The recent pandemic of COVID19 has raised several business challenges surrounding remote workers accessing secure cloud computing services. Working from home has swiftly become the ‘new normal’, and many industry experts will be unlikely to change.
Choosing the right cloud platform is vital to ensure seamless integration with remote working technologies and your overall network vision. There are a number of considerations to explore.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Rather than your business maintaining server hardware, storage and applications located at a data centre or local server-farm, cloud computing offers a cheaper and more efficient alternative.
With cloud computing, a cloud provider will supply all the server fire-power, storage and applications you will ever need. Your users and network administrators can access this platform securely, either via the public internet, private cloud network, or a hybrid version of both.
Cloud Computing And Remote Working
Cloud computing and remote working go hand-in-hand. From a remote workforce perspective, cloud computing is the platform that allows remote workers to securely access vital business data. They can share information effectively and efficiently from anywhere in the world.
Remote workers can use a multitude of remote cloud-based services. Online applications, cloud-based email, remote storage, document sharing, team working, video, and much more.
What Cloud Service Should I Consider?
The first consideration is deciding between an internet-based public cloud, private cloud, or a hybrid combination of both.
– Public Cloud
Of the many internet-based public cloud service providers available, we generally recommend either Microsoft (Azure and Office365) or Amazon (AWS and WordDocs). These are the heavy-hitters of the cloud world and offer excellent, albeit expensive services.
Need some help? Securus provides full consultancy on both. We also offer several bolt-on services to ensure data backup of the virtual server environment, user data and email too.
– Private Cloud
For private cloud, our fully-managed on-net private cloud platform increases performance, security, reduces latency. We go the extra mile; our platform is fully geo-diverse, and complete backup of both user data and virtual servers come as standard.
– Hybrid Cloud
This is where we add incredible value. The Securus private cloud platform integrates seamlessly with internet-based cloud computing services to create a resilient hybrid model. This model offers full backup and restore ability. Both private and public cloud user data, email, virtual servers and more are taken care of.
It is important to understand that, out of the box, most public cloud providers do not back-up your data. It is your responsibility. Rather incredibly, 92% of cloud users do not take regular backups. We manage all of this for you at an incredible monthly rate per user.
3 Main Models Of Cloud Computing
There are three main cloud models of cloud service available listed below. We have written a brief summary guide on IaaS, PaaS and SaaS that you may find useful.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Why Are Businesses Using Cloud Computing?
The cost efficiencies and performance increases that cloud computing can offer become a game-changer for many businesses. Small, medium and start-up companies, in particular, are migrating their services to the cloud, and this uptake is growing year-on-year.
Let’s take a look at the various considerations and benefits of cloud computing. You can then better appreciate how your business can achieve more while spending less.
21 Reasons To Choose Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is far more flexible when compared to traditional local server or data centre models. Additional compute power and storage capacity can be effortlessly provisioned when needed, then quickly de-commissioned when no longer required. There is no longer the need to purchase dedicated hardware that may sit idle for certain periods.
You only pay for the server and infrastructure capacity as, and when it is required. During quieter times in the business calendar or between projects, you can reduce your usage, therefore, reducing your costs.
From a remote workforce perspective, cloud computing allows remote workers to securely access vital business data. They can and share information effectively and efficiently from anywhere in the world.
2. Scalability Built In
Scalability is the sweet-spot of cloud computing. You can scale-up usage of cloud computing power, storage and hosted applications in a matter of minutes. Once the requirement for additional cloud services has passed, scaling back again is straight-forward. Plus you only pay for the time those extra services were in use.
3. Become More Agile
Cloud computing offers an unprecedented level of agility. You can quickly scale-up your cloud compute power and storage in a matter of minutes. On the flip side, if you need to scale-back, then those cost savings are instant as you only pay for what you use.
Want to fire up a new server, add storage, virtualise it, add an operating system, add a top layer application for development and testing? No problem and Securus can help.
4. Increased Resilience
Most cloud providers, including Securus, run their services on a highly resilient platform spanning multiple geo-locations. They will typically offer excellent SLA’s of around 99.99% uptime to ensure losing critical data, and business applications are significantly reduced.
5. Simplicity of Provisioning
As with Microsoft and Amazon, our physical platform is already in place. Provisioning new servers and adding additional storage is far simpler than commissioning equipment from scratch. There is no requirement to purchase dedicated hardware, allocate rack space, installing the equipment, connecting resilient power, virtualising, and installing operating systems. We can handle all that for you.
6. Efficiency of Go-Live
With traditional computing models, you are required to spend a considerable amount of money upfront on equipment. Then the platform would need to be physically put together, which takes time.
By using a cloud-based platform, you no longer need to purchase physical equipment or build out a data centre or local server farm. The upfront costs, including all of the hidden ongoing costs such as electrical, cooling and general building and rental fees, are negated.
7. Increased Overall Value
As your provider, we are responsible for platform management, support, upgrades, security, environmental, reporting, and a whole host of other tasks. You don’t have to get knee-deep in the day-to-day running of the platform itself, but rather focus on more critical areas of your business.
8. Less Capital Outlay
Small/medium business and start-ups, in particular, find that upfront server and storage costs can be a vast and unnecessary financial outlay. Business is tricky enough without taking money from your bottom line.
Securus provides a ‘pay-as-you-use’ model with no upfront costs and the ability to scale-up and scale-down at a moment’s notice to suit your usage requirements and budget.
9. Collaboration and Productivity
Cloud computing encourages more collaboration between teams. The world suddenly becomes a smaller place as your users can be located anywhere on the planet and work together seamlessly. Real-time applications, shared secure drives, shared storage and file sharing all help increase efficiency and productivity on a global scale.
10. Service Availability
In today’s modern competitive marketplace, your data needs to be readily available at a moment’s notice from anywhere on the planet. As long as you have an internet connection, your users can access their data and related analytics in real-time from public or private cloud services.
11. Security and Data Loss Prevention
The overall cloud computing architecture offers some additional built-in security when compared to local services. As user data is typically accessed and stored in the cloud, a lost or stolen laptop does not create the security implications it once did.
Securus offers additional complementing security overlay services such as the Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) model that not only your cloud environment but also your LAN, WAN, local hosts, servers and mobile devices too.
12. Utilise The Latest Hardware
We use the latest server hardware with multiple 18-core Intel i9 processors, many Gigs of RAM and solid-state drives with optical connectivity to the servers to ensure ultra-high performance.
And as soon as even higher performing hardware is available, guess what? We procure that hardware to stay competitive, so you don’t have to.
13. Latest Software Updates
Your business may not always be running the latest security patches, vendor-recommended operating system patches, and application versions. These tasks take up time and are easy to put on the back burner.
We take care of software updates and security patches for you. Why spend time performing these tasks when you can be doing something more proactive for your business?
- With IaaS, you know that the server firmware and virtualisation software is always updated to the latest vendor recommended version.
- With PaaS, you additionally know that the server operating system, databases, and security protection are also all maintained.
- Finally, with SaaS, you know that top layer application enhancements and updates are rolled out on time.
14. Increased Overall Uptime
With all cloud providers, if an issue or bug is detected on their platform, they are looking at it straight away as it’s their core business. When you consider that the main goal of your cloud provider is to offer a high performing resilient network that customers will find valuable. So it’s in their interest to guarantee service excellence. We offer 99.99% uptime SLA’s and a whole host of other performance targets for our private cloud platform.
15. Environmental Benefits
As businesses embrace cloud computing, they can downscale their requirement for data centre or local server farm equipment for cost savings due to increased efficiency. This downscale is good news for both the environment and your businesses bank balance.
Imagine just 1000 businesses who currently each have two dedicated racks full of servers and storage in a data centre. Even if they only have a modest four servers with two disk arrays per rack, that’s 2,000 racks comprising of 8,000 servers and 4,000 disk arrays.
Even if only 2 of the servers are idle and one disk array per business, we have 2,000 servers and 1,000 disk arrays doing nothing but consuming power and generating heat. Plus the natural resources needed to manufacture this unnecessary equipment.
Cloud providers have higher-performing servers and a considerable amount of storage on solid-state drives, so those 1,000 businesses can migrate their data centre services to the cloud and consume fewer resources.
Now, rather than 1,000 businesses, consider globally, we are approaching 200 million. Even if only 10% have data centres and server farms, there is a substantial environmental benefit.
16. Faster Resolution of Issues
In reality, we only have one job, and that is to ensure our platform is reliable, resilient, high-performing, continuously updated, and problem-free. This is our bread-and-butter, and we are incredibly focused on it, so you don’t have to.
Securus has multiple tools for our highly skilled staff to utilise to closely monitor our platform with a view to detecting and resolving minor issues before they turn in major catastrophes.
17. Access Your Data Anywhere
Data and it’s real-time accessibility your users is vital in this fast-paced business environment. If a potential new client is waiting on one of your sales team for some time-sensitive data, having access to that information is paramount.
Users can access cloud data from anywhere on the planet. This can be on a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Have a salesperson stuck in the middle of the ocean on a customer yacht and you need to supply information to close that deal? No problem when using global satellite comms to your cloud. Securus can help you with that too!
18. Increased Disaster Recovery
Cloud providers already offer a high degree of redundancy and resilience on their platform. By using a hybrid design with a combination of private and public cloud, you can increase your disaster recovery ability.
Securus offers various enhanced disaster recover options to suit your budget from real-time backups to a separate disaster recovery cloud environment.
19. Enhanced Document Control
When users are sharing files via email attachments, it’s easy to have a differing version of the same important document in circulation. Before you know it, a vital piece of information is over-written or outdated information is accidentally re-inserted into the live version.
Online applications such as Microsoft Office365 and Amazon WorkDocs ensure users share the same document version centrally where all updates are version controlled and audited. This centralised nature increases overall collaboration and users can even be alerted when a document version changes. We offer a number of enhanced Office 365 services to increase sharing and overall productivity.
20. Be More Competitive
Thanks to the pay-as-you-use nature of cloud computing your business can take advantage of the most advanced server, storage and application services available. Cloud computing levels the playing field between small/medium business and giant multinational corporations. A new start-up can be up and running with global reach in a matter of hours and have more agility than larger competitors.
21. Reliable Storage of Your Data
With the recent introduction of solid-state drives, storage services have never been so fast and reliable. Securus is alerted to potentially faulty or failed drives that are part of any single RAID cluster before data loss can occur.
We are also able to offer enhanced services such as automated backups to additional storage in diverse geo-locations for total peace of mind. So not only is your data backed up, there can be multiple copies in multiple locations in multiple countries.
An Introduction to Edge Computing
We understand that in certain situations, cloud computing is not a perfect solution. For critical applications that require low latency, edge computing is sometimes a better design choice to consider.
Edge computing brings the server computing power, storage, and applications closer to the user, sensor or data source. With this model, we supply and manage a small form factor server either on-site or at most at one of our local data centres.
All latency-sensitive applications, data and services are hosted on the edge server for increased performance. By using a hybrid design, you will still use cloud computing for less latency-sensitive services, plus the edge servers can send data to the cloud for further more intensive processing.
Small, medium and start-up businesses, in particular, can utilise the scalability, agility and overall value of cloud computing to compete in an increasingly competitive market place.
Latency sensitive services that do not suit the cloud computing model can utilise edge computing as a complementary solution rather than as an alternative.
Get in touch for a no-obligation discussion about how we can deploy our myriad of cloud services to enable you to work smarter, more effectively, and better support your customers and team.