It seems no matter where you look or who you talk to these days, the ‘cloud’ is being pushed as the next big thing in the I.T. world; you either get in the cloud, or you get left behind. Although the I.T. industry and its experts are pushing cloud solutions, it’s not necessarily the best option for every business. With the Microsoft Windows 2008 server operating system coming to the end of its life, now is a critical time to make the decision to either upgrade or look into a virtual solution.
So how do you decide: to cloud, or not to cloud? We’ll break it all down for you so you can make the best decision for your company.
What is the Cloud and Cloud Solutions, anyway?
Put simply, cloud computing or cloud solutions is when your data is stored in a datacenter on the internet instead of your local computer’s hard-drive, or in the case of most businesses, those servers you have hiding in a back room. The cloud, then, is really just another name for datacenters on the internet.
Services like your Apple iCloud, Gmail or Office 365 accounts, are all examples of data stored in the cloud.
Is There a Benefit to Being in The Cloud?
If you read the latest headlines, the pros of being in the cloud are high in number, but it is important to take these with a grain of salt. Popular arguments for cloud solutions include:
- Access from anywhere
- 99.99% Up-Time
In reality, the main perk of cloud solutions from this list is the high percentage of up-time. Access from anywhere to onsite, server-based solutions has become much easier to implement, and the reality is your data can get hacked, encrypted, and generally compromised, from anywhere – including Microsoft, Apple, or Google’s servers. When you consider the amount of people using their services and the fact that it has to be easily accessible to the general population, it is easy to argue that, in fact, the cloud may be even less secure than your own servers that are physically stored on your own premises and with your own unique security protocol.
We currently have a Windows 2008 Server. How Do I Know If my Business Should Make the Switch?
The questions you need to ask yourself and what we would ask you is:
- What are the reasons you would consider the cloud?
- What are your current server pain points?
- What does that server currently do? Is there a database on it? Can that software be cloud based?
- How much data is on that server? How mission critical is that data to day-to-day operations?
- What is your budget? Per month, per year, for the next three years?
Each company will have different answers to these questions, so it is very important to go over each of these points with qualified IT specialists that understand the nuances of each item, pros and cons, and the costs associated to both cloud and on-premises choices.
Every business is unique and there are some situations where a virtual solution may in fact be the best option for your company. Give us a call at 514-634-4636, and we’ll walk you through all of your options (in plain language!) so you can make an educated decision on the right solution for you – whether that’s the cloud, or an on-premises server. Regardless, we’re here to help you better understand your I.T. needs and get the most out of your set-up.