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What is the Cloud? ProSource Explains

What is the cloud? What makes each one different? Our Director of Business Development, Matthew Mulcahy, explains.

Posted on · Last updated on

Cloud. Cloud.

Cloud. Cloud.

Cloud. Cloud. Cloud. Cloud.

Just last week, I was at a conference and I took all these pictures.

About 75% of the vendors were professing the cloud

was the differentiator in their product and why you should use it.

And I wanted to talk to that like a 50,000 ft.

view about what the cloud is.

The first thing you have to understand are the three prevalent

types of cloud in the market right now.

The first being the public cloud.

You see AWS on the NFL, Amazon Web Services,

Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud, are the three large public cloud providers.

The public cloud just essentially means you can create an account

and start building your cloud right off the bat.

So publicly accessible and very easy to get started.

Private clouds are generally bespoke and tailor-built.

So this is your company investing in a data center

or building their own private cloud, or working with a third party vendor to

leverage a cloud resource that they have, that they’ve privately built.

And the last is the hybrid cloud.

So taking the best of both worlds from the public and private and combining those.

The industry verbiage right now is HCI,

which is hyper converged infrastructure, which is basically using virtualization

to create a singular platform while pulling in the best of public

and private worlds to really build the most resilient cloud

architecture possible.

So these are the three types of cloud right now, with hybrid being the most

prevalent deployment model.

Some of the core benefits you should be realizing

when using the cloud are security.

Many of these platforms have on-platform security

that natively integrates with workloads that you’re running in the cloud.

Just because you’re using the cloud does not mean you are more secure.

That’s a big misconception that I see everywhere,

and that’s something you have to understand when evaluating

providers is: understanding the security controls that are in place

and the available options to you to, you know, build your own controls.


These cloud providers have spent a lot of money building their cloud

environments, and generally they have very strong continuity options.

Geographical redundancies: if there’s an outage in one region,

you can easily set up a system where it spins up your workloads

in a different region to make your resources continually available.


the ease to really change things within

the cloud is very strong and add new services or remove services.

It’s extremely flexible,

especially in the public cloud, because they’ve invested so much money

and there’s so many services within these cloud portfolios.

And then scalability: really using the cloud

for what you needed at any given time, whether that’s going up or going down.

The ability to scale is a very, very strong benefit because

gone are the days where, hey, we added 20 users, we need to buy a new server.

I’m waiting for that server to come in, procure it and deploy it — it’s

just a couple of clicks in any of these cloud providers nowadays

because they already have that headroom for you to grow.

Some of the key takeaways

you should get from this are: Not all cloud solutions are the same.

Understand what you’re getting when you buy into the cloud with any given vendor.

Be wary of vendors pushing the cloud as the reason to use their product.

They’re trying to trick you in a lot of cases, and

just because they’re using the cloud doesn’t mean

they’re realizing those cloud benefits,

and it doesn’t mean your business is going to realize those cloud benefits.

So just be wary and make sure you do your due diligence.

You know, when we’re talking about the cloud

and using the cloud that vendors are providing,

you still have an obligation

to secure that data that you’re putting in those clouds.

So the risk still lies with you.

Even if you’re taking your customers’ data and putting it in your application,

which is in the vendor cloud, your obligation to secure and back

that data up is still on you.

So make sure you know your obligations to your customers

and internally your own security practices.

You know, we spend about 15 to 20 hours a week filling out security questionnaires

on behalf of our customers.

So we always encourage our customers when looking at vendor-provided clouds,

to give them a security question to make sure

their baseline is at least the same, if not better than yours.

And last but not least, you know, have a line

of questioning to ask all your vendors to compare them on the same

playing field.

So I just wanted to quickly touch on, you know,

what is the cloud, what you should be realizing from the cloud.

And some of the key takeaways when evaluating cloud technologies.

If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me a message.

All my contact info is in the description below and so is the info for ProSource.

But I hope this helped you get a basic understanding

of the cloud, the types of clouds,

and some of the key features you should be realizing.

Thanks so much for watching and have a great day.

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