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Thinking about the Cloud?

It’s hard to miss all of the references and hype surrounding the Cloud and why you want to jump on board. But what exactly is it, and is it what you really need? Will it make life easier or harder? And how much does all this cost anyway? At Core Vision we talk to customers almost daily about these very topics. Here’s a quick synopsis of what you need to know.

The Official Definition of Cloud Computing

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing as a “model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

So if any of that makes sense to you, NIST also lists three service models for the cloud and four ways that cloud computing can be deployed.

The three service models are: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

The four deployment models are: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Community Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud.

Did you catch all that?

In case that information makes your eyes glaze over, here’s the shortened version.

Basically the Cloud is a way to leverage the Internet to handle your data and applications … when it makes sense to. For most clients it will make sense to move some of their applications and data to the Cloud, and it will normally be a mixture of public and hybrid services. Why? The key drivers and considerations are the cost, security and access.

  • Cost. There are times when moving your data and applications will save you money, and other times where it won’t … it all depends on your applications and your environment. For example, eliminating an on-site email system and moving to a hosted solution is a very common first step toward Cloud-computing. But while it will reduce or eliminate the server, software and support costs for you on-site, it will add a monthly operating cost that normally will be less expensive over time.
  • Security. Are you ready to put your critical financial records or customer lists on-line? How do you know they’re secure? These types of questions need careful scrutiny to ensure that when you make the move to the Cloud your business will be safe and your data will be protected.
  • Access. One of the key advantages to the Cloud is access … access for your employees when they’re working from home on that snow day, access for your remote sales staff when they’re on the road, etc. And while this access is ideal, it also makes your business dependent on your Internet connection. No Internet today? Then no access to your applications! Of course there are ways to mitigate your risk and potential for down-time … and it goes along with making sure the access and data are secure.

So how do you decide?

At this point you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that the best way to figure this all out is to give us a call to help!

We will work through the various considerations with you as part of our consultative sales approach and will provide you with our recommendations of how to proceed, what it will cost, and whether it’s right for you and your business. There are many benefits to be achieved, but only with the right game plan … so let us help you figure it out!

We offer a wide variety of Cloud Services, including:

  • CoreCloud Hosted Desktops – reliable, secure Windows 7 or 8 desktops accessible from anywhere.
  • CoreCloud Hosted Servers – redundant Windows and Linux servers with full management, backup and support.
  • Hosted Microsoft Exchange Email – with full support for Outlook, mobile device sync, and web browser access.
  • Microsoft Office 365 Services – hosted email Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
  • Data Backup & Archiving Services – includes both local recovery and recovery in the Cloud at two national data centers for DR/BC.
  • Hosted Applications & Storage – keep some applications local and move others to the Cloud when it makes sense.
  • Customer Colocation – move your key servers and data storage to our Tier 3 data center for reliable and secure operations.