Are Your Servers in the Cloud—or in the Fog?
Lots of people talk about moving to the cloud, but what is a cloud service, really? At one level, the cloud is nothing more than a rented server at an off-site location. But just because you are using someone else’s server instead of your own, doesn’t mean you are getting all of the advantages of moving to the cloud. You might actually have just moved to the fog.
The Five Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing
According to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), these are the key attributes of standard cloud computing:
- On-demand self-service
You can conveniently set up computer services (such as email, applications, network or server service) without needing anyone’s help.
Benefit: Your independence improves business agility.
- Broad network access
You have virtual access through standard Internet-enabled devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
Benefit: Your employees can stay connected with clients and each other even when they’re out of the office. This increases productivity and efficiency.
- Resource pooling
The cloud balances processing and storage demands across a common infrastructure to service multiple users simultaneously. The resources are shared and distributed as needed, not assigned to individual users or locations.
Benefit: Users can access and enter data, even during periods of peak usage.
- Rapid elasticity
The cloud immediately scales according to your changing business needs. You can increase or decrease resources on demand, and you can easily add or remove users at any time.
Benefit: There is minimal cost or disruption when technology demands increase or decrease.
- Measured service
You’ll be charged based on resource usage (such as computing power, bandwidth, and/or storage).
Benefit: The pay-per-use model saves you money—you’re not paying for what you don’t use.
True Cloud, True Benefits
Using the real cloud will ensure you maximize the advantages for your business. NIST computer scientist Peter Mell says, “By adopting an authentic cloud, companies are more likely to reap the promised benefits of cloud—cost savings, energy savings, rapid deployment, and customer empowerment.”
Toby Musser, MNS Group’s President states, “Many companies make difficult transitions to hosted servers, not realizing they are not getting the benefits and safety of a true cloud solution. Don’t be caught in the fog!”
If navigating the options of cloud services leaves you hazy, then we’re here to help. We’ll collaborate with you on which cloud service and deployment model is best for your business. Don’t put your servers in the fog—make sure they’re in the cloud.