Cloud computing vs. an in-house server: the pros and cons

An effective and affordable plan for data storage is a requirement for businesses of all sizes. This is especially true in the case of small and medium-sized businesses, where margins are tighter than ever. Let’s take a look at cloud computing vs. a traditional in-house server solution.

Data storage, an essential need of the modern business

Is cloud computing the solution that fits SMBs the best? Data storage is a crucial concern for small and medium-size businesses. Modern commerce utilizes an increasingly digital set of software and recordkeeping tools, in addition to hosting email and file sharing. Traditionally, companies have relied on in-house, purchased hardware located on company property.

These solutions are known for their reliability and security, and continue to be chosen by many companies. Over the last decade, however, the emergence ofcloud computing solutions has presented a considerable challenge as an alternative with a large amount of advantages. These advantages in overhead, adaptability, and multi-platform support have allowed cloud storage to be the data plan of choice for half of the companies listed on the Fortune 500.

These advantages, however, may be even more marked in the case of small and medium-size businesses.

Streamlining your overhead 

There are a considerable number of arguments for cloud computing as the solution that fits SMBs the best; to employing cloud-based data storage, whether switching over from an in-house server or setting it up for a new business. A number of recent studies have shown that small businesses that utilize cloud systems enjoy a revenue advantage due to more efficient management of their IT resources.

The scale of this advantage depends, of course, on the quantity of information used and how it needs to be accessed, but they are universal to companies of nearly every type. The most obvious of these benefits is a reduction in overhead. Using a cloud computing system allows you to avoid costly infrastructure investments, staff time, and even the physical space required by an in-house server system.

In addition, maintenance is covered by the cloud provider, removing worries related to obsolete or malfunctioning equipment, saving you money as well as giving you peace of mind.

Scalability and accessibility

Cloud providers often offer a variety of packages tuned to the needs of your business, allowing you to scale your data plan to your company’s information requirements. This is especially true in the case of a new business, where flexibility is crucial. In-house servers require a significant initial investment, and the adaptability of cloud plans allow new business owners to adjust as the needs of the company expand.

Additionally, cloud computing storage is able to be used immediately, and often includes mobile and multi-platform integration. These features allow employees to access company data (with the proper encryption) from anywhere and easily exchange important files and communication with colleagues. Although it is always important to know and understand how your cloud data is protected, the security concerns traditionally associated with cloud computing have decreased substantially as innovation in cloud data protection continues to improve.

As an owner of a small or medium-sized business or prospective entrepreneur, cloud computing is well worth investigating, even if in-house servers still represent an important part of your backup strategy. To be sure, cloud backup and recovery can provide the same or even better protection than on-premises data protection options at a fraction of the cost.

Mozy – a smarter choice

Mozy Cloud Data Protection UK BDR

IT and communications provider BDR realised that it was not only their margins that would be looking good when they partnered with Mozy.  The team donned their Mozy T-shirts for a training day, where they learned more about Mozy’s award-winning cloud data protection and access solutions.

 
BDR is already seeing the benefits of joining the Mozy reseller programme.  To find out more about being a Mozy reseller, check out our dedicated partner portal.

What does ‘enterprise-ready’ mean?

What makes a cloud service “enterprise ready”?  Is it enterprise pricing models?  An enterprise sales team?  An enterprise mentality?

As more and more cloud service providers look to target enterprises with their offerings, the “enterprise-ready” question becomes increasingly important.  The ‘third platform’ (adopting cloud-based apps instead of traditional server-based solutions) is gaining traction within big business, as expected. But how do they find out which solutions are truly built to meet their needs?

At Mozy, we take our enterprise credentials seriously.  Sure, we offer a product that’s so simple to use that millions of individuals trust us with their data protection.  But we also have more than one hundred thousand businesses and one thousand enterprises who choose Mozy to protect their data.

Why?  Well, at Mozy, we believe that being enterprise ready is something that needs to permeate the whole of our business.  It means building world-class data centres that run on enterprise-grade hardware.  It means offering enterprise-level security at all stages of the backup process.  It means offering enterprise-quality support with dedicated resources 24x7x365.  It means enterprise control and administrative tools. It means being a part of  EMC, a global leader in data protection and availability solutions.  It means a hundred different things, not least of which is a commitment to excellence in compliance.

That’s why Mozy has long made SOC 1 SSAE 16 Type II examination and ISO 27001 certification a priority. Mozy is one of the only cloud data protection service providers to undertake these rigorous independent security assessments.  This sort of compliance exercise is completely voluntary and not something to be entered into lightly – we see it as a badge of honour and an external validation of our commitment to you, our valued customer.

So, what does ‘enterprise-ready’ mean? It means thinking at every turn about what enterprises need and going the extra mile to provide it.  Or, that’s what we think anyway.  Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Four key questions to ask your cloud provider

What questions should you ask before trusting your data to a cloud service?  Not all cloud services are the same and by not asking key questions up front, you can leave your business exposed.

 

To highlight what can happen when you trust people with your data without checking them out first, Mozy carried out a hidden camera experiment asking a series of strangers in a coffee shop to look after a laptop.  Find out what happened:

 

 

 

watch?v=QgKEcV0ZhQ0

 

What should our man have asked before trusting anyone with his data?

 

  • How long will you look after it?

Just as some of our participants only protected the data for a limited period of time, not all providers are in it for the long term. Find out how long the provider has been around and how committed to the market it really is.

  • Will you look at my data?

Some participants in the experiment thought the data on our laptop might be of value to them.  Some cloud providers will scrape your data to create anonomised information to sell on to advertisers.  Encryption and privacy commitments are essential here – make sure your cloud provider has them.

  • Will you leave my data vulnerable?

Some of the people in our experiment did very little to keep the data safe, leaving it unattended as they left the coffee shop and went about their business.  Some cloud providers don’t encrypt data and some take physical security more seriously than others.  Make sure that your cloud provider is storing your data on enterprise-class equipment, in tier 4 data centers and in an encrypted state at all times.

  • Can anyone take my data?

In the film, we saw someone take the computer they were trusted with but we also had people who let a computer be taken from them.  Data can be intercepted when using cloud services if the provider has failed to secure it.  Ensure that your provider offers end-to-end encryption and transfers data over an SSL connection.

 

For more advice on what to ask before choosing a cloud provider, check out this whitepaper from IDC.

Free Mozy Data Restores Available for Those Affected by Flooding

Contact: restores@mozy.com

We acknowledge the sensitivities of reaching out to customers at a time like this. In addition to our attempt to reach our customers affected by flooding in the UK and Ireland through other means, our reason for communicating in this way is the hope that, through word of mouth, the message will reach those who still have no access to power.

Mozy is offering free DVD restores for its online backup customers and resellers affected by the flooding in the UK and Ireland. The number to call is UK: 0808 234 3905 or Ireland: 1800 456 699 and the email is restores@mozy.com.

Although Mozy never charges customers or resellers to download their data restores from the web, natural disasters often interrupt Internet access. The alternative method to restoring data involves Mozy creating DVDs and mailing them directly to the customer. Mozy will absorb all DVD restore processing and shipping fees for individuals and businesses impacted by the floods in the UK and Ireland to assist them in getting back up and running as quickly as possible.

Mozy’s Crystal Ball

The future of cloud data protectionEach year, our boffins at Mozy put their sizable brains together to make some predictions about what the future holds for cloud data protection.  This year’s predictions feature everything from phablets to trust.

Businesses adopt people-centric approach to backup

Traditionally, businesses have looked to back up specific app data or devices but many of them are reconsidering their approach and putting data owners at the heart of the equation.  As knowledge workers increasingly want to access their data across multiple devices, protecting and restoring data is less about being able to take the data from one specific drive and restoring it to another and more about protecting all the data associated with an employee across devices and enabling them to restore it where they need it.

 

Phablets and hybrid tablet-laptops present new challenges

Just as businesses are getting on top of protecting the data that moves between laptops, tablets and smartphones, a new challenge comes along as more primary copies of data are generated in mobile applications on next-generation devices.  Endpoint backup will increasingly include requirements to protect devices that never see a corporate network.

 

Cloud sentiment ceases to inform cloud adoption

Polls suggest that large numbers of people remain skeptical about putting data in the cloud, yet adoption of cloud services continues to rocket.  We expect this trend to continue as increasing numbers realise that they need to get over their preconceptions about the cloud if they want to see the benefits it can bring.  Just as someone might feel uncomfortable with the idea of flying but still boards a plane in order to enjoy a holiday or visit loved ones, we are witnessing more and more organisations realise that the perceived risks of using the cloud are often unfounded and pale in comparison to the benefits.  Organisations that take their first steps on the path to the cloud often quickly move from deploying just one application to implementing many others.  The objections don’t vanish but they’re put in context and pragmatism prevails.

 

More VARs transform from backup resellers to cloud aggregators

Resellers who have made their first entry into the cloud market are broadening their horizons with wider portfolios of cloud services.  Developments in management solutions are empowering resellers with tools that allow them to monitor multiple cloud services from a single pane of glass.  This lightens the burden of management and means that resellers can stay on top of a package of solutions that they can offer to their end-user customers.  This all adds up to bigger sales and more margin.

 

Hybrid backup entrenches and evolves

In 2013, we saw growing numbers of businesses realize that their data protection strategy should include both public and private cloud solutions.  We expect this methodology to become entrenched through 2014.  We also see hybrid backup evolving so that the decision of what data is moved to the cloud is made using more intelligent criteria than simply ascertaining which device it’s primary copy is stored on.  Data on endpoints will be prioritised and sent to the most appropriate targets, whether that be flash, discs or the cloud.  Hybrid approaches to storage will also include hybrid devices and we expect to see more businesses backing up to private clouds

Built to last

Somewhere in an attic or a cellar most of us have a box full of audio cassettes or VHS tapes. You might even have 8-tracks, mini discs, Betamax tapes, and LaserDiscs.  They were all leading-edge technology when you bought them. You invested time, effort, and money in these various formats but, over time, they all became obsolete. To a certain extent, that’s natural but, when you have to invest time, effort, and money all over again on a new platform, it can be both frustrating and expensive. How many times do you have to buy the same Beatles album?

 

Cloud backup is reaching a tipping point, just like the one the home entertainment industry experienced. Established cloud backup providers who aren’t keeping up with changing customer tastes and technologies are seeing customers lured away by services offering exciting new features.

 

Mozy is built upon a foundation that enables us to evolve our service as we move into the future. Last summer, we enhanced the technology that underpins our industry-leading cloud backup service to launch a new, more flexible data protection and access platform. This enabled us to launch the next generation of Mozy a few weeks ago, adding new features such as Mozy Sync and tools for greater flexibility for mobile devices. Our goal has been simple: Future-proof our business by building on a foundation that allows us to bring the newest data protection and access features and services to our partners and customers—and at a faster pace.

 

Moving from one cloud provider to another can be just as frustrating as—and a lot more expensive than—rebuilding your music collection again. That’s why it’s key for businesses to take the time to evaluate potential cloud partners carefully. Price and features are important, but so are sustainability, longevity, security, scalability, and many other criteria.

 

To help businesses whose backup providers have closed their services, Mozy is providing access to a free IDC white paper that offers advice on how to select a replacement.

 

There’s one reason Mozy is doing all this: We’re your partner in the cloud for the long haul.

 

Mozy Then and Now Infographic

The world of computing has changed unrecognisably since Mozy launched its first online backup service in 2006. Check out what’s happened and how Mozy has responded in this infographic.

Infographic

Next Generation of Mozy Boldly Goes into New Areas of Cloud Data Protection

Star Trek: The Next Generation launched in 1987 – more than 10 years before Google was founded, four years before the first GSM-based mobile phone was built and 13 years before the iPad. Yet the creators of the show had the vision for characters to communicate with mobile devices, search their computers for information about anything and interact with them using touch-screen technology.

 

Today, we’re all “Next Generation” workers. Sure, we may not be beaming about exploring strange new worlds where we seek out new life and new civilizations, but many of us work long distances from our corporate offices, at home, at customer sites and on the move.  We all carry mobile devices, whether they’re smartphones, tablets or laptops, and we expect to be able to work across them accessing files and tools.

 

But this brings with it two huge challenges for IT departments to balance: How can they enable this style of working without compromising security; and how can they protect the information that is created on those devices – especially if they’re part of a BYOD program.

 

Next-generation workers require a next-generation cloud-based data protection service – and that’s what we’re announcing today.

 

Earlier this year, we talked about the introduction of new technology underpinning the Mozy business that radically changed the way that we think about data, enabling us to put people, instead of machines, at the heart of our methodology.  Today, we’re unveiling the new features that we’ve been able to build on top of that. Together, they offer a faster, easier-to-manage service with additional tools to help make customers more productive and further options for how to buy from us.

 

There are three new feature sets in the next-generation Mozy service:

 

  1. 1.     Greater cloud administrative tools for Enterprise IT

Enhanced storage management saves time and money involved in provisioning and managing backup at a device level.

 

  1. 2.     Enhanced End User Experience

An integrated Mozy Sync folder keeps files updated and available across multiple computers and mobile devices. Mozy also introduces new functionality, which ensures faster initial backup times and greater bandwidth efficiency when backing up large files.

 

  1. 3.     New Partner Resources

New API support allowing partners and resellers to integrate with their preferred Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) or Professional Services Automation (PSA) systems.

In addition, MozyEnterprise® now becomes the public cloud component within the EMC Data Protection Suite, which allows customers and partners to mix and match the usage of individual products to best fit their requirements, while lowering their total cost of ownership and providing investment protection. This means EMC customers and partners can extend their individual Protection Storage Architectures to include cloud data protection and access tools for desktops, laptops, mobile devices and remote offices.

 

Without a business-wide data protection strategy that includes backup, access and personal sync, people typically take matters into their own hands, adopting disparate, unconnected, often consumer-grade solutions to meet their immediate needs.  This can quickly lead to “accidental architectures” that are, at best, difficult to manage and monitor, and can put business-critical data at risk.

 

The next-generation Mozy service offers an alternative to businesses by enabling them to consolidate their cloud backup, access and personal sync into one service that provides industry-leading administrative functionality.  And, now that MozyEnterprise is part of the EMC Data Protection Suite, it’s even easier for organizations to build their public cloud solution into a holistic approach to their backup business wide.

 

We’re launching the next generation of Mozy services to boldly go into new areas of data protection – and we want you to come with us.  To find out more, visit our next-generation website, also launched today.

 

 

Mozy is fully compatible with Mac OS X Mavericks!

Mozy now works seamlessly with OS X Mavericks.  Now you can combine the advantages of the new Mac OS features with the peace-of-mind that comes with Mozy backup, including:

  • Access to any file anywhere at any time through Mozy web, mobile, and tablet apps
  • Confidence that your files are safe even if your local Time Machine drive fails
  • Premium security, optionally coupled with FileVault encryption
  • Even faster initial uploads of large files with Mozy’s enhanced resuming features

Download the newest Mozy Mac Client today for Mavericks compatibility and all the newest Mozy features and enhancements.