One colleague says to another – Data is in the Cloud who then responds by saying – There is no Cloud. It is just a fluffy name for a bunch of warehouses full of hardware, which can be hacked. But Wikipedia says – Cloud storage is a computer data storage in which the digital data is physically stored in multiple servers (sometimes in multiple locations), with those servers owned and managed by a hosting company. Cloud computing is an on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power. Cloud storage and cloud computing are sometime used interchangeably.
So why the move to the CLOUD? Most companies are moving towards cloud storage and cloud computing primarily due to the cost of storage and networking hardware. Companies spend capex on IT infrastructure to prepare for a someday scenario which in some cases may results over-capitalisation. Cloud computing and storage presents an opportunity to spends only on what the company needs to achieve business objectives. Other factors influencing this move are mobility, human capital, security, downtime, etc. Third party cloud vendors ensure that companies only pay for what they needs and leave the rest to be managed by them.
It must be noted that this move to cloud storage and computing does not eliminate the need for hardware, it merely reduces the high coating items to the peripherals needed to access the cloud data. Desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones will always be needed together with high-speed internet connectivity (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) i.e company networks. The management, support and maintenance of these computers remains the objective of the company. Cloud vendors uses protocols which ensures that data can be accessed as needed with minimal downtime or interruptions. Connectivity by the company required to access data in the cloud remains a core function of the company. Thorough research is needed to ensure any company maximises the benefits of choosing one solution over the other.