October 13, 2015

Cloud computing is talked about as the most important technological innovation of the decade. The cloud is being used more and more by businesses, from empowering staff to be productive out of office to keeping all of your data safer than ever. But what is ‘the cloud?’

What is the cloud?

If you use social networks such as Facebook, entertainment platforms like Spotify or Netflix, or an online file backup website like Dropbox, you are already using the cloud.

The cloud is often used as a description for anything that is accessed over the internet. However, the cloud that we are talking about refers to a network of secure servers, sometimes in the same location and often in multiple locations. These networks (of servers) can provide a service, or they can allow you to store and access data. The network joins all of these servers together to offer a better service in every way possible.

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How does cloud storage work?

These networks of secure servers give you access to important data anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection. You could access the information you need whether you’re in the office, on a train to an important meeting or even on holiday.

You could host your company’s important data, such as Photoshop files or word documents on a secure server but access it as if it were in the office with you. The only difference is; someone can’t accidentally spill coffee on it or accidentally unplug the server whilst cleaning.

The important thing to remember is, accessing cloud storage is just like accessing a regular server in your office. All the data you need is available from one, secure location. And, when you choose cloud storage with Synextra, we keep constant backups of this data in various locations. So, if one server were to ever go down, you wouldn’t know. All of your data would be accessible as normal. This means that you will never have to worry about losing all of your hard work ever again.

How safe is cloud storage?

Considering how valuable data is to businesses, some companies may be concerned about the safety of cloud storage. But in fact, private cloud environments are in many ways safer than a physical server in your office.

Businesses are right to take data security seriously. After all, the penalties associated with data breaches are increasing. Information about you and your customers is incredibly valuable to cyber criminals. If losing important information and damaging your reputation isn’t bad enough, organisations that breach the Data Protection Act could face a fine of up to £500,000.

Pinning down the ‘cause’ of a data breach can be quite complicated. However, a large proportion of data breaches are caused by human error. For example, weak passwords, insider attacks or the accidental installation of malware onto a computer can all lead to a cyber-attack.

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It’s not only cyber-crime that can jeopardise company data however. If a company was struck by fire or a drink was spilt over a physical server, precious data could be lost. Reassuringly, information which is stored in a high-end data centre is better protected. Such data centres are designed to protect information from flames, malicious attacks and even extreme weather conditions.

It’s certainly not unusual for businesses to be reluctant to migrate from in-house physical servers to remote cloud-based systems. When a company has all their data stored locally, it’s easy to feel as though it is well controlled. In reality though, data is far more secure in a managed data centre than it is in the corner of your office. It’s also just as easy to access.

Now you know how cloud storage can help your business, it’s time to find out how Synextra can help too.

Synextra is an IT services provider with a difference. We offer a range of cloud IT and virtual telecommunications services to help your business compete, collaborate and grow. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out what we can do for your business.