Digital West Blog

5 Reasons to Host Your Data in the Cloud

Posted by Meg McCall on 10/2/14, 11:32 AM

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First off, what is a cloud? The cloud is simply a network of servers physically located in someone else’s data center. The servers have different functions: some run applications (i.e., services) and others simply store data. 

When you take a video of your child’s soccer game, that video clip resides on your smartphone. But when you upload it to cloud service providers such as YouTube, it’s now stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. And, whereas you used to download software like Adobe Photoshop or QuickBooks directly onto your actual computer (either online or by disk), now these programs are hosted in the cloud and you access them through the Internet.

Whether you run a software company or you just use multiple servers to manage your business, Digital West can help you make the transition to the cloud.  Here are five reasons to considering making the move.

Cost  

The chief reason companies move to the cloud is to reduce costs.By sharing a pool of virtualized servers instead of purchasing and maintaining their own physical servers, companies only pay for what they use rather than having to invest in capital expenditures every three years.  Also, when a business manages its own servers, they need to hire the server administrators and other IT staff to configure, monitor and manage those resources. Given how quickly technology changes – and the significant salary these positions require – having the right team assembled is a never ending challenge.

Scalability 

Chances are your business has seasonal trends or unexpected periods of high (or low) activity. When you host your servers in the cloud, you only pay for what you use; you can quickly tap into additional storage, computing or network resources “on demand,” making it easy to scale up or down quickly.

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Security  

A secure network is your first line of defense against threats, so you’ll need to plan and implement a multi-layered security strategy. To do so, you’ll need to hire people who have the experience to create the necessary architecture and execute that strategy. And just to keep you on your toes, hackers may occasionally throw a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack at you.

If you’re dealing with any type of sensitive data, your stakeholders will demand a high level of data security protection and compliance. Going through a Payment Card Industry (PCI) or Service Organization Control (SOC) audit is a tremendous undertaking. These audits (and their resultant operational recommendations) are what you can look forward to if you manage your own hardware.

Outages 

Most IT departments are measured by one main criterion: was our business up, running and available to customers 100% of the time? If you’re not having sleepless nights wondering not if, but when, your system is going down, you may be fooling yourself. Even if you’ve got the right hardware in place, there are any number of things that can lead to an outage.  They include: a configuration error, a power outage, a server overheating, a problem with your ISP, or not having the right monitoring in place to alert you to an impending problem.

When you take advantage of Digital West’s virtual resources, your systems will be housed in our state-of-the-art data center. In additional to a climate controlled, highly secure environment, we have a team of technicians monitoring your systems 24/7/365. We also have redundant equipment, power and network in place in the event of a failure. 

Access & Control 

You decide how little or how much of your resources you want to manage. Through our VMWare cloud and network monitoring interfaces, you can see how your systems are performing any time of the day or night. You can sleep more soundly at night knowing our techs are on-hand to proactively take care of any issues that should arise and notify you immediately if there’s a problem that requires your attention.  

There are many cloud service providers to choose from, but only Digital West has local, accessible technical support available 24/7. Contact us to find out if our cloud services are right for your business. 

 

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Topics: Cloud Computing