Even if you’ve stored things on the cloud, you might not know all the ins and outs of how it works. Just how does cloud computing work? What are the advantages to businesses? Cloud computing gives you an off-site storage option that protects your work no matter what happens at your physical place of business.
Experts predicted a 17% growth in cloud revenue for 2020. The cloud services market is already a $266.4 billion industry. Expect even higher numbers as more companies see the advantages of cloud computing.
We’ll look at the pros and cons of cloud computing and how to get the most for your money. How does cloud computing work? Let’s find out.
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
With cloud computing, you access or upload data to a server at another location. You and your staff can access files from any device at any time with the proper login credentials. There are both pros and cons to cloud computing.
Pros of Cloud Computing
There are many benefits to cloud computing, including:
- Download files anytime and from anywhere
- Off-site storage protects essential data from natural disasters
- Cloud hosting companies often have advanced security measures
- Lower your IT costs
- Reduce your carbon footprint by using less power to run machines
- Keep software and servers up to date
- Jump from machine to machine easily
These are just a few of the pros of cloud computing. Only you can decide if the switch from in-house computers to remote hosted machines is right for you.
Cons of Cloud Computing
Once you understand the answer to “How does cloud computing work?” it becomes clear the advantages outweigh the issues. However, there are still a few things to consider before shifting the way you store data. Some cons include:
- If your connection is weak, you have no access to your data
- You have less control over what software to add and allocation of storage space
- Some cloud providers have limited features and may not offer all you need
- You may run into technical issues you can’t solve on your own
- Your proprietary information is out of your complete control
You’ll also have some ongoing costs with cloud-based hosting you might not have with an in-house system. However, you would also have to hire an IT person to oversee the machines, so most companies find the cost of cloud computing is less.
Frontend and Backend of Cloud Computing
Understanding the components of cloud computing helps you decide whether it’s right for you. When considering the question “How does cloud computing work?” look at all the aspects of the system.
On the frontend, you have your machines used to access data. Devices might include employee smartphones, desktop computers and laptops.
How does cloud computing work in the backend? The answer is a bit more complicated. The system consists of servers, computers and data storage. There are software applications, many with a dedicated server.
With a cloud system, a central server controls everything. The central server makes sure things run smoothly, backs up data and manages traffic from various clients. It also helps the computers in the cloud communicate with one another.
Cloud Computing Security
There are a few concerns with cloud computing security, but you can take steps to avoid issues. Cybercrime costs businesses $5.2 trillion over five years. Nearly half of those attacks hit small business owners. One of the biggest problems is compromised passwords.
You give employees access to the system. They have a password. One employee works remotely and decides to spend the day at the local coffee shop. Unfortunately, someone looks over his shoulder and gets his login information. He may also forget to make his computer undiscoverable, and a hacker could be on the same Wi-Fi and get his information that way.
When you ask yourself, “How does cloud computing work?” you’ll discover the best practices to protect your data. Your best line of defense against hacks is training your employees. Here are some ways you can protect your brand:
- Issue company devices: When you provide the equipment and ask employees only to use them for work purposes, you reduce the likelihood of them visiting a site with a virus and then logging into your database.
- Offer regular training:At least once a year, provide a refresher course about online security and how to protect company information.
- Change passwords often:Force a password change every month or two. If a password does get into hackers’ hands, it will hopefully change before they can use it.
Security is a major concern for all small businesses. Fortunately, you can use cloud computing safely. You simply need to prepare yourself and your employees and take the necessary precautions.
The Use of Virtual Machines
If cloud hosting companies store so much information from so many clients, how does cloud computing work without massive server systems? Although highly technical, there is a way to trick a computer into thinking it is more than a single machine.
Each “server” runs on a different operating system through server virtualization. Maximizing resources reduces the number of computers needed while using each device as efficiently as possible.
Is Cloud Computing Right for You?
As the Internet of Things grows wider, cloud computing becomes more of a necessity than an option. Figuring out the answers to “How does cloud computing work?” allows you to choose the best cloud service for your needs. Know what the pros and cons are, and ask questions about security and data protection. With a little research, you’ll find an affordable solution that protects your information while making processes more effortless than ever.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dog, Bear.