So what is the cloud exactly?
The tech industry loves buzzwords. “The cloud” has become one of those ever-present phrases you hear all the time, but can’t quite put your finger on. So let’s start from the beginning…
1) What is the Cloud?
In simplest terms, cloud backup stores data online, rather than your computer. Data stored in the cloud can be accessed through a software interface that’s as easy to use as a web browser. This means you can access any of your data, from any device.
The “cloud” is a reference to software and services run on the internet, instead of through a software program on your computer. In other words, “the cloud” is just a metaphor for “the internet”. Examples of consumer based cloud storage providers would be Google Drive, Carbonite and Dropbox. (We strongly recommend that small businesses and larger organizations use business cloud services due to widespread security risks with consumer grade solutions.)
Small Business Cloud Backup Services
Businesses use cloud storage services for collaborating files, online document storage, document sharing and of course as a data backup solution for disaster recovery. For this, and many other reasons, businesses are moving to the cloud for cheaper, flexible capabilities that appeal specifically to both large and small businesses.
2) What is Cloud Computing?
What is cloud computing and how is it different from cloud storage?
Cloud computing takes cloud storage one-step further by providing an off-site server that hosts enterprise-wide applications like hosted Exchange email, CRM or databases.
Simply put, cloud computing is a cluster of servers networked together to pool resources and share load, while cloud storage is the storage you receive from cloud servers. Similar to cloud storage, cloud computing allows you to scale up or down as needed without maintaining or purchasing new hardware.
3) How Secure is the Cloud?
Before we get into cloud security, understand there are three different types of cloud.
Public Cloud: Public cloud is a virtualized environment that shares physical resources. It is accessible over a public network like the internet.
If your business doesn’t require the level of infrastructure and security offered by private clouds, public clouds can be used to store non-sensitive information, document collaboration and webmail. Public cloud services offer a pay-as-you-go model where you pay for what you use.
Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid cloud is designed for use by a single organization. In a hybrid cloud, the public and private clouds are separate and independent so highly sensitive data can be stored in the private cloud, while the public cloud leverages the power of applications, lower costs and scalability. The hybrid cloud is a model that keeps data exposure to an absolute minimum.
Private Cloud: Private cloud delivers similar advantages to the public cloud, but with heightened data security, as the most secure cloud storage available. If your organization requires the following three criteria, a private cloud may be the best cloud storage to meet your needs.
- Your organization has mission-critical workloads.
- Data within the organization absolutely needs to remain secure due to HIPAA requirements or other compliance regulations.
- Your organization has strict uptime requirements.
- Your organization anticipates unpredictable data and resource needs.