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Cloud Services for Dummies

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Does talk about “cloud services” go right over your head? Many technology companies now provide cloud-based services, and refer to data sharing and synchronization, data backup, etc. This jargon is not familiar to everyone, and that’s why this article will cover the essentials so you can fully appreciate:

How a cloud data service can seriously benefit your business.

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What is a cloud service?

First, there are two types of cloud services:

  • Cloud storage: provides access to your data at all times, and in all places;
  • Cloud backup: primarily works to secure your data by creating backup copies.

With lower bandwidth costs, cloud use has become increasingly affordable, and practically made tape backup a thing of the past. Today, companies are using cloud services to protect and share important information: financial and operational information, patents, etc. To distinguish between these business cloud services, here is some important information to keep in mind.

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What is cloud storage?

More specifically, cloud storage means hosting data on one or several remote servers.

Why this type of cloud service is popular:

  • More reliability, because hardware failures present a lower risk;
  • Lower costs due to less required hardware;
  • Better performance and more flexibility to support business databases and applications.

This cloud service has its limits:

  • Costs can rise quickly in the case of “elastic computing”;
  • Access to data-hosting servers requires an internet connection;
  • It is subject to service suppliers and maintenance.

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What is cloud backup?

Cloud backup serves the same functions as a physical data backup server, serving primarily to back up and/or restore all hosted files. The backup processes are generally automated and planned ahead, according to the company’s needs.

Why this type of cloud service is popular:

  • Generally low cost per megabyte;
  • Option to access built-in version-control software, allowing you to restore several different versions of the same file;
  • Data is generally much more secure with regard to IT-related and natural disasters.

This cloud service has its limits:

  • Access to data requires an internet connection;
  • Recovering a large amount of data can take a long time;
  • You need to plan for usage, and therefore bandwidth usage, with this service.

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What is cloud synchronization?

Somewhere between storage and backup, cloud sync synchronization is now an excellent solution. It primarily provides better data accessibility and collaboration, by using data mirroring, which copies data in real time from one location to a peripheral storage device.

Why this cloud service is popular:

  • Greater ability to access data from several peripheral devices;
  • Option to save changes in real time;
  • Possibility of better collaboration by enabling several people to access the same resources, when paired with a platform such as Office 365.
  • Helps with permissions management using advanced sharing features.

This cloud service has its limits:

  • Implementing this type of service can be expensive for companies because of the way it affects teams;
  • A working internet connection is necessary at all times to get the most out of this service.

No matter the type of cloud service, companies are increasingly coming to recognize the advantages provided by cloud services. Since this type of service can be complicated to set up and use in companies, the choice of whether or not to use cloud services is highly strategic, and for this reason, it is worth consulting an expert.

Article written by:

Martin Ouellette, Computer technician

My analytical mind and attention to detail make me a person who always directs his interventions according to the client’s needs. My 20 years of experience contribute to being able to guide managers in their decision making regarding the best IT solutions. I am pleased to be able to manage projects that allow companies to optimize their productivity by modernizing their IT support.

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