1 Cloud in a Nutshell.
2 Cloud: What is it? The Cloud is quite simply a central facility (can be offsite or within your own premises) that provides you with some element of your computing requirements. This can include a number of services commonly referred to as [Something] as a Service, for example Backup as a Service or Infrastructure as a Service. Simply put, in the case of Backup as a Service, in the past where you would have taken care of your own backups (by having additional hard drives or networked storage in your office), now you have your backups managed offsite over a network by a third party, and they provide the hardware. Your data, their kit! At a consumer level, Gmail, Dropbox, and even Facebook are cloud services. Gmail is hosted , Dropbox is cloud storage, and Facebook is a combination of cloud storage, hosted messaging and Platform as a Service! Fancy names aside, all it really means is that it is no longer happening in your office or stored on your device, but at a secure venue elsewhere. As cloud based services, you have 24 hour access to them from any device, from anywhere in the World. Fact: When it comes to Cloud, the Keep It Strictly Simple philosophy is out the window. Unfortunately there are multiple names for the same services, for example, Backup as a Service, cloud backup, and online backup are effectively the same thing. Almost forgot off-site backup and hosted backup as well! Yes, it makes it more confusing than it needs to be, and no, we didn t start it.
3 Our Marketing Guy Insisted We Use These Diagrams: The traditional IT model Historically, all of your computing effort has remained within your device or your home/office, be it your computer or home/office server. It all lived in your house/office and could only be used when you are at home/work. Music Videos Photos Processing Files The cloud IT model The cloud IT model allows you to do everything you used to do using the traditional model, but rather than it residing on one device at one location, it now resides at a location accessible by you, 24/7, from anywhere in the world. And you don t have to worry about the hardware powering it! Home Music Holidays Videos Cloud Photos Processing Files Office
4 Here s Where It Can Get Tricky... There s a trend in cloud which you have likely seen at some stage which can be something of a pain in the aas (no, that s not a typo). XaaS is the term given to cloud services where the X can basically be attributed to any computing element (eg Backup, Infrastructure, Storage, Platform etc). What makes it more complex is that most of the as a Service services also have their own general or generic terms, not to mention proprietary terms as coined by service providers looking to forge their own identity. We are going to do our best to identify the more common as a Service services and outline some of the variations in terminology. Just keep one thing in mind: The terms themselves aren t so important. They are all essentially services powered by and maintained at an offpremise facility by a third party rather than locally. Quite Seriously... Application-as-a-Service Backup-as-a-Service Comms-as-a-Service Data-as-a-Service Everything-as-a-Service File-as-a-Service Governance-as-a-Service Hypervisor-as-a-Service Infrastructure-as-a-Service Knowledge-as-a-Service Media-as-a-Service Network-as-a-Service Platform-as-a-Service QA-as-a-Service Recovery-as-a-Service, Storage-as-a-Service Testing-as-a-Service Unicode-as-a-Service Virtualisation-as-a-Service WAN-as-a-Service (Note: Not the entire list!)
5 Common Services Defined Backup as a Service (BaaS) facilitates the backing up of data to an offsite data centre. Also known as remote, online, cloud, or managed backup. Communication as a Service (CaaS) utilises communications (VoIP, VPNs, PBX) without the investment of purchasing, hosting or managing the infrastructure. Also known as Telephony as a Service. Platform as a Service (PaaS) facilitates the creation of software using tools provided by the supplier. The supplier provides hardware and services that are required to host the client s application. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides access to servers, storage, and networking via an internet connection, but without the need to purchase the hardware. Also known as Cloud Infrastructure. Storage as a Service (SaaS) provides offsite storage (via a network), scalable as required by the client. Also known as cloud storage, and online storage. Monitoring as a Service allows clients to have access to system monitoring utilities but without the need to have them stored on a local machine. Co-location provides the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security for client-provided hardware. Co-location is ultimately the use of a data centre to house the client s equipment.
6 Why Businesses Adopt Cloud Cost Efficiency Companies can save on licensing fees, and eliminate overheads (cost of storage, software updates, management etc). It may also allow companies to utilise IT staff more efficiently. Always On The cloud facilitates always-on accessibility - services that are available wherever the end user is located. Ideal for collaborative teams and workforces. Backup/Recovery Backing up and recovering data is simplified and more secure since data now resides in the cloud (that is, offsite) and not on a physical device at the users venue. Environmentally Friendly The cloud is scalable - when servers are not used, the infrastructure scales down, freeing up resources and consuming less power. Resiliency/Redundancy A cloud deployment is built on a robust architecture thus providing resiliency and redundancy to its users, and will have measures in place to alleviate downtime.
7 Scalability and Performance Cloud instances are deployed automatically only when required meaning the client only pays for the applications, data, and services that are required. Fast Deployment A cloud system can be running in no time. Equally, the introduction of a new user in the system can be instantaneous. Increased Storage Capacity The cloud can accommodate much more data compared to a personal system or office storage system. It eliminates concerns of storage space expansion and removes the cost of upgrading hardware. Any Device, Anywhere Cloud services can be accessed via traditional PCs, smart phones, tablets etc - basically anywhere you have an internet connection. Cloud isn t for everyone. For some, it is an unnecessary project that may not yield any significant benefit. But for many businesses, it is the standard for how IT is utilised. When done correctly, cloud services provide a more secure, more available method for utilising IT. Drop us a line at We are happy to show you through our facilities and examine if cloud can provide your business with an advantage.