In our recent survey of 250 ICT Decision Makers, such as IT managers and CIOs, it was found that cloud, security, and mobility are paramount. While the cloud offers enormous opportunities, it can be confusing to understand and is often associated with challenges and security threats. To help clear the air on cloud computing, here’s answers to the most common questions we hear. 1. What is Cloud Computing? Cloud computing is the virtual delivery of shared resources, utilised by the end users as a service. It is possible due to the use of a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. The cloud can be defined by either the location or the service that it is offering. In most cloud computing applications, data is sent to remote processors via the Internet, the process is completed, and the resulting data is sent back. Download the Full Whitepaper 2. What Cloud Infrastructures are there? There are four cloud location classifications: Public – allows a private cloud computing infrastructure to be accessed by the general public. As public clouds use shared resources, they have increased performance, but are most vulnerable to various attacks. Private –cloud infrastructure used by one organisation, allowing content to be shared within an organisation while secured from outside access by a corporate firewall. While security is paramount, the cost reduction can be minimal, if the company uses on-premise cloud infrastructure. Hybrid – utilises public and private clouds to perform distinct functions within the same organisation. For example, public cloud can be used to interact with customers, while keeping their data secured through a private cloud. Learn more here. Community – cloud infrastructure is shared between several organizations with common concerns. It can be managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. As costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud but more than a private cloud, only some of the cost savings are realized. 3. What Cloud Services are there? The most common cloud computing services provided are: IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) – infrastructures such as operating systems and applications are imbedded in the cloud, providing virtually limitless scalability and agility. While users can implement security controls, the cloud povider is responsible for hypervisor security and encryption. PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) - platform on which software can be developed and deployed. Great for scalability, and the application development of products or services, but because they can be public, private, hybrid, mobile, or open, there are varying security risks. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)- software that is hosted in the cloud and delivered over the web, so that it doesn't take up hard drive or server space. Won’t waste resources managing or controlling network of servers, but security entirely up to vender. Storage - Data is upload through your Internet connection to remote servers in the cloud. Once the data is stored there, it can typically be accessed from multiple connected devices and shared with others. This is generally cheaper, more flexible than traditional hard drive management, and can assist in disaster recovery. 4. How to Choose the Right Cloud Model and Services? There’s no cookie-cutter answer to this, as it really is reflective of your company. The best cloud delivery model for your business matches your workloads and environment to deliver the services your end users need. To determine the right model, consider the factors specific to your data center and organization. Read more about the questions you should be asking about getting the best cloud solution. 5. What Security testing can be done? As noted above, each cloud infrastructure has their own database security issues and different security testing that should be done. The only way to have complete computer security is to have no computers. Security is like any other aspect of a business – staff, training, and equipment – the more you invest in it, the better the return. You get what you pay for, and cloud computing is as safe as you want it to be. “Not everyone will be automatically sold on the benefits of the Cloud,” says Paul Edmondson, Vita Enterprise Solutions General Manager. “But if you sit down with an enterprise and show them why moving to a Cloud solution is something they need, they embrace it.” Vita Enterprise Solutions At Vita Enterprise Solutions, we draw on the insight, expertise and know-how generated from 20 years of servicing the Australian market. If you’re thinking of moving to the cloud, why not try our Cloud Readiness Assessment. Still unsure or have questions unanswered? For more information, talk to us on 1300 139 310, enquire online, or download our Whitepaper on Cloud Computing.