July 7, 2011 | By

Got Your Head in the Clouds?

I’m sure by now you’ve heard all the buzz about the “Cloud.” It’s becoming one of the hottest trends in the tech world and IDC predicts that server revenue in the private cloud will grow from $7.3 billion in 2009 to $11.8 billion in 2010 – a 62 percent growth. It seems that everyone is jumping into the cloud, but as mom would say, “if all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you too?”

Before we weigh the pros and cons let’s first take a look at what Cloud really means. According to WhatIs.com, Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic — a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access).

Basically, it’s a workload shift to web-based services. In-house computers and hardware no longer have to do the heavy lifting, network computers that make up the Cloud handle everything.

Now that you know what all the buzz is about, how do you decide if the Cloud is right for you? A recent ZDNet article weighs out some of the core benefits including, faster time to market since there is no need for new hardware or testing, less need for technical support, a significantly faster and easier upgrade process and the ability to pay only for services that you need.

With any new technology, IT departments and CEOs must carefully weigh the pros and cons of adopting the hottest new thing on the market, but based on market predictions, the Cloud will bring new services, flexibility and benefits to many.

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