The universal adoption of the term ‘cloud’ still amuses me, and I am pretty sure some people still think their holiday snaps are floating around in the sky, just waiting to be accessed by a phone, tablet or computer. While it is a romantic notion, the reality is that photos, documents, contacts, etc. are securely stored on a server in large data centre made from bricks and mortar not wisps of water-filled air.
A data centre is like a massive filing cabinet, but rather than opening it with a key, an internet connection, passwords and encryption protection are the way in and businesses are using these to store their data and run their IT applications, such as telephony, security, CRMs, etc.
The beauty of using a cloud product is there is no capital expenditure required for hardware. You usually pay a monthly fee or subscription for these services. For instance, I pay for Apple Music rather than buying CDs anymore. I get a full choice of music without having to find space in my home for CDs and I don’t have to worry about looking after them. This is a very basic comparison, but it is just the same for business services. There is no need to care for hardware; it will be constantly updated to fight off the latest security threats and to gain extra features, and it does not take up valuable real estate space.
Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc. all have multiple massive data centres that create public clouds. None of us really worry about where these data centres are, as long as we can still access what we want.
Making the decision to move your business systems into a public cloud is a big one, but one many have already embarked on with Office 365. Again, no more buying disks; just a simple online subscription service. The next stage of the journey is often the telephone system. Whereas we have seen plenty of businesses move to a cloud-based, pay-per-user service, especially with the ISDN switch-off due in 2025, it does not appeal to all.
By investing in our own data centre, we have been able to offer a private cloud service. Telephone systems are cared for by our engineers in our secure and resilient environment with links to multiple network carriers to guarantee 99.99% uptime. Multiple sites can link to a telephone system hosted in our data centre so they all operate as one unified corporate group, no matter how geographically dispersed they are.
Similarly, businesses co-locate their servers in our data centre for the same reasons. Their IT staff look after their servers, but the hardware is not taking up precious office space or incurring the costs of air conditioning, power and security. They simply use our data centre as their off-site comms room.
Your business may be taking tentative steps into the cloud. If you have any concerns about a public cloud service, then why not consider a private hosting facility?
You do not need to be located on its doorstep; internet connectivity is all you need. However, if you ever wanted to make the trip to see your telephone system, for instance, and meet the staff that look after it, you would be very welcome! Our data centre is the cloud you can touch... because you know where it is and who runs it.
You can read more about a data centre-hosted telephone system in our case study with The Bradfords Group and can find out more about our data centre facility here.