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Cloud Computing Basics

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Transform Your Business with the Citynet Cloud

Cloud-based computing, often simply referred to as “the cloud,” represents a true paradigm shift. Cloud computing can transform your business. Because of greater processing speed and bandwidth, many of the things you do in your office can now be done remotely, over the Internet. And while this seems just a simple thing, it means you have access to far greater power, with much less overhead and fewer complications.

The Citynet Cloud presents you with the opportunity to run your business more efficiently, while enjoying numerous options on business processes, applications, and services. It enables you to put your resources toward what you do best, rather than spending so much time and money managing your infrastructure. Cloud computing lets you run as efficiently as much bigger businesses, because you now have access to technology tools that previously were too expensive for your budget.

If you’re just starting out, cloud computing puts a broad range of business applications at your fingertips without the upfront capital investment. Instead of having to purchase your own hardware and software and then hire someone to install and take care of it, you get the functionality you need provided as a service. You use what you need, when you need it, and you only pay for what you use. In short: You get all the computing power you require, but with more options and flexibility, and without the hassle or upfront costs.
At its most basic level, the cloud offers you computing resources—applications, file storage and sharing, and processing power—that you access over the Internet, from a distance.

You can use these resources even though they are not residing on hardware (computers or servers) in your business. You use your computer, smartphone, or tablet, or indeed any “smart” device, to tap into those resources over the Internet.

The Cloud vs. On Premise Resources

The opposite of a cloud-based computing resource is an on-premise resource. With on-premise computing resources (software applications, data storage, email, and the like) you - or someone within your organization or an outside consultant you hire - have to choose, maintain, upgrade, and integrate all your business related technology. Maintaining an on-premise computing environment is a big challenge, and often an expensive one, that can cause headaches and lead to serious tech emergencies and even business losses.

That’s where the cloud comes in. Cloud service providers maintain, upgrade, manage, and sometimes even integrate your computing needs and business applications. All you have to do is turn on your computer (or tablet or other device), connect over the Internet and you have the power and data you need. You can “turn on” and “turn off” resources as needed. Cloud services tend to cost less than on-premise solutions as well. You pay a regular, predictable fee rather than purchasing upfront. Plus, because it’s so easy for their customers to switch to a competitor if unhappy, cloud companies have a strong incentive to provide superior service and support. All this is good news for small and medium businesses.

Popular Cloud Application: Online Data Backup

Let’s look at an increasingly common business example of the cloud: data backup. Everyone agrees you should backup the data on your computer hard drive to prevent critical business information from being lost, stolen, or destroyed.

In the past, this required physically copying data from individual computers or servers onto a storage backup device— usually a tape drive—on a regular basis. Then, that backup copy had to be stored in a safe place away from your office.After all, if a fire destroyed your business, you’d need to be able to retrieve copies of your important files from a place untouched by the blaze.

Backing up and storing data manually was arduous work—so arduous that many businesses simply didn’t do it. Then came cloud-based remote backup. Today, businesses simply subscribe to a cloud-based backup service. For example, look at Citynet's CItyVault online backup service; for a monthly fee, any files you designate are regularly and automatically copied and sent to a secure location over the Internet. No manual intervention needed. If a file gets corrupted for any reason, you just log on to the cloud service and download a fresh (accurate) copy. And if you’re hit with a flood or fire, all your data is immediately available from a new business location.

Contact us and we can have you up and running with CityVault today! For more info, click here,  give us a call at 1.800.881.2638 or email us at sales@citynet.net.

Why Businesses Love the Cloud

Get additional computing power and high-quality services for less cost.
Because cloud-based service providers generally specialize in one particular function, they continually develop and improve the capabilities of their offerings. Since the cost is spread to many users - the per-user price of the service may actually be less, especially when considering the cost of IT staff or consultants necessary to deploy and maintain on-premise software.

Get up and running quickly.
By eliminating on-premise solutions, there’s no need for you to go through the lengthy, disruptive implementation and customization processes required to deploy on-premise software. In many cases, you can be fully functional on a new product within minutes.

Experience more predictable costs.
Yes, you will pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee for cloud-based software applications, though those costs are predictable and known, unlike costs incurred when you encounter unexpected problems with your on-premise software and the hardware that hosts it.

Access the application and data from anywhere.
As long as your users have Internet-capable devices and fast-enough Internet connections, they can access the applications and data from anywhere in the world. This gives businesses enormous flexibility to hire workers in various regions and create “virtual” companies that operate efficiently and cost-effectively.

Pay only for what you need, as you go.
When provisioning their organizations with conventional on-premise software solutions, businesses frequently overbuy capacity to avoid the risk of not having enough. With cloud-based solutions, that rarely happens. You pay for what you use, increasing or decreasing capacity as necessary.

Eliminate painful software upgrades.
Those who have been through even a minor upgrade of a mission-critical software package in their office know how disruptive that can be. With cloud-based solutions, all upgrades are seamlessly implemented by the vendor. Your users must learn the new functionality, of course. But all the pain of the upgrade itself is handled for you.

Keep your data more secure.
Precisely because your data is all stored offsite, you don’t have to worry about backing it up yourself. And it’s always available, from anywhere, anytime you need it.

Expand your capabilities without investing in infrastructure.
By integrating cloud solutions with your existing resources, you can add capabilities—without adding costly software or hardware.

Transform capital expenses to operational expenses.
This is one of the biggest reasons so many businesses are going to the cloud: to shift the often-massive upfront investment in custom software development from a capital investment (which must be depreciated over time) to an operational expense (which can be expensed as it occurs). For any company trying to conserve cash, this is a most attractive proposition.

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