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How does the Cloud work?

Critical to many business processes, the Cloud has become an established part of modern IT. Many of us rely on the Cloud for mission-critical processes – but how does it actually work?

Going beyond a single computer

Take the PC on your desk – the hardware and software operate together as a self-contained unit. You may be able to store files on a server somewhere else on the company network, but the majority of the processing work is done on that PC.

When the hard drive is filled, or the processing load is too heavy, the PC reaches its physical limits. Performance slows or stops until the hardware is upgraded, or the whole computer is replaced with a more powerful replacement.

Maximising resource usage

As computer hardware has become more powerful, and the need to better protect data has increased in importance, many businesses now use virtual servers for key operations.

Virtual servers look and act just like a traditional computer, but there are multiple instances installed on the same hardware. Virtual servers share the storage and processing power, ensuring you get the maximum performance from the physical hardware. The virtual approach also allows your business to move and back-up servers quickly and easily because it is not tied to the physical hardware itself.

The Cloud – super-sized virtualisation

The Cloud takes the concept of virtualisation to the next level. Instead of installing multiple virtual servers onto a single physical unit, hundreds of thousands of virtual servers are deployed into vast server farms that themselves contain thousands of physical machines.

Microsoft Azure takes this Cloud concept even further, sharing virtual servers across datacentres that are spread across the world. This distributed approach ensures that your applications and data are available whenever, and wherever required.

The Cloud platform also allows you to use more resources whenever you need. If your hosted application hits a processing peak, the pooled resources of the Cloud takes up the slack, giving you additional power whenever you need it. And once the peak in demand has passed, you can scale back again – all without buying any additional upgrades or hardware for your own datacentre.

Using virtualisation, the Cloud is specifically designed to help your business grow its IT and improve protection against data loss. To learn more about how to use the Cloud to help your business meet the data processing challenges of the future, give us a call.

Read about our Cloud Solutions here.

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