The Future Of The Cloud [Infographic]

  • By 2016 two-thirds all workloads will be processed in the cloud, which is a two-fold increase on the number on workloads per installed cloud server in 2011. Better make sure you’re getting your work done on time and in budget because your world is going to be no longer private!
  • For those of you who don’t know what an Exabyte is, it’s equivalent to 1 billion gigabytes and currently businesses around the world use 268 Exabyte’s when using the cloud. That’s an increase from 124 in 2011 and is expected to increase more than double to 596 Exabyte’s by 2016! That is a hell of a bite!
  • Cloud usage is currently measured at 39% in the public cloud such as google drive, 34% is being used in the private cloud which are used by businesses internally and 27% in the hybrid cloud which is where both the clouds are bound together whilst remaining unique entities. Hybrid cloud provides the flexibility of in house applications with the fault tolerance and scalability of cloud based services.
  • The value of the cloud services are on the up! They are currently worth $117bn and is projected to increase around $100bn to $220bn with the public cloud alone expected to worth around $110bn in 2016. There’s a lot of money in things that don’t really exist!
Have a look through our Infographic for more great facts!

The Future Of The Cloud Computing

This infographic has been supplied by the guys at CWCS.

How Safe Is Cloud Storage?

risks in Cloud Storage
Last week, I was sitting around talking to a friend about how he lost his data on his computer, but he had it all backed up on an external hard drive. It brought up the subject of him losing that hard drive or it getting lost/stolen – leading to the idea of cloud storage. He questioned whether cloud storage is safe or not. Cloud services have changed IT entirely for businesses across a wide range of areas. But as more and more companies rely on the cloud for storage, syncing, and computing, hackers are targeting popular cloud services for the sensitive information stored there. Yes, the companies that provide cloud storage are responsible in keeping our data secure, but we should also look at what we can do as consumers and make cloud storage safer for our data.

To begin, let’s answer the question: what exactly is the cloud storage? In essence, it is a model of networked enterprise storage where data is stored not only in the user's computer, but also in virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties. From music files to pictures to sensitive documents, the cloud invisibly backs up your files and folders and avoids the potentially endless and costly search for extra storage space. An alternative to purchasing an external hard drive or deleting old files to make room for new ones, cloud storage is convenient and cost-effective. It works by storing your files on a server on the internet rather than on your local hard drive, allowing you to back up, sync, and access your data across multiple devices as long as they have internet capability.

If you wish to store information virtually, however, you must consider the added risk that your information may be accessible to others -- potentially people who you do not wish to have access. Outlined below are a few security risks to take into account and how to protect yourself and your data.

Cloud computing is a relatively new tool for the average consumer. It is important to explore the service that most fits your needs.

The first step in using the cloud service is to choose a provider that fits your needs. Some points to take into consideration on your search are:

  1. Are the company’s security standards appropriate? - Do some research for your needs. Make sure that the company has a good reputation and solid security policies. Remember, this company holds your trust to store your personal information.
  2. How much data storage do you need? Look at sites with a realistic expectation of the size you need to store all your files. Most companies charge by the amount of storage you are requesting.
  3. Is your data encrypted when being uploaded or downloaded from the cloud? Make sure that your browser or app requires an encrypted connection before you upload or download your data. Always look for the “https://” or the padlock beside the URL in your browser.
  4. Is your data encrypted when stored in the cloud? Read the terms of service to find this information; often your data will be stored on the cloud server with no encryption, this means that anyone that has (or can get) high level access to that server will be able to read your files. This may not be an issue for many files, but you should carefully consider what kind of information you are storing in the cloud and whether you are comfortable with some other person you don’t know accessing it. At a minimum, no data that is protected by law (medical information, personal identifiers, financial data) should be stored in the cloud unless the storage solution is encrypted and you know who can decrypt it (it should only be you or your organization) and for what reason.
  5. Learn and understand how access is shared with your cloud folder: Many cloud storage providers allow you to share access to your online folders with other people. Be sure you know in details and understand how this works. Can they read only or can they change the file? Will you know who changed a file last? If you share the file with a group, can you see who all is in the group? Are you notified if the group changes? Does the service allow you to make files public? If you do, are your personal details (name, account, email, etc.) attached to that file if a stranger looks at it?
  6. Know your options if the cloud provider should be hacked or should lose your data: Many of these companies require that you sign their terms and conditions before they allow you to use the service. In the vast majority of cases, these conditions state that you have very little, if any, remedy if anything bad should happen. Be aware of what you are signing away.
Once you have found the service that best caters to your needs, it is important to make your data as safe as possible.

Here are some general rules that you should follow for all your internet habits, but particularly for your data storage:

  1. Pick a good password: All cloud services require a master password to get into your files, so make it a good one, something that is pretty long and not easy for others to hack. When it comes to passwords, longer is better. True, it can be a hassle to remember a strong password but it’s an even bigger hassle to have your information stolen.
  2. Don’t reuse your passwords: The password you choose to access the cloud should be unlike any other password you use. If a hacker gets access to your Facebook password which may also be the password to your email, they will not only have a clear view of where you hold financial accounts, but they will be able to reset all of your passwords without your knowledge.
  3. Don’t share your passwords: Even with a trusted friend, sharing your password is never a good idea. The more people who know your password, the more likely it is to be spread around. Your password is the lock to your information; don’t let more people have access to it than necessary.
  4. Back up your data: The same way you back up your computer’s hard drive, back up your cloud storage data. Some companies are out there that offer a small amount of storage free of cost. Take advantage of this and make sure you have your most important data backed up in case of an unexpected loss.
Image Credit: Thinkstockphotos.

Author Bio:
Youa is a blogger from Minneapolis who enjoys reading about all things tech-related. She’s a fan of local businesses, like RJS Software, who always have something fun to say on their tech blog.

Why Cloud Computing Is The Future Of The Modern Business

Benefits Of Cloud Computing
Image courtesy of ConnetU.
The business world is changing fast, now requiring transactions and workloads to be completed faster and greater than ever before. This evolution has been underpinned by technological advances that have now produced a computing system capable of extraordinary feats for any business - Cloud computing.

In short, Cloud computing allows for businesses to place their computing system under the protection of a third party host. Using a multitude of processing powers, this service can easily match and exceed the demands of any business. To prove it to you, here are 6 reasons why Cloud computing is definitely the future for any modern business:

1) Improved Flexibility:

A limited bandwidth can be the bane of any business, hindering the flow of performance and draining the time and resources that could be spent elsewhere. A network of computers connected to the internet eradicates this issue, with flexible prioritisation of the collective bandwidth of each computer. The vast retention of Cloud computing will therefore have your business running as smooth as clockwork.

2) Low Cost:

In order to maximise efficiency, many businesses will seek to pay for additional servers and devices for their staff, as well as the cost of licences for new software. This can be incredibly expensive and impractical, particularly because the actual use of the technologies is rarely ever constant or lengthy. Hosting your hardware and software applications on the cloud, on the other hand, allows you to implement the Cloud versions of the exact same technologies, but you only ever have to pay for the amount of time you actually use it.

3) Greater Storage Capacity:

As a business progresses and begins to take on a greater amount of work, inevitably they will be met with the problem of storage capacity. Bound by the capacity of a physical device, it can be incredibly frustrating for an individual to be met with the ‘Full Capacity Reached’ message, especially when they have a deadline. For this reason, uploading all your data to an abundant Cloud service allows for greater freedom to take on more work without the consideration of whether you can actually store it – a frivolous issue, you’ll no doubt agree.

4) Work from Anywhere:

Many people in the business world will consider this the best reason to implement Cloud computing. No longer will you have to travel to work or be confined to an office, because Cloud computing allows you access to all your business’ information, from any location. Whether you want to work from your garden, or even if you’re able to free up some time whilst on holiday, this entirely modern prospect ensures your business will struggle to fall behind on workload.

5) Secure Backups:

Cloud computing allows everything you do via your office computer or laptop to be stored in a secure location i.e It helps in Protecting your data by various authentication procedures. This means that you do not have to fear everything you have worked on is lost or can be stolen, if you find your device has gone missing. As soon as you retrieve it or find yourself with a new one, everything from the Cloud can be accessed and downloaded back to your device.

6) Eco-friendly:

Current scientific research indicates that we are having a huge impact on climate change, due to our increased emissions and carbon footprints. Although still creating an emission of sorts, Cloud computing will allow a business to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint, because it only operates as and when it is needed. Of course, the energy required for a Cloud service will be exceedingly high and not eco-friendly at all, but any modern business will realise that a pocket of high energy consumption is better than the large distribution of high energy consumption caused by traditional IT infrastructures.

Overall, Cloud computing presents businesses with a set of tools that can reduce boundaries, create prospects and allow for greater prioritisation of other factors a business must tend to. The future of the business sector, or any sector for that matter, has to start with Cloud computing.

How do you feel about Cloud computing? Is there any other reasons to implement Cloud computing that have been overlooked, or can you think of any problems with this technology? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Author Bio:
Ben takes an interest in technology, therefore he is fascinated by the potential for cloud computing and how it can be implemented across multiple sectors, not just in business.

Cloud Computing - What Do You Need To Know?

You might have thought that cloud computing would never catch on, but it's definitely here to stay. Latest market forecasts are predicting a 30% annual growth for the industry, so if you haven't paid attention before, now's the time to start.

People all over the world are flocking to use technology to store data in a virtual space, but cloud computing isn't just for data. You can also use it to run applications and software remotely, so you don't need to be chained to your office PC.

If you're a small business that needs more IT expertise than your current employees can provide then outsourcing your IT to a cloud company could be the ideal solution. It might be slightly more expensive than hiring an in-house IT expert, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Cloud services will increase your efficiency and mean that your small business can take a "big business approach" to any issues you face.

Are there different types of cloud service?

Put simply, yes, there are three levels of cloud service.

First level: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
It provides virtual hardware such as computers, storage software platforms etc. This means that your employees can access everything they need via the internet, rather than being office based.

Second level: Platform as a Service (PaaS).
It provides all the resources a small business would need to create its own software and programmes. This will usually include an operating system, programming environment, database and web server. Useful if you're looking to reduce costs.

Third level: Software as a Service (SaaS).
This provides you with programmes and software that are ready to go. You can run them remotely, there are no lengthy installation times and no concerns about whether your hardware will cope.

What could go wrong?

Nothing is risk free and here are some of the potential pitfalls explained.

Data security
This is the most obvious concern that most people have, but in most cases, if you use a reputable supplier, your data is safe. When you combine a specialist cloud provider with an in-house expert your security will be better than most small businesses can normally manage.

Information control
Your information is stored on someone else's computer, and you'll have no idea where that is. You should be aware of all the contractual terms of your cloud supplier to make sure you comply with your legal, contractual and moral obligations.

At the moment it isn't possible to "pick and mix" cloud services like you would with internet providers. You could find it difficult to change cloud services and if you use more than one cloud service it could be hard to make them work together.

How do I choose a provider?

Ask yourself these three quick questions:
  1. Is the provider stable, trustworthy and have a good reputation to lose?
  2. Do the conditions of the contract work for your business?
  3. Will this provider really benefit your business?
Trust your instincts, finding the right IT support is tricky whether you're in London or Lewes. Be sure to look before you leap, but don't be afraid to take the plunge.

Author Bio:
Rob Rudd enjoys his job as a writer and regularly contributes to several IT and technology blogs. When he isn't writing he enjoys learning to play the ukulele.

Cloud Safety: A Survival Guide

Protecting Your Privacy in the Cloud
Creative Commons image source

Safety in the Stratosphere

There is no doubt that cloud technology is revolutionizing the digital sphere. It's efficient, it permits employees to work from almost anywhere, and reduces the amount of money needed to be spent on data storage hardware. However, with the sheer proliferation of cloud-based computing, the question of privacy arises. How do you ensure that your information remains protected when it is stored online?

IT Advice

  • Encrypt personal data: When saving personal information to an online storage source, it is best to encrypt the data. Identity theft and fraud are rampant on the internet, and as the old mantra goes, it's better to be safe than sorry. The kind of information that should be encrypted includes copies of personal documents, bank statements, medical records, property deeds, etc. Confidential business information should also undergo this process. There are numerous simple encryption programmes available to help you protect your data.
  • Back up your info: Cloud technology is not infallible. In the worst case scenario, hackers can erase all your valuable information. The golden rule is to back up everything you don't want to lose on a hard drive or two.
  • Passwords: Don't use the same password for all your accounts. It may be easier for you to remember, but it also makes it easier for nefarious hackers to access all of your accounts. So remember to diversify! Use date combinations that mean something to you. Save the password combinations in your phone contact list under a false name– that way, it looks like just another number to someone who happens to glance at your screen.
  • Two-factor authentication: Simply put, this refers to the use of two methods to confirm your identity. This usually includes a password which you type in, and then an authentication code that is sent to your cellular device. This helps to prevent your social media accounts from unauthorised access, particularly if you are logging in from an unfamiliar device.
  • No daisy chains: Refrain from linking all of your accounts together, for example, using your Facebook login details to sign into other websites. In the event of a hack, all of your interlinked accounts could be accessed. It's better to register social media accounts with a separate email address each time.
  • Choose your devices wisely: Be careful when choosing where to log in. Try to avoid computers that everybody else uses, and if you do end up logging in from someone else's device, remember to clear the cache afterwards. And of course, don't forget to log out. This may seem obvious, but it's amazing how many people completely skip this step.
  • Antivirus Software: Both antivirus and anti-spy software can add an extra layer of protection when browsing the net and accessing your personal data. This makes it a lot more difficult for people to access your system, and as a result, your online information.

So there you have it. Whether you use virtual desktop infrastructure, or even online storage sites such as Dropbox or Google Drive, implement a few of these tips and safeguard your data.

Author Bio:
Grace Matthews is a London-based lifestyle blogger who makes uses of Nasstar VDI so that she can travel and work from anywhere in the world.

Cloud Computing

When it comes to cloud computing, this kind of file sharing can be a very unique and interesting method. Instead of the traditional copy and paste methods of adding applications or programs from a flash drive to a computer, this method will allow anyone and everyone with proper information, access to these same files from the internet. These files can be retrieved with ease because it can be accomplished without having to plug in or hook anything up beforehand.

Cloud Computing services are helping many small businesses thrive due to the convenience and of course, efficiency, Cloud computing also offers numerous amount of benefits that are guaranteed to make any business more money. Time is money so if there is something that can make your business run more efficiently, than it will be making your business more money. When searching to see what cloud computing providers Manhattan had to offer for one of my clients' business, this is what I learned about the benefits of cloud marketing services.

What are the benefits to cloud marketing services?

It is Faster?

One of the benefits includes having the ability to be able to meet business commands in a quick manner due to the flexibility of the cloud. Instead of taking up all of the bandwidth within a server, you will be able to take up about half of the space, while delivering demands in an instant.

Disaster Recovery:

Another wonderful perk about this timeless method is that you can finally kiss all of your advanced disaster recovery file plans goodbye. With the cloud service, you'll finally be able to take care of what issues you need to, in record speed, while getting the job done.

Automatic Updates:

Why should you have to take the time to install all of those important software updates while interrupting your work schedule, when the cloud computing service can do it for you while you work?

Increased Security:

These service suppliers will make sure that their security updates and regular scans are taken care of, so that it won't take up the customers' time, keeping them away from their other duties.


The best part of all is that you can work from anywhere you want! You don't need to worry about fighting travel, or having to worry if you don't make it to work on time for whatever reason. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world, hassle free!

Environmentally Friendly Options:

Last but not least, this service is environmentally friendly in the energy consumption department. You can expect to use less than 50% of it's energy in a single usage, while drastically cutting back on carbon emissions.

Author Bio:
Article was written by Sarah Smith. Sources used came from Madison Technology in New York, NY.

What To Consider When Choosing Cloud Backups

Every computer expert will tell you to backup early and often. However, sometimes there is insufficient space to backup and store all the data. Accidents happen and one loses data in a hard drive crash, which can be catastrophic when one is in the middle of a vital assignment. Sometimes your computer is stolen or the office burns down. We never really know what life has got in store for us, which is why data storage is crucial.

Cloud Backups:

Cloud backup is the name for data and information being stored in a secure data centre via internet. These data centres could be in any remote location in the world. Cloud storage takes away some of the stress about storage away from the individual who no longer needs to overprotect the device in which the data is stored. With cloud backups, the data is protected from accidental or intentional damage. Several issues come into play when considering the use of cloud backups. It is important to know how the service works, its limitation and its effects on the running of your enterprise.

Protect Against Leaks:

Among the major concerns for most organisations is data security. Data protection is absolutely paramount for individuals and, in the case of businesses, data leaks can have very serious repercussions indeed. For example, leaked customer contacts from a database could spammed with unnecessary mails or credit information used for other forms of cyber crimes. Files should be heavily encrypted before leaving the onsite storage. Encryption should be at least 256 bit or higher. Always ensure the service provider states their security policy before you begin to consider engaging their services in storing your data.

Know Your Limits:

Most of the service providers limit the sizes of data they can store by price; so your storage allowance depends on how much you pay. When deciding your cloud backup plan, take into consideration the size of your data and the quantity that is generated at a particular period of time. Check whether your provider can increase the available space if needed and at what cost. Some providers will limit the size of individual files, so be wary of such restrictions especially if you store large files such as videos.

A few service providers will limit the amount of data that can be uploaded or downloaded at any given time. Most of them will not. However, it is vital to know their policy so as to avoid the risk of being unable to access your information as quickly as possible in cases of damage to onsite storage. Initial uploads sometimes take quite some time. This is partly due to bandwidth limitation and partly due to the size of uploading files.

Access All Areas?

Consider whether the service provider allows you to access your files from other computers other than your basic computer. Web enabled access is convenient as one can access their files from any internet enabled device by logging into the providers website. You could download that bill, spreadsheet or statement way from office or home. If you would like to have automatic file upgrades, check whether the provider has software that monitors file changes. Otherwise, you would be forced to manually back up your files.

Final Considerations:

Where none catastrophic data losses are involved, it is often easier to restore data from a local storage in comparison to a cloud backup, so it is worth remembering this when assessing your cloud backup requirement. Another thing to bear in mind, especially if you pay per gigabyte or monthly, is reduplication services. Reduplication minimises the amount of data being stored because where similar files exist, it indicates the specific location of the data, rather than performing a double backup of your data. Overall it is clear that, wherever possible, it is prudent to have an online backup solution in place. It might cost more but in the long term it could save your business.

Author Bio:

This article on cloud backups was written on behalf of Securstore who offer many online backup solutions for businesses and individuals.

What is Cloud Computing

You may have heard the term “Cloud computing” and wondered what it meant. Savvy IT professionals are aware that cloud computing refers to a system of servers that gives people access to computer services over a network, such as the Internet.

Cloud computing is taking off because organizations are realizing the many benefits it provides, including saving money on hardware and software, lowering the burden on IT department personnel and enabling companies to back up their vital data safely and securely.

In fact, cloud computing services are expected to generate almost 14 million jobs across the world by 2015, with many of these jobs coming from small-to-medium sized businesses, according to the IDC report “Cloud Computing’s Role in Job Creation.” What’s more, cloud computing could produce up to $1.1 trillion in revenue every year by 2015.

Remote Backups and Disaster Recovery:

If your company does not routinely make offsite backups of its vital data, what will you do in the face of a catastrophic hard drive crash? While prudent managers will at least set up extra servers to back up data locally, it’s important to maintain offsite backups as well, in case of a natural disaster, extended power failure, theft or other problems.

Cloud computing makes it easy to make multiple backup copies of your data, which you can then access via the Internet to recover information during a disaster.

While your competitors are struggling to regain power and reconstruct their databases, you can quickly restore your important files by accessing them via the cloud. Even if you have to evacuate the premises, such as during a severe weather event, your employees can use laptops or smart phones to access data via the cloud from a hotel, coffee shop or their office at home, thanks to cloud computing.

Save Money on Software and IT Services:

Organizations find that they can save money on software and IT services by taking advantage of cloud computing services. For example, instead of purchasing expensive licenses for a suite of office applications or a particular database program for your entire workforce, you can use software as a service (SaaS) on an as-needed basis. The software is always available via the cloud, and your employees access it through a standard web browser.

Your IT department won’t have to worry about updating software or applying security patches, as the cloud computing service provider’s IT department will take care of this task for you.

You can also purchase access to encrypted server storage space from a cloud services provider whenever you need it. Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting helps companies save money, as they don’t need to try to plan ahead and purchase additional server space for local use.

Access Data While on the Go:

Does your organization rely on travelling sales people and marketing specialists to drum up new business? If so, these employees are going to be on the road quite frequently. Instead of trying to bring copies of all necessary files with them on their laptops, they can access your company’s data securely via cloud computing.

When a salesperson develops a lead, he can input the data on his device while out in the field, and the information will be instantly accessible to everyone in your organization’s headquarters via the cloud.

Imagine updating important documents that everyone in your company needs to access quickly and reliably. For example, have you changed the terms of your standard contracts? Your legal department can put the updated files in the cloud so that employee will always be able to access the latest versions.

After examining the benefits of cloud computing, many people will want to consider implementing it for their own organizations. Whether you use cloud computing just to keep safe backups in an offsite location or rely on it for fast and reliable access to inexpensive software as a service, this technology is designed to make your organization work more efficiently and save your money. Cloud computing can give you a boost over your competitors, and that’s reason enough to begin implementing it to some degree at your firm.

Author Bio:

Matt Smith is a Dell employee who writes to help raise awareness on the topic of Cloud Computing and other network management subjects.

What are Cloud Services?

If you work in business and computers, chances are you would have heard about cloud services. It’s something that is talked about a lot but rarely explained to those who don’t know. If you are starting a job in this area or are just curious about the service and how it can help you, it’s important it is explained clearly to you.

Below is a guide on cloud services. This article covers what it means, what cloud services are and how they can help you and your company. Hopefully, after reading you should have a better understanding of cloud services.

What does the term “cloud” mean?

The term cloud in computing refers to internet based computing. It is when all your resources, files, software, programs and information you share on it are available to other computers and internet enabled devices. It means everything you store on your cloud is easily available online.

What are cloud services?

Cloud services are when a business offers secure cloud space to individuals, businesses and organisations.

With a cloud service you can have programs such as word processing programs, spread sheet programs, in-house data systems and email programs easily available without the use of downloading the software onto your computer or device. The result is easy accessibility to files and programs from any device so that you can work from any device and share files and information with others. It works great with families, who may want to share photographs and files, and it works for businesses that may need to work on shared files and access informationeasily and regularly.

How can cloud services help me and my business?

Cloud services can help your business if you rely on your team to access the same files and if your company is computer based. When you work in an office, frequently you will need to access a file someone else has been working on or updating. With a cloud service, anyone of your staff members with the right permissions can access these shared files, saving you time and money. With a cloud service you don’t need to waste time emailing things or downloading them onto external hard drives, this in turn can save you money.Using cloud services can mean if an employee can’t come in because their child is sick off school or it’s a snow day, your employee can still work that day from home by just logging onto the cloud service where all the files they’ve been working on are stores.

What companies provide cloud services?

There are many types of companies that supply cloud services. The first thing to take into consideration is security and reliability. Consider how there are three different types of cloud: public, private and hybrid. Work out which type will serve your needs best, for example if you are using the service for personal use, private is good for you.Do some research on companies before committing to a service as there are many companies now offering this and therefore, a lot of competition. Companies that specialise in technology solutions usually offer this service and tend to be reliable due to their specialised field.