Cloud computing is the delivery of software applications and data from centralized data centers to local workstations via the internet or internal network. Although its a popular idea these days, it is a time tested solution. The primary benefit of cloud computing is the economy of scale it provides.
Imagine the cost, headaches and waste if you had to build your own coal-fired generator in your backyard to generate your own electricity. Thanks to our electrical grid, you simply have to plug in and you only pay for what you use. This is because the incredible expense of building and maintaining power plants, electrical lines and the fuel to drive it is spread across millions of consumers.
Cloud computing is very similar in that the infrastructure costs and manpower required to run a professional data center are spread across numerous companies, allowing each firm to only pay for their representative share of the costs.
Private, public or hybrid
Like most of the verbiage surrounding the IT industry, cloud structures can be confusing.
A private cloud is a centralized, internal data center used by a company's internal network only.
A public cloud is a data center that serves multiple companies through the internet.
A hybrid cloud is when a company combines both an internal private data center and public cloud.
The security and exposure risks are dependant on how each type of cloud is managed and not based upon being private or public. For example, information on a "public cloud" is not publicly available like property tax records - it simply means the hardware and infrastructure resources are being shared by additional companies.
A "private cloud" is not more or less secure by definition and is subject to the quality of its manager and its internal security policies. In many cases, larger public clouds are actually more secure due to having larger staff sizes and more resources dedicated to its security and operation.
We are a unique, hybrid cloud provider that leverages the cost savings and power of shared infrastructure assets, a hybrid delivery of tenanted and private applications and 100% private, non-commingled, data storage.
A hardware, or infrastructure, cloud is a centralized data center where a business pays a regular fee for the use of servers, bandwidth and other network hardware. This saves the business from large capital investments and the physical maintenance of expensive data center needs like hardware procurement, HVAC, redundant power, fire-suppression and other infrastructure costs. A good example of this is Amazon's cloud services.
Hardware clouds require companies to manage the remainder of their IT needs, limiting the cost advantage to the infrastructure alone. These are most commonly used by larger firms with dedicated IT departments that wish to treat their IT expenditure as an operating expense versus a depreciating asset expenditure.
A software cloud is a client-based or web-based software program that is hosted in a centralized data center and provided to the purchasing company's users through the internet. This is commonly called SaaS or Software as a Service. Salesforce.com is a good example of a cloud based application. These allow businesses to scale their use on the fly since they can add or remove users as their needs fluctuate and only pay for the users in the system.
This provides some cloud value but the business still needs to manage their other applications and their local hardware assets. In fact, there are some applications that we host that are more expensive per month at dedicated hosters than our entire desktop including the hosted software!
The ProCirrus Cloud
For the mid sized firm, hardware and software clouds do not offer the full savings and performance potential of cloud based computing as they require significant management and expenses for the other IT needs of the business.
ProCirrus offers a unique solution that combines all of the company's application needs into our ProZone Unified Desktop. In addition to the comprehensive desktop, ProCirrus manages the security and performance of the remaining local assets like workstations and business gateways through our ProManage service. And, last but definitely not least, we provide ongoing support with our included support department.
This potent combination allows the ProCirrus client to take advantage of the economy of scale and reliability of a hardware cloud with the scalability of a complete software cloud. For the first time, the small to mid-sized professional firm can have big corporation IT capability without the massive capital outlay or associated expenses. The ProCirrus cost structure is significantly lower on a per user basis than the national average of a large corporation's IT expenditure.