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Next Level Technology has been serving the Hunt Valley area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Cloud Computing

Fotolia 45815296 SAs a business owner, how much do you know about cloud computing and the many benefits that the cloud can offer? To help you make an educated decision about the future of your organization’s computing infrastructure, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the cloud and what it can offer SMBs.

Q:What is Cloud Computing?
A: Cloud computing uses a virtual environment to offer scalable solutions to organizations or individual users. This type of distribution model can be compared to “as a service” offerings. In a way, this kind of pay-as-you-go model allows users to reap the benefits of the services rendered and cease them immediately when they are no longer needed. Examples of cloud services include streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, data storage services like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, and productivity suites like Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G-Suite.

Q: Public? Private? What’s the Difference?
A: Public clouds, like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, offer services on a per user basis in shared online space. This means that your data will be stored on the same servers as other organizations rather than its own dedicated section of a server. Private clouds, on the other hand, are when your organization’s cloud is placed in a partitioned section of a virtual environment separate from others. The main differences that you’ll experience are changes in management responsibility and security. The public cloud’s convenience comes at a lost opportunity for more powerful security measures.

Q: What Types of Applications Are Available for the Cloud?
A: Basically, if you can think of it, chances are that you can do it in the cloud. Virtualization can be used to distribute software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). SaaS allows for access to applications and software through a connected device, while IaaS allows for remote access to infrastructure components like virtual servers and storage. In terms of PaaS, users can create their own computing platforms and host them online.

Q: Isn’t Cloud Computing the Same as Software as a Service?
A: It’s similar, but not quite the same thing. It entirely depends on what the cloud is being used for. Software as a Service uses cloud computing to deliver services to users, but the term “cloud computing” is often used synonymously with Software as a Service. In a way, SaaS was the very first implementation of cloud computing on a massive scale.

Q: How Safe is the Cloud?
A: Thankfully, the security of data stored in the cloud--particularly the public cloud--is relatively good, as it’s cared for by IT technicians with arguably bigger budgets than smaller businesses. However, the public cloud just doesn’t give you the ability to customize your network in the way that a private cloud solution would. Plus, private clouds allow for even greater security augmented by either outsourced IT professionals like Next Level Technology, or through in-house technicians who know and understand exactly what your organization needs. Either way, a cloud allows for great business agility, and you should implement one as soon as possible.

If you have any more questions about cloud computing, including how to get started with it, reach out to us at 410-616-2070.

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