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FutureLine is a range of cloud based solutions which includes FutureLine VoIP which is a new way to manage telephony. FutureLine VoIP is a range of Cisco phone systems that grows and changes with your business. You can Rent, Lease or Buy FutureLine VoIP solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

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What the heck is Cloud Computing ?

  
  

There is quite a lot of talk about Cloud Computing but one thing that we have noticed ( especially amongst our friends on various social networks ) is that very few people outside of IT geeks actually know what it is.

 

WARNING: THIS IS NOT FOR IT AND CLOUD GEEKS !!

 

Here at FutureLine ( the Cloud Computing part of Poundbury Systems ) we don't much like
" jargon " and do our best to talk to people in plain English as far as possible.  So here goes with our explanation of Cloud Computing and hopefully it will be pretty easy to understand.

Back in the old days  B.I. ( Before the Internet ! ) but A.P. ( After the PC ) you usually had your main computer ( your server computer ) on your premises and it ran whatever business software you used. If you were trying to access a server computer from another location
( say a branch office or home ) you used the phone lines to connect to it.

 

 

Server Computer

 

 

Along comes the Internet ( and Internet communications lines ) and then you could communicate with a  server computer over the Internet. 

 

 

So, then you get to the basic choice that you have today. Do you have your server computer and software off-site ( say in someone's data centre - a place where lots of server computers are housed ) OR do you have it on-site ( on your premises ).

 

 

Some servers and software have pretty well always been off-site but we don't really think much about it. For example your web ( site ) server is likely to be off-site as is your email server. Occasionally people have them on-site.

Servers and software that you are more likely to have on-site include Operating System software ( Windows ) and Microsoft Small Business Server and business applications like Microsoft Office.

So, Cloud Computing is basically about locating servers and software off-site as opposed to on-site.

When you are using servers and software on-site you expect the speed ( or performance ) of them to be excellent. You don't have to go and make a cup of tea after you type a few things. You have a very good " response time ".

When you locate servers and software off site all sorts of things can affect the speed/performance/response time. Some of these are :

  • The " size of your Internet connections ( Is it a big "pipe" like a leased line connection or is it a simple broadband connection ? )

  • The amount and type of " traffic " that you will be sending down that pipe and getting back - is it just data or pictures, voice and video ?

  • The type of connection. ( There are different ways of sending information down an Internet pipe )

  • The performance of the server and the way that it is connected to the Internet.

There are a number of quite well known " Cloud based applications " ( Software running on servers that are not based on your premises ) These include:

- Salesforce.com ( Customer Relations Software ). This is probably the world's most well known " Cloud based application " )

 



- Google Apps ( General Office Software ). Competes with Microsoft's Office.

 

 

 

Huddle ( Collaboration Software )

 

 

Hosted Telephony ( Like FutureLine Voip )

 

Here's a list of some more cloud based applications

http://www.knowledgetree.com/blog/2011/03/5/10-cloud-based-apps-give-mid-sized-companies-competitive-edge

 

 

Another area that you think about when deciding to go for " off-site" versus " on-site " is reliability, Resilience and Fault Tolerance.

Typically using servers and software on-site is pretty reliable - you don't lose the connection between the PC and your on site server very often. You or someone else might unplug a cable or switch off a power switch that causes loss of connection but it is rare.

Creating reliability, resilience and fault tolerance for a server located off-site is more of an issue. If there is a failure in part of the network then you may not be able to " route around it ".

 

 

One of the main reasons for the rise in the use of " Cloud Computing " is that of reduced costs. There is a lot to this subject that we will not go into here. Typically if you have an on-site server with software running on it you pay a " license fee " which can run into 10's or 100's of thousands of pounds.

Cloud Computing software is paid for on a " pay as you go " and " pay per user " basis. This makes it considerably lower cost.

 

The decision as to whether to go for an off-site ( Cloud based ) solution or an on-site ( on premises ) solution depends on your particular circumstances. At Poundbury andf FutureLine we provide either option.

 

 

Comments

There isn't a standard definition of cloud computing that is used by all service providers, but all definitions of cloud computing will include variations on the following three criteria: 
 
* Multi-tenant - Multi-tenant or shared infrastructure means that multiple companies, departments of a business, or user groups can all use these resources at the same time. 
* On demand usage - On demand or scalable usage is another way of saying that you only pay for what you use. If you have 5 users on a service one month, then you only pay for 5. If the next month you have 10, then you pay for 10 that month etc. Another way a cloud service can be scalable is by specific resources. 

Accessible through the Internet - As the Internet grows in both speeds and consistency, more and more businesses are relying on mission critical applications and data that they access through the Internet. This is another key item which defines something as a cloud-based service. 
 
In a true cloud-based computing model, end users may actually not even know where their data resides, as long as they know how to access it, that's all that matters. 
View more at: http://www.techyv.com/questions/what-cloud-computing-and-example
Posted @ Saturday, November 12, 2011 11:28 PM by Imran Lakhani
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