Watch the excerpts from our cloud computing lunch and learn to learn the basics about cloud computing from a business owner’s perspective.
Cloud applications have been around for years. The first application I used was a hosted email back in the 1990s. Online banking is an example of cloud computing. Other examples are hosted applications like QuickBooks or Salesforce.com. Those applications have been served over the Internet for many years.
Many of you in this room laugh when you see the slide of a crowded server closet because you see yourself in it. Some of our larger clients may have nicer looking server racks but they still have servers on premise.
Before the cloud the traditional IT model for servers was you buy and you maintain the hardware and software it uses. You either have internal staff or a company like MyITpros that supports it for you.
If we were going to spin up four servers and a firewall for you in our data center, we could literally do it in less than an hour. In that amount of time it would be able to receive applications and data and have a fully functioning, updated Windows server ready for the application installs. There’s time involved in installing the applications, moving your data, getting your users connected. That’s all going to be about the same.
Historically, there was the mainframe era. Which was the predominant computing model for about three or four decades. Then in late 1970s, early 1980s, the PC era was born. First desktops on peer-to-peer networks, then desktops and servers were what we called client server networks. Through many iterations for the last 30 or 40 years we’ve been in the PC era.
Those of us in the industry know – and we’re here to share with you today – cloud computing, the new technology era, is already under way. There are a lot of businesses like yours that are in the cloud now and it’s a fundamental change we predict is going to drive us for the next 20 years.
Electricity is a great analogy for cloud computing. In 1851, in a field in upstate New York, manufacturer Henry Burden had a factory. Like all the factories at that time, they needed electricity to run their manufacturing operations. So this was Burden’s wheel. It would put out about 500 Hp. and generated enough electricity to run – through a complex series of gears and pulleys and wires – the tools needed to run his manufacturing.
Fast forward about 50 years and that wheel was rotting in the fields. Of course it was the advent of electricity as a utility which caused that to happen. Because companies no longer had to produce their own power and it became a competitive necessity to get connected to the electric grid.
In the 1960s, a hard drive was selling for $60,000-85,000 and it was huge. They had to fork lift it up onto a PanAm airplane. Those hard drives were state of the art at a whopping 10 Mb. When I started with MyITpros, I remember a 10 Mb hard drive was around $2,000.
I hope none of you guys were needing a 160GB hard drive, because I pulled it out of the room next to my office last night but I’ll bring it back. It’s a lot less than $85,000. It is 16,384 times the space of that $85,000 1960s hard drive. Currently, there are little thumb drives that you can attach to your computer that are bigger than this. This is 96,000 times the space of the 1960s hard drive.
If you have a trusted advisor, a provider who helps you make the right choices as technology evolves, then you’re ahead of the game. At least 50 percent of people understand what the cloud is and think it’s important to their business. So what’s the cost of doing nothing? Well it all depends. Depends on whether cloud servers, cloud backup, cloud mail, cloud applications is right for you or not. But if it is right for you, some of the consequences of doing nothing is you’re spending a lot more on IT than you should.