By Subhi Elmughrabi
Cloud computing is a hot topic these days in spite of of the fact that it’s been around for a while. Even if you are still not sure what cloud computing is, there is a high chance that you are already using it in your daily life. This includes services such as your account on Gmail or Hotmail, Skype, Facebook, and Netflix just to name a few.
We discussed cloud computing, its definition, and the different types of it in an earlier post. In this post I would like to touch on a few cloud computing benefits in order to help you decide if it would be a good choice for your business.
- Cost-efficient, Cloud computing is often much more cost effective, instead of buying, maintaining, and managing your own servers; you can outsource your hardware needs and store your data remotely instead (Iaas). Another advantage would be that you don’t have to pay the full price of software anymore. An advantage of cloud computing is that you subscribe to the software and you only pay for it when you need it (SaaS). Furthermore, you don't have to worry about maintaining and upgrading software or fixing bugs, because all maintenance is done by the providers. This will allow your IT teams to focus on technical issues specific to the business. On top of that, remote maintenance means it's easy for you to always have the latest and most powerful version of any particular software. You also have the benefits of having some dedicated subject matter experts available for any trouble related issues should the need arise (ITaas).
- Near Unlimited Capacity: you will have much more capacity for your data because it is not limited to dedicated infrastructure, so your storage capacity can grow with your business. Also cloud computing gives you the ability to scale up or scale down your capacity and services based on your current needs. For instance in the case of temporary peaks in demand, all you need to do is increase your CPU/RAM/Storage/Servers etc for the immediate need.
- Flexibility: with most any cloud computing provider you will have access to an administrative portal where you can scale your services to current requirements. No new paperwork, or infrastructure to add, typically you can add a new servicer with your requested requirements and it will be up and ready for use within an hour, including whatever Operating System and software you chose. Employees can have access to files and data from anywhere with Internet access, this includes smartphones and tablets. This is a great fit for the mobile workforce. Staff can also work collaboratively on files and documents and simultaneously view and edit there documents from multiple locations.
- Speed and Efficiency: depending upon your application, latency may be an issue to address, but for the most part cloud speeds up your daily activities. Employees no longer need to upload and download large attachments and tasks. You view and interact with a live image of the application.
- Green: Another cloud computing benefit, it is a great way to move towards green IT. According to Microsoft, cloud computing can reduce a business's carbon emissions by as much as 30%, since businesses typically don't need to power an entire server, they only use what they need.
By Chris Palermo
Stated simply, SIP Trunking utilizes Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology for telephony services. SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) enables the digital streaming of voice and data and can best be thought of as a way to cost effectively integrate digital telephony with a traditional telephone system.
In essence, SIP Trunking provides interoperability that enables businesses that have a traditional PBX-based phone system to expand and use VoIP through their internet connectivity. Your PBX will need a SIP-enabled trunk side and some other connectivity devices to enable it, but the components are inexpensive. You will also want a SIP provider that can offer QoS (Quality of Service) to ensure PSTN-equivalent or better performance.
SIP is a good option for organizations wanting to lower their overall telephony costs by moving to VoIP, but whose previous PBX has not yet reached end-of-life. Telephone system expansions are easily managed by integrating SIP, so your new investments are in VoIP and you can begin achieving the associated financial benefits.
You will need to be sure your internet data connection has sufficient bandwidth to handle your SIP calls. With the use of the internet, PSTN gateways, PRI's and BRI's are no longer needed. Through IP, all the processes are simplified. SIP Trunking is easily scalable, which makes other future expansions and moves easier, while maintaining an architecture that is optimized for efficiency.
Those on SIP Trunks, with the appropriate equipment, will also be able to make video calls, enable video conferences and can take advantage of desktop sharing or shared white board capabilities available through Unified Communications.
SIP Trunking is easy to implement and integrate, it has good scalability, enables the transport of both voice and data and reduces costs.
GCN provides businesses, SMB to Enterprise, with voice, data, cloud, colocation and data center services solutions from over 150 partner providers worldwide. Not as the typical telecommunications agency or reseller, but as their technology advisor. We determine and tailor the best solutions to meet our customers' needs world-wide. We save our clients the time and trouble of managing one or more service providers and leverage the best solutions for them at the most cost effective price.
Should you have questions or need assistance on your next project please do not hesitate to contact me here, or via twitter at @SChrisPalermo.
By Fran Williamson
What would you do if your laptop was stolen or something happened to your office to prevent you from having access to it for an extended period of time? Either way, it could be a major impact on your business, not to mention the impact of someone else potentially having access to your sensitive and confidential business information (in the case of the stolen laptop).
One of the benefits of cloud computing is that you not only use applications and tools that are delivered from a geographically diverse, hardened and secure data center with built-in redundancy, but your business data would also safely reside there.
What if your businesses network failed? Do you have other ways to access the information it takes to get your job done? What if software or hardware problems disable you? Ever seen the dreaded blue screen indicating a potentially fatal hardware error? Most businesses try to perform regular data backups, but how often do you extensively test restoring your data? What about the applications? Do you know how long it takes to re-image a system? Too often, businesses make that awful discovery and find out the last backup wasn’t taken or recovery was never tested and it doesn’t work!
The bottom line is that we are all dependent upon our technology, but why not have a computing architecture that will enable you to use your applications and access your data in minutes even if one of these “occurrences” happens to you?
Are you prepared for a break-in and theft? What about a fire or a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake? You may have your business interruption insurance up to date, but if you are not quickly back in business, then you are quickly out of business!
Cloud computing creates an environment whereby you are not recovering from a disaster, but avoiding one. Working with the cloud typically only requires you have access to any internet connection – with any functional laptop or desktop computer and an internet connection you can “go to work.”
Virtually any type of computing you do now via a local networked server or right on your desktop can be delivered through cloud architecture. You can even set a cloud utility that will automatically and regularly backup to the cloud any computer files you have saved on your local system - with no interruption or impact to your day-to-day productivity.
You can have your email and phone systems in the cloud. The cloud is not only safer and more efficient when you really need it, but your costs for solutions will be more predictable and often more cost effective as well.
GCN provides businesses, SMB to Enterprise, with voice, data, cloud, colocation and data center services solutions from over 150 partner providers worldwide. Not as the typical telecommunications agency or reseller, but as their technology consultant. We determine and tailor the best solutions to meet our customers' needs world-wide. We save our clients the time and trouble of managing one or more service providers and leverage the best solutions for them at the most cost effective price.