5 Benefits of Cloud Computing

/ Cloud Computing

Just a few short years ago, the term ‘cloud computing’ was unfamiliar to most people, and dismissed by some as just another buzz word.

Since then, it has become the standard way of working in many industries, with cloud-based email accounts that can be accessed from anywhere, and even consumer products like online secure storage for individuals’ files.

Why has it taken so little time for cloud computing to become the norm? Because it is utterly compelling – and here are five of the main benefits…

1. Access (from) all areas

As mentioned above, cloud computing unleashes your data so that it can be accessed from wherever you happen to be – and in large corporations, that’s a huge boost to productivity and collaboration.

Files are no longer tethered to an individual device, which removes some of the fear and doubt surrounding hardware failures, and often no longer tethered to an individual person either, which means many people can work on one file without lots of different copies and edits circulating via email.

2. Safe and secure

If hardware failure is a worry for some organisations, then for others the chief concern is hardware theft, and there are new stories all the time about healthcare providers losing patient notes, and so on.

Cloud computing puts data in a secure online location, which can be password-protected and encrypted, so even if your devices fall into the wrong hands, the information on them does not.

3. Virtualisation and deduplication

Two of the big selling points of cloud-based data centres are ‘virtualisation’ and ‘deduplication’, but what are these?

The first allows one physical server to run several applications as though they were on separate machines, or several servers to pool their resources for a single task – it’s possible because of the distributed nature of cloud-based data, and it can make the biggest of computing jobs more realistic.

Deduplication compares files in storage and deletes redundant spare copies, only keeping one master copy and a list of any changes made to it, so the other versions can be restored if necessary. Again, it works because cloud-based data can be accessed across the whole network, and removing redundancy can free up valuable storage space.

4. Disaster preparedness

The list of potential catastrophes goes on, and hardware failures and thefts can hardly compete with the scale of a natural disaster, which can obliterate entire data centres or put them out of action indefinitely.

Cloud computing enables remote backup to multiple physical locations, potentially in different countries around the world, and that means if one location is hit by floods, fires, earthquakes or any other major weather event, you always have a safe backup elsewhere to restore from.

5. Business continuity

Similar to disaster recovery, business continuity is for when your data is safe but your actual offices themselves are put out of action.

Cloud computing can make it almost effortless to relocate your operations wholesale to a new home, as a temporary or permanent measure, without losing the entire structure of your computer network.

These are some of the biggest issues corporations ever have to face, and cloud computing is a single technology with the potential to resolve them all – making it a ‘no-brainer’ investment for network managers the world over.

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Dave Fricker Google +