We’ve all heard about the “cloud” and “cloud computing.” Just what is it and why should I use servers “out there” instead of at my company location?

Cloud ServicesChances are you’ve already used cloud-based services.  If you’ve uploaded a photo to Google, used a document-sharing service like Dropbox or used a music service like Pandora, you are already “in the cloud.”

But, wait, this is about my data and having access to it.

Cloud servers really take the place of on premise servers with a number of advantages:

  • No capital cost to buy the physical servers.
  • No need to allocate precious office square footage to computer hardware.
  • Lower utility bills due to not having to temperature control a server room.
  • Safety and security in case of fire or theft as the servers are off your property and out of harm’s way.
  • Having the most up-to-date software and hardware and software at your disposal.
  • Being able to predict monthly costs due to subscription pricing of the services.

Cloud servers versus premise servers have been shown to save as much as 37% over a 3-year period.  However, these numbers vary from industry, size of operation and number of users.

On the other hand, why would you say no to the cloud?

  • Your company has a strong virtual private network.
  • You are still depreciating the cost of servers and hardware.
  • You have a mature staff and they are not familiar with the concept.

These are decisions you have to make individually, based upon your company’s financial and functional needs.  However, almost 80% of respondents to a recent Computerworld survey said they have a cloud project underway, the tide does seem to be shifting and make this alternative something to consider.

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