What Is The Cloud

What is The Cloud?

Like the term ‘The Cloud’ itself, many people are somewhat vague and woolly about what this major new shift in computer trends actually means. Simply put, The Cloud is the internet. Rather than storing information and performing computational tasks locally, The Cloud is all about moving resources and processing power to remote networks and servers. Because of its nebulous nature, the term arose from the cloud symbols used in diagrams to visualise how a whole host of loosely defined devices were delivered via the internet.

Is The Cloud just hype?

The cloud is the fastest growing area in the business ICT sector, with nearly everyone jumping on the bandwagon. The UK Government say they can save 20% of its IT spending by migrating to cloud based services, and Microsoft have just released Office 365, a Cloud based version of its ubiquitous application suite. Start-ups such a Twitter worked with a cloud based environment from day one and in January 2010 ABI Research estimated that more than 240 million business customers will be using cloud computing services on mobile devices by 2015.

More and more businesses are awakening to the fact that they do not need to run their own expensive-but-always-declining-in-value banks of servers, but can turn over their processing needs (and management headaches) to someone else – in The Cloud!

So what are the benefits?

The reason for the rapid growth in Cloud based computing is thanks to the many advantages it can offer:

  • Cloud applications and services can be accessed from anywhere. Not only are the services available wherever you are in world, but also from a wide range of digital devices including PC’s, smart phones and tablets. Because data is stored remotely rather than on individual devices, user can effortlessly switch between devices, carrying on where they left off
  • Users can access a very wide range of applications without needing to download and install them locally
  • Without the need for specialised hardware, users need only buy what they need. In fact, as the processing needs for many cloud applications are performed by the Cloud computers, the need for powerful processing power locally is increasingly a thing of the past. Under this model, cloud services will be accessed through the web browser, and software need only be rented on an as-needed basis rather than as expensive one-off purchases
  • Related to this is the issue of scalability. Server-side storage, processing power and software needs can be added or removed as current circumstances require
  • Company resources are easily shared
  • Up-front costs are minimal as services are billed as a utility. There is no need to buy expensive servers, house them in hot data centres and employ full time technical staff to manage them
  • Cloud computing is more environmentally friendly as it goes some way towards addressing the under-utilisation of server resources where servers run constantly, wasting money and power while actually doing very little. Cloud based service providers use virtualisation to make more efficient use of their servers, and there is an increasing trend for them to participate in carbon emission offset schemes.

How The Hive Cloud Can Help

We understand this new and far-reaching technological shift to The Cloud, and are enthusiastic about the many possibilities it offers. Bringing together our considerable technical know-how, our knowledge and extensive network of contacts within the IT industry, and our experience with the diverse web technologies that make up The Cloud, we can help your company successfully exploit the many advantages a Cloud based future will bring.

At the Hive Cloud we have put a lot of careful consideration into the needs of businesses, ranging from home enterprises to those with a dozen or more employees, and have selected a core bundle of services to meet the needs of running an office. In addition to the superb functionality offered by services we have chosen, their Cloud nature ensures that businesses can get up and running with a minimum outlay.

We can help you assess how your company can benefit from migrating services to The Cloud, deploy Cloud based systems and provide in-depth training and support for your staff.  We are experts, so let us help!

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