Cloud Services

What is the Cloud?

“The cloud” refers to servers that are accessed over the Internet, and the software and databases that run on those servers. Cloud servers are located in data centers all over the world. By using cloud computing, companies do not have to manage physical servers or run software applications on their machines.

The cloud enables users to access the same files and applications from almost any device.  The computing and storage take place on servers in a data center, instead of locally on the user’s device. This is why a user can log in to their Instagram account on any phone or computer and find their account with all their photos, videos, and conversation history. It works the same way with cloud email providers like Gmail or Microsoft Office 365, and with cloud storage providers like Dropbox or Google Drive.

For businesses, switching to cloud computing removes some IT costs and overhead: for instance, they no longer need to update and maintain physical servers. The cloud vendor they are using will do that. This especially makes an impact on small businesses that may not have been able to afford internal infrastructure. They can now outsource their infrastructure needs affordably to the cloud.

Is the Cloud right for your business?

TAB offers many technologies that are cloud-based to effectively improve our client’s operations.

PatrolDOG Web-Defense is a DNS filter that operates in the cloud to filter dangerous websites that your employees may be tricked into going to. It is also a way to improve your Internet bandwidth performance by not having the on-premise firewall perform this function.

PatrolDOG Mail-Defense is an email filter that keeps dangerous emails from getting to users’ mailboxes by blocking them in the cloud.  It also acts as a disaster recovery solution that allows users to send & receive e-mail even if the on-premise server is down.

PatrolDOG MDR is an active monitor, detect, and response cloud-based security tool that secures your servers and PC. It also improves your NIST, PCI, and HIPPA compliance requirements.

PatrolDOG D2C is a direct-to-cloud backup solution that backs up your system without additional hardware—securely backing up data from a remote location, the office, or a hybrid setup.

Our HandsFree Backup technology is a cloud-based backup service that backs up your critical system every hour with a secure encrypted image to the cloud that can be rapidly deployed on-premise or in the cloud should you have an IT disaster.

Microsoft 356 is a cloud-based email, storage, and application service that can eliminate the need for an on-premise exchange server.  Your business may benefit from this approach to e-mail.

DUO 2FA/Multi-factor Authentication is a cloud-based service that confirms you are who you say you are by communicating your request to access a company resource using a secondary login authentication. Typically through an app on your smartphone.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud is somewhat like a hybrid car. Hybrid cars combine two distinct technologies: an engine that burns gasoline and electric power. Each technology functions differently, and each one has its benefits and drawbacks. However, when the two are combined effectively, the result is a car that is more efficient than most gasoline-only cars and more powerful than most all-electric cars. Similarly, a hybrid cloud solution combines the benefits of multiple types of cloud environments for greater efficiency and functionality.

Hybrid clouds have several uses. An organization may use its private cloud for select proprietary services and its public cloud for standard services.  They could also use their public cloud as a backup for their private cloud. The public cloud can also be used to handle periods of high demand while keeping most operations within their private cloud.

What are the advantages of using a hybrid cloud in your business?

  • Flexibility: Hybrid clouds make it easier to switch to a different level of cloud deployment. For instance, if a business decides to move to an exclusively public cloud deployment, it will be simpler if some business processes or storage already exist in a public cloud.
  • Wider variety of technology: Using a public cloud, a business can include technology that isn’t practical to run in a private cloud, such as big data processing.
  • Backups to avoid downtime: If one cloud crashes or breaks, a company can rely on the other cloud, avoiding service interruptions. This type of redundancy is also an advantage of multi-cloud deployments but you are now maintaining and paying for two services.
  • Meet spikes in demand: A company can run most of its processes in a private cloud, and then use a public cloud for extra computing power to handle a sudden spike in workload – such as when far more users than normal access an eCommerce site during Black Friday. This strategy is known as cloud bursting because a workload “bursts” from one cloud to a larger cloud.
  • Potential cost savings: Maintaining an internal data center, such as a private cloud, can be expensive and resource-intensive. By moving some operations to a public cloud, an organization doesn’t have to maintain as much infrastructure on-premise, cutting down on costs but will incur costs to “rent” these services from the cloud provider.
  • Keep sensitive data on-premise: Some organizations handle sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, healthcare information, or financial data. Keeping such data on-premise gives a company much more control over the security measures that guard sensitive data. In a hybrid cloud deployment, an organization can keep sensitive data in a secure private cloud, and then use a public cloud for running the rest of their applications.

What are the Drawbacks of using a hybrid cloud?

  • Greater attack surface: Whenever network infrastructure becomes more complex, there is a greater chance that an attacker will find a vulnerability to exploit. A single cloud – say, a private cloud on-premise – can have strong security protections in place. But if multiple cloud vendors are used, not all vendors have the same level of security.
  • More complex integrations: The connection and orchestration between different kinds of clouds are crucial. Thus, there are more steps to setting up a hybrid cloud compared to deploying a single public cloud or a single private cloud, since the connecting technology – such as a VPN – has to be set up and maintained too.
  • Complicated to secure: While an on-premise private cloud runs behind the company firewall, a hosted private cloud or public cloud does not. A company may need to use multiple security products, some for their on-premise cloud and some for their public cloud, to keep their data safe. In addition, it can be tricky to validate a user’s identity across multiple clouds.

Trying to understand how your company’s operations can benefit from using the Cloud?  Contact TAB today and see how nearly 40 years of IT experience can help your business succeed in today’s complicated IT environments. Schedule a free consultation.