How The Internet Works – Episode 7.

How the Internet Works – Episode 7.

Access to the Cloud and Why the Last Mile Matters

Welcome to the seventh instalment of How the Internet works. This series covers everything you have ever wanted to know about the Internet, from its composition to its functionality and much more.

Our previous post explored what the Internet enables us to accomplish and, specifically, how it has propelled the business world forward. One of the most significant advancements of the past decade is the adoption of cloud computing, made possible by the Internet.

What is Cloud Computing?

When we talk about the cloud, we are, more often than not, talking about the Internet. Cloud computing is the term we use to describe using hosted services over the Internet. It refers to all the applications, programmes and data which are not stored on your local hard drive.

Cloud computing is when you no longer have bulky on-site servers, and your data is rather stored on servers in the third-party data centre. Or, when you don’t have to go out and buy a CD with the latest version of Microsoft Office™ to install on your computer -yes, that’s how we did it in the old days!

Examples of Cloud Computing

If you have a Google Account, you’re already using cloud computing. Gmail hosts your emails, while Google Drive stores all your docs, worksheets and a multitude of other files on Google’s servers around the world.
Similarly –and so as not to offend the Mac fans out there- iCloud is a cloud storage and computing service from Apple Incorporated. The name kind of gives it away.

These are both examples of the public cloud, where companies like Google and Apple have made their resources available to the general public.

Cloud Computing in Business

Common practice in businesses is to use private cloud computing. This is where a cloud environment (for example, data centre storage) which is only accessible by the organisation is created.

However, businesses may also use public cloud services or a hybrid cloud solution to harness the benefits of both. And when we say benefits, we mean it.

The top five benefits of cloud computing

The list is vast, but we have summed up what we think are the greatest benefits of cloud computing to business.

  1. Cost-effective and scalable. Capital expenditure is greatly reduced. Thanks for economies of scale, cloud providers can offer their clients affordable rates and even on-demand or pay-as-you-use models. Businesses also waiver operational and maintenance costs on machinery. Organisations now have unprecedented agility as they can add, remove or re-provision resourced easily and fast.
  2. Best of Breed resources. The resources that cloud providers make available are often of the highest quality and offer businesses increased performance at a fraction of the cost a business would incur to owning these resources themselves.
  3. Disaster Recovery and Service Level Agreements. Most cloud services include mirrored or backup storage, hardware maintenance and provisioning of services in robust service level agreements (SLAs). This gives companies peace of mind knowing that their data is in safe hands and readily available at the click of a mouse.
  4. Location independence and Flexible Migration. As you only need an Internet connection to access your information, employees can literally work from anywhere. Companies can also move workloads to and from the cloud as necessary, which goes hand-in-hand with the agility we spoke of earlier.
  5. Security. This point culminates all the points above. There are still a few sceptics in the world, but cloud computing actually has many security advantages. SLAs generally provision for data protection against loss of data. Without the need to procure and set up infrastructure, companies can better focus their IT human resources on constant security and encryption improvements.

Why the Last Mile Matters

The connection between your office or home to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and thus your Cloud Services, is known as the last mile. It goes without saying then, that your last mile connection can make-or-break your cloud setup.

Over and above Quality of Service and other factors to consider when choosing an ISP, you need to consider the type of Internet connection (ADSL, Wireless, Fibre) as well.

Fibre Is the First Choice For Last Mile Connectivity

We favour Fibre because it is simply the best last mile option around.

Fibre is:

  • The fastest last mile technology available
  • Invulnerable to theft, electromagnetic interference and the elements
  • Capable of transmitting massive amounts of data in nanoseconds
  • Highly reliable
  • Easy to upgrade

Tier 1 Internet Operators manage and maintain their networks entirely, which means that they have ultimate control over the performance and availability of their Fibre network. But you might be asking yourself, who actually controls the Internet? We’ll be exploring this topic in our next post, stay tuned!

Considering moving your business to the cloud, or want to know more about Cloud Enablement?

We’re here to help. Drop us a line and we’ll have one of our Fibre specialists on the case pronto.

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