Back to Basics on How to Use the Cloud

It is clear that cloud computing is becoming the norm in many of today's industries. Businesses have either already implemented a cloud environment or are anticipating purchasing one in the future. Using cloud resources can seem foreign and ambiguous, but it can be simple and painless if you prepare for it. These are three steps that guide you through the basics of how to use the cloud.

1. Determine which type of cloud suits your needs

There are three types of cloud environments: public, private and hybrid. The difference between the three is the degree of privacy for your infrastructure. A public cloud environment is one that shares storage among multiple users. This means that the place your data is physically stored in also stores the data from other users. A private cloud environment stores only your data in the physical space. The third type, hybrid cloud, is a combination between public and private.

The first step to how to use the cloud is to determine how you wil be using your cloud environment. Will you be using it for email? Storage? Disaster recovery? Once you know how you're going to use your cloud, you can calculate how much of each type of environment you need. Partnering with a cloud service partner that can work through this phase with you will help guarantee that your software and hardware needs are met.

2. Address any additional applications you need

Your cloud service partner will provide a list of applications that they offer their customers. If there are specific applications that you use in your business currently that you would like to move to your cloud environment, address these concerns with your cloud service partner. Their technical team can generally help you configure your software to migrate them to your new environment.

Write out which applications you are currently using and what they are being used for. Creating a list of these can be used as a reference when you meet with your cloud service partner to determine which applications you will need to host in your cloud environment. This is a way to make sure that your cloud resources meet your needs and helps you cloud service partner give you a better cloud experience.

3. Discuss your current infrastructure

Cloud providers are moving to a bring your own hardware (BYOH) model that allows you to utilize your current infrastructure. This is an opportunity for your business to save money by reducing or eliminating the need for new infrastructure and continuing use of hardware with which your technical team is already familiar. Making the transition as simplistic as possible helps your team adjust to the changes that will be taking place.

Knowing what you are currently using or, better yet, bringing your CTO with you, will give your cloud service partner a clearer picture of what your current usage is and what your technical team is prepared to maintain. Clearly communicating your technical team's strengths and weaknesses assists your cloud service partner by giving them a better idea about your team's comfortability level.

Revisiting the basics of how to use the cloud is an important reminder for new and experienced users alike. For experienced users, it is an opportunity to reassess their cloud environment and determine whether it is meeting their needs. For a new cloud user, it is a means to ensure they create an environment that is exactly what they need. Whether you're a new or experienced cloud user, considering the basics of cloud could be exactly what you need to make sure you are receiving and providing a quality customer experience.

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