Cloud Computing Overview
those of you that are not aware, cloud computing is a form of transferring
business data to a remote data centre via the internet.
computing (despite the general perception,) is not a new technology. Rather it
is a new “buzz-word” for the practice of utilizing remotely hosted services
rather than equipment on your own premises.
services require good broadband speed and stability. This has become a greater
concern for many businesses that are looking to use “cloud computing” in an
effort to cut back on costs.
companies hold customer documents, client information, account information,
passwords and business plans to mention just a few. However, there are 3 key
considerations to take into account before adopting any hosted solution:
sensitive is the information you are storing?
privacy of the information you wish to store in a hosted environment is critical.
Part of the beauty of a hosted solution is that your information is in an
internet environment where you can access it from anywhere with an internet
connection. Sadly, the downside of this increased connectivity and availability
is often a reduced level of data security. If you are storing account details
or client information for example, data security is a key issue. If the
information you are storing is solely intended for the public domain (perhaps
finalised marketing material or website content) then the critical nature is
information is far more extensive than often considered and amongst other
things can include:
quickly do you need to get hold of that information?
a question that is completely reliant on the business you are in. For example,
if you are a doctor, it is crucial that you can access patient information
instantly during a consultation. Conversely, if you are an accountant, not
being able to get hold of your client details for a few hours will be annoying,
but is not likely to be quite so critical.
availability is an area where there are key benefits to having a physical
server on your premises as opposed to having information stored in a cloud
environment. This brings us on to discussion about the TCO (Total Cost of
Ownership), but that’s a topic for a different blog post
are the physical datacentres that are hosting your business information?
are many hosting providers on the market already. Many of these providers store
your data on servers based in the USA, India or the Far East due to the much
lower operating costs running a datacentre in these areas.
issue here is that for UK companies, any data that falls under the scope of the
Data Protection Act (such as the type of information highlighted in point 1) must
be held on servers that are within the borders of the EU and therefore bound by
the act. Any company not doing so is open to prosecution
by the Information Commissioner’s Office as well as leaving themselves exposed
to civil litigation. Therefore knowing the geography of where your data is
physically stored even though you are buying in to a Cloud solution is of very
high importance to your business.