Thought Leadership piece with Paul Boyer, Managing Partner, Ancero
Since stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March, the Ancero team has presented several webinars and participated in panel discussions involving cloud computing and working remotely. During these virtual events, we’ve fielded quite a few questions from small businesses and organizations.
Although public cloud adoption reached 91 percent in 2019, according to a Flexera survey, we’ve realized that there is a general lack of understanding about what the cloud is and how it works. Given the high rate of public cloud adoption, many companies are probably using cloud-based services without realizing it.
This scenario is probably more common than most people realize. Do you understand how radio companies broadcast audio from antennas to car radios? Do you understand how data is transmitted wirelessly from a satellite in space to your mobile phone? Most technology isn’t fully understood, regardless of how widely used it might be.
To help fill this knowledge gap, let’s answer a handful of the most basic questions about cloud computing in the simplest terms. When you understand the basics of the cloud, you’ll be more likely to understand the benefits. Then you can make more confident decisions about implementing cloud solutions so you can reap the rewards.
1. What is the cloud?
First, let’s start with what the cloud is not. It’s not an acronym and it’s not a literal cloud. When computer engineers first drew diagrams of how the cloud computing model would function, the diagrams often looked like clouds. The name stuck.
Technically speaking, the cloud is a massive, global network of remote servers that are intended to function as a single ecosystem. These servers can store and manage data, run applications, and deliver content and services to users through an internet connection.
Because these resources are hosted in remote servers managed by a cloud provider, you don’t have to build and manage on-premises infrastructure. You just pay a monthly fee for access to the resources you need.
In layman’s terms, the cloud allows you to access data, applications, and services from remote servers over the internet.
2. How do I move my data and applications to the cloud?
The process of moving data and applications to the cloud is called migration. This can be accomplished in two ways, depending on the amount of data you have and the available bandwidth in your network.
Offline transfer of data and applications involves the use of physical devices, typically provided by a cloud solution provider like Ancero. Data is copied to a secure, specialized device and shipped to a cloud partner like Microsoft Azure, where the data is uploaded to a cloud server. In a network transfer, data and applications are transferred over your network internet connection.
In layman’s terms, you can move your data and applications to the cloud by shipping it there or having it pulled across the internet.
3. How do I access data, applications, services, and other resources that reside in the cloud?
Resources that reside in the cloud are accessed through a web-based interface. Each user should have a unique username and complex password. When this information entered into the interface, the user will be connected to the cloud platform and can access their resources.
In layman’s terms, authorized users access cloud resources over the internet.
4. Is my data secure in the cloud?
This was a legitimate concern in the early days of the cloud because data travels back and forth over the internet instead of having a direct connection between a user device and an on-premise server. However, cloud platforms and solution providers have dramatically improved their security offerings. They have more advanced security tools and more in-house expertise that most small to midsize businesses, which would otherwise have to install, update, and monitor their own on-premises security tools.
Ancero uses the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Microsoft invests more than a billion dollars each year into security and employs more than 3,500 security experts. Data is encrypted (altered to appear random to unauthorized users) on Azure servers and while traveling back and forth between the cloud and your network.
In laymen’s terms, yes, your data is extremely secure while at rest and in transit.
We Want to Hear Your Questions
If the cloud is a new world for you, that’s okay. That’s why we’re here. We can answer any questions you may have, regardless of how basic or advanced they may be. The entire Ancero team had to learn the cloud from the ground up at some point, and we’re happy to share that information with you so you can feel comfortable with your decision-making process. We are offering free virtual cloud consultations, contact us today.