the business. However, there is more to Cloud Compare than simply identifying appropriate solutions for clients. The team at Cloud Compare also works closely with clients to ensure that these solutions are implemented and managed in the most effective ways possible, as well as offering support and review services so that clients are always ahead in the cloud.
Cloud Compare is currently rolling out tailor-made workshops for organisations that are looking to move their operations to the cloud. These interactive workshops are conducted on the client’s premises and generally last about 3 hours. They aim to equip staff with the necessary knowledge for the adoption of cloud services and include a personalised take-away report outlining the individual needs of the organisation, along with appropriate suggestions for cloud solutions.
If you are unsure about which direction to take on the road to cloud migration, a Cloud Compare workshop could provide you with the answers your organisation needs. All concerns are covered; from the commonest of queries to the most technical and company-specific requests.
Eamon Moore is Managing Director of Cloud Compare, Ireland’s leading Cloud Services Brokerage.