Today we have more personal information on our cell phone than our grandparents could fit in their safe deposit box. When it comes to our business, the servers located at our workplace contain everything, and I mean everything, about our business including tax returns, accounting data, client information, contracts, order histories and other thousands of business documents. It gives us a sense of security when we can look over and see the “box” with our life’s work sitting somewhere in there. I can usually see the little bead of sweat start to form when I recommend a client moving all of that valuable information to “The Cloud”. I don’t blame them!
What is The Cloud anyway? It doesn’t sound very secure. Clouds are cute and fluffy and float around. They are barely even solid. You fly through them in airplanes. If it were so very secure, they would have named it The Iron Vault, or The Granite Castle… or something like that…but “the cloud”?To put it simply, the cloud is pretty much the same thing you have sitting on-site on your location, but sitting in a data center somewhere. As opposed to going to a “D Drive” you may go to an application, which travels over the internet to get that file. It works very much in the same way…with one big difference. Our on-site servers may be old, the operating system may be out of date, you may need security patches, your anti-virus may not be current, it may not be properly backed up and a million other potential issues. When you store information on the cloud, you are putting your valuable data in the hands of someone else. the good news is most of those places are pretty bad ass.
Here are some pictures of what many small business servers look like:
And that is if you are lucky! You might be more familiar with this:
Now….I want you to sit back, take a moment and look at a couple of the potential places your crucial, all important data is kept if you move to the cloud. As you watch the following video, think about the times you have had to “reboot” your server, or the electricity went out in your building.
As opposed to your server closet, this is the design behind the place that houses some of the data in the cloud:
Here is another quick video on one of Microsoft’s Data Centers:
At the end of the day, it is fully understandable why people are nervous about moving their critical business systems into the cloud, but their couldn’t be a safer place. As a matter of fact, even if you store you data in the cloud, the most unsafe place it would reside is on the computer sitting on your desk.