Amazon Web Services, the global cloud computing company which powers the Amazon online retail website and hundreds of thousands of other businesses, opened its first data centres in Sydney late last year.
BoxFreeIT asked Amazon why businesses should consider moving their servers to the AWS cloud. This edited list of reasons to use the cloud was written by AWS’ Simon Elisha, principal solution architect.
1. Stop managing hardware and just manage your business
It’s a very uneasy feeling when your aging server in the cupboard stores all your key business data. You know you have to upgrade it, but don’t have time – and can’t bear the thought of it breaking down!
When you host your file server in the cloud, you never worry about buying or managing hardware again. All of the physical hosting, maintenance and lifecycle management is handled for you. You still retain complete control over how your server works and the data you store on it.
2. Buy storage when you need it – instantly
When you bought your hardware server it had a 1TB drive and you thought it would be plenty! But suddenly you have a whole selection of PowerPoint presentations, product photos, accounting reports – and not much free space.
Cloud services can give you can any amount of storage immediately. Need to add 500GB? It’s just a click away. Need 10 TB? It’s still just one click away. Plus the cloud makes it easy to backup your data. Create instant snapshots of your data and save them in highly protected, long-term cloud storage.
If you need to store data for a very long time there are cloud services which can store your data at just 1 cent per gigabyte per month.
3. Make your IT systems grow with your business
For your business to succeed you need more customers and new markets. But what if your IT system on which you have built your business cannot grow too?
Physical IT systems require business owners to guess how much hardware they will need in a few years. They either overspend precious capital by buying too much or buy too little and have to stack on supplementary systems.
In the cloud, increasing the power of a server takes less than 5 minutes. You can start with a small virtual server, easily move to a medium size and then larger – all with a few clicks. And you only pay for the size you actually use.
4. Access your information anywhere
Today, work is what you do – not where you are. So people need to be able to access data from anywhere. By putting your file server in the cloud, it is more easily accessible from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet.
There are many cloud solutions that synchronize data between devices whether they are iPhones, iPads, Android devices, laptops etc.
5. Be protected by first-class security
It is always important to consider the security of your corporate and customer information. For many businesses, this is an afterthought but for brand-name cloud companies it is the number one priority. AWS looks after the physical security of the infrastructure including data centres, servers, network and storage.
More importantly at Amazon’s scale, it allows significantly more investment in security policing and countermeasures than almost any companies could afford themselves. You can focus more on who can access your data and which data should be encrypted.
6. Enjoy the latest technology
Upgrading a server to the latest operating system often makes a lot of sense. It gives you access to features, functions and security capabilities. But the process of setting up and migrating can be a real hassle.
In the cloud you can create a new server with any type of operating system in a matter of minutes. And it’s easy to move to the latest version.
For example, you can create the latest Windows 2012 Server in minutes.
7. Advice on strategy, not hard drives
Once they start using a cloud platform your IT services company no longer has to procure hardware, handle disk failures or any of the other “fiddly” hardware elements that can become time consuming and expensive.
Instead they can help you plan how to use IT to improve your business.