Networking with Nick

As more companies continue to grow and require more data, resources and reliable hardware, the marketplace is following a familiar trend -the cloud.

So, what is the cloud? Currently this is the most used term in the technology world mainly because of what it does. There are many solutions that a cloud infrastructure can provide including hosted email, hosted hardware (servers, firewalls, etc.) or just a simple shared folder with files such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

In the cloud, implementation is rapidly transitioning toward virtual resources. Think about it this way, physical equipment is used to “host” the virtual resource. This allows for quicker access to data and the ability to share physical assets to create multiple virtual assets (computers, networking hardware).

The potential benefits of cloud services include convenience, speed and on the backend -redundancy (backup components in case of failure). For instance, accessing a file from a computer usually entails having that specific computer available; however, with a cloud resource, it can be accessed from different computers given there is a provided Internet connection.

Here are a few questions to help you get started when evaluating cloud services:

1. Where will my data and applications be stored and processed?

2. What security protocols are in place? (Ask for a white paper and data sheet.)

3. Who manages software and system updates? (Although your data is outside your physical location, you might be responsible for keeping the OS and applications updated.)