Tech Blog

04
Oct
2015

To Cloud, or not to Cloud?

Cloud_Question

That is the question which many business owners face as they review their next server purchase or major software upgrade.

There is so much marketing hype around the cloud, but is it the right thing to do?

Our answer is:

We have found there is a tipping point where the cloud can outweigh the cost of purchasing the equipment. When looking at solutions, we will run a scenario for clients where we compare “cloud v in-house” over a 4 year period and let the numbers speak for themselves.

No two clients are the same and there is no one solution that fits every business. For some clients our answer will be yes and for other clients our answer will be no. And at other times we will recommend a mixture of both in-house and cloud – a hybrid solution.

Smoke and Mirrors:

The cloud is almost spoken about with reverence, without really understanding what it is. So lets try and break it down.

“Cloud” is a term that was dreamed up in marketing land, but the reality is, “cloud” refers to a physical location (a data center), which houses physical servers, appliances and software and you pay monthly / annual fees to access your cloud solution at the data center. So essentially you are paying somebody rent to do the same job that you could do by purchasing the hardware and software in-house.

Make no mistake this is very big business for companies like Microsoft, even to the point where Microsoft made end of line their Microsoft Small Business Server to give smaller companies no option but to move into the cloud.

The Pros:

  1. For a small startup business with 2 or 3 staff members the cloud makes a lot of sense. With products like Office 365 and hosted exchange you have access to feature rich software at a fraction of the price
  2. By going in to the cloud you preserve your capital
  3. The 80/20 rule. If you can find software in cloud, that does 80% of what you want, it will work out a lot cheaper than customising software from scratch. You just have to decide if the other 20% is something you can live without.
  4. With solutions like Dataworx cloud backup, you gain improved Disaster Recovery – i.e. recovering your data in the event of a hardware failure.
  5. Depending on the cloud platform chosen, cloud can offer increased collaboration and data sharing between team members as they can access your company data from any location with internet access (this can also be done in-house)

The Cons:

  1. If you run customised software in-house this will be difficult to move in to the cloud and will require very specific virtual hardware and software to run on – all with a price tag
  2. Clients on ADSL with the slower upload speed will notice lag when accessing virtual machines online and will require an upgrade to VDSL or fibre – especially for VoIP telephony.
  3. The location of most data centers are Sydney, Melbourne and U.S so geographically and politically you fall under the jurisdiction of those countries (where we can we promote NZ companies with NZ data centers)
  4. Because of the tipping point, medium to larger sized business going in to the cloud won’t stack up – but a hybrid solution may offer the best of both worlds.
  5. If your internet goes down, there is no access to your data. If your internet line drops out regularly then the cloud will be a very frustrating experience for you.
  6. How secure is your data in the cloud?. It seems every day we hear about sites and platforms that have been hacked into and data compromised. If you have very sensitive data then the cloud most likely isn’t for you

Our aim is to offer a consultative approach as to what mix of your computing requirements should be in-house versus cloud based. We have no bias either way, and we will always present to you what we believe to be the very best solution for you.

Call us today so we can discuss your reqirements.

Mark Coleman
About Mark Coleman
Director of Brainworx Computer Services and the sub brands of Mailworx and Dataworx

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