We hope you had a great (and long!) holiday weekend celebrating the fourth! Last week we discussed definitions and considerations when looking to utilize the cloud. As you can tell, it’s not as straight forward as some marketers let on. We know this is a little more on the technical side: just remember we’re here to help and can walk you through all of it!
This week we want to share a few other considerations you need to “poke a hole” in your cloud discussion and when considering a move to the cloud.
Data backups are critical to a business’s continuity planning. Public Cloud standards are to retain data backups for approximately TWO weeks. This means, if a file was modified two weeks ago, but an earlier version of the same document is required, it would be unavailable. Longer retention periods require additional services with Public Cloud options. Private Cloud backups are provided via traditional or new methods, including Tape Backup, Online Backup, or Backup Appliances. Be sure you understand how long your backups will be retained – just because it’s “in the cloud” doesn’t mean it’s there forever… (and you probably don’t want it to be, either.)
Bandwidth and Connectivity
Most Hosted Server services not only charge for server use, but also bill incrementally for Bandwidth usage. The additional cost of Bandwidth is often overlooked when considering Public Cloud options. This is usually only pertinent to Server’s or Workstations based in the cloud. Bandwidth of software running in the cloud is generally negligible and doesn’t get metered.
The most difficult change in cloud-based computing (vs. traditional on-premise networking) is data access. Users will need to be trained on new connection methods to access data. Storing data on personal laptops/computers may also become a security concern should a laptop with your company’s data be stolen or otherwise compromised. “Thin Clients” could be implemented, however the limitation of a thin client is the user will be required to be connected to the Internet to access data or applications – (meaning there will be no working on a plane or cabin with no internet.)
Operating System and other Software Upgrades
Most providers will not include Server/Workstation Operating System version upgrades and/or other software upgrades in the monthly fee. The illusion is by moving to the Public Cloud that all maintenance, upgrades, changes, and support will be provided by the hosting provider. The reality is hosting providers typically do not include these services and simply provide a base operating system installation and monitoring of backups. The client/end-user or a third-party would often have to be engaged to perform additional installations, configurations and upgrades. This will most often result in additional recurring costs, and impact future costs as additional coordination would be required between various vendors for upgrades or configuration changes.
Clear as mud? If not, just give us a call and we can demystify it for you and discuss your specific needs.
Next time we’ll discuss very specific options for utilizing the cloud for your server. Until then, have a great day!