Imagine each of us had to keep his personal and business assets at his own house or office. We would have to install a good safe, an alarm system, and if we are really paranoid (or rich…) some security guards and maybe even some security cameras. We won't feel secure when we leave the house, fearing that our lifesavings would be lost to a professional burglar. If this is not enough, imagine that our safe and security system could suddenly malfunction and all our money would just disappear.
Today, most of us store our information, which is one of our most expensive assets, at our home or at our offices, guarded by unskilled IT staff, on simple, unreliable hardware, or rather on expensive sophisticated hardware which has to go through a costly upgrade every couple of months. This same hardware is usually used by our staff as their own personal desktop and for their pastime net surfing dock, putting it in a condition of constant vulnerability.
As we deposit our money in a bank, why not deposit our software and information using cloud computing?
- Cloud computing supplies a solution all small and medium businesses should take into consideration.
- Cloud computing offers a professional "security team" to safeguard your software and valuable documents from computer malfunction.
- Cloud computing offers an ever updating hardware "safe" – no need to deal with updating the hardware or purchasing super expensive hardware in large quantities. All your data and software is stored at the cloud database. You don’t need more than a simple computer with an internet connection. This makes cloud computing eco-friendly as well, saving the need for constant renovation of all the company's hardware.
- You can withdraw your "cash" from anywhere – your information is stored on the cloud database, available at your choice from anywhere in the world, anytime.
Our major obstacle in using cloud computing may be our somewhat justified fear of putting our valuables at another's nest.
In the 13th century the Templar knights revolutionized the concept of banking, spreading it across Europe as a safe method to transfer money, protecting against the infestation of highway robbers (who were somewhat less romantic than Robin Hood). There is no doubt they had to work hard in order to convince people it's safe to deposit their money, but their reliability and reputation made it possible.
Today, Cloud computing is starting the same revolution in the world of cyberspace. In time, our fear of trusting others to safeguard our data will disappear in light of the obvious advantages.
What is Windows Azure?
Windows Azure is an application platform in the cloud that allows application to be hosted on the Microsoft data centers. Basically, Windows Azure lets organizations to boost and scale their computing resources that they could have at their disposal.
What is it for me?
As with most cloud computing platforms, the main advantage is flexibility and cost. On the flexibility side, hosting your custom application on the cloud makes it easier for the businesses to scale their computing needs up and down than having the infrastructure on-site.
On the cost side, there are obvious potential for savings from running application on someone's else server. The savings could be from the energy bill to the hardware to the cost of labor.
What can Windows Azure can used for?
Developers can build custom software application using the .NET Services, test and debug them using Visual Studio which integrates with the Windows Azure platform. Windows Azure could also be used with SQL Azure Services and can be used to store databases and information
What are the benefits?
- Agility: Azure allows you to take advantage of development tools, automated service management and global datacenter presence to respond faster and focus on your competitive differentiators.
- Efficiency: The Windows Azure platform allows to improves productivity and increases operational efficiency by lowering upfront capital costs.
- Simplicity: Windows Azure allows you to utilize the existing skills of your development team in familiar languages such as .NET and PHP to create and manage web applications and services, whether in the cloud or on premises.
What is the cost?
Windows Azure has different payment plans. From consumption based pricing to monthly fixed. More information can be found here.
|FREE DOWNLOAD: Introducing Windows Azure
- Using computers in the cloud can make lots of sense. Rather than buying and maintaining your own machines, why not exploit the acres of Internet-accessible servers on offer today?
- Learn about the Windows Azure platform in this white paper.