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AZ White Mountains Podcast

May 15, 2015

The dust is settled and the windows are trimmed, it is time to unveil the brand new Business Solutions store to the Mountain.


Listen and get all the details of the stores champaign opening May 15th.


Click for Business Solutions


Putting the Cloud to work for Your Business.

Is Cloud the right solution for my business?

While there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” solution, the reality is: EVERY BUSINESS is going to be using Cloud Computing sooner or later.  It’s NOT a trend.  It’s the next step—the next level of computing power, data security, workforce mobility and productivity— and of course: IT cost control.


Choosing the right Cloud solutions (not to mention: IT support, devices, software, hardware) for your business comes down to determining what you need today and what you will need tomorrow.  Our team of technology experts will sit down with you, answer your questions, provide insight on new technologies, and help you to determine what makes sense for your business.


What is Cloud Computing?

“Cloud computing” refers to the use of computing resources (e.g. files, apps, software) that are available to you on an on-demand basis via the Internet. This is in contrast to conventional on-premise IT, where your company runs its applications exclusively on its own internal infrastructure—including servers, storage, networks, firewalls, load balancers and other hardware.  Have you watched our short video explaining Cloud Computing yet?  If not, click here to learn more.


What is a Cloud Platform?

Depending upon your needs, a “Cloud platform” might be a component of your overall Cloud Computing solution.  Cloud platforms provide access to a variety of fabulous “on demand” services that can be used immediately to address specific business needs—or configured to create content applications just for you— all within a browser. Cloud platforms offer numerous time- and cost-saving advantages over on-premises software systems while providing much greater adaptability, allowing the user to evolve and refine the system as needs change or expand.


Why is Cloud a better model than installing and maintaining an on-premise servers and software systems?

It's simple. No hardware to buy. No software to install. No huge upfront fees. No need to retain a large IT staff. No worries about downtime, backups, or recovery. Just log into your browser and you're there.


What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud Storage is today’s new and (vastly) improved storage method for your data. From music files to pictures to sensitive documents, the Cloud invisibly backs up your files and folders and alleviates the potentially endless and costly search for extra storage space as you grow.  An alternative to buying an external hard drive or deleting old files to make room for new ones, Cloud storage is convenient and cost-effective.  


Of course not all Cloud storage/backup solutions are created equal.  With us, however, you can rest assured that your files are safe on a highly secure server at our Tier III Data Center.  There they wait—password protected—and always accessible to you via the Internet—rather than sitting isolated on your local hard drive (which is vulnerable to all sorts of issues including theft, damage, and corruption.)


What are these new fancy technology acronyms: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS?

You might have heard of the 3 fundamental layers or service models that the industry uses, each one supports the individual user and their particular needs: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  Here are more details:


1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service or SaaS is one you’ve probably come across the most, even though you might not know it. In this model, the programs are already built and the vendor would simply grant access to you. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on your own computers, which simplifies maintenance and support.


A prime example of this service would be Gmail. You would not install or maintain Gmail. Rather, the provider gives you access to this application and all you have to do is sign up with a username and password. In a SaaS model, almost everything is managed by the vendor.


2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service or PaaS is a variation of SaaS. Vendors provide prebuilt program libraries that you can use to tweak and build an application, giving you a little more control of the application. Let’s use Lego® as a metaphor.


Lego provides the building blocks or the prebuilt programs supplied by the vendor. Everyone’s blocks look the same; however what you end up with could be different from another user. You have the ability to build something slightly more customized to address your needs, within the constraint of the Lego blocks or the program you subscribe to


3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

If the Lego structure was the PaaS, then the shelf that displays the Lego structure is the Infrastructure as a Service or the IaaS model. With this Cloud model, the vendor provides you the shelf, or rather the environment to host or build your applications. As well, you are in full control of what you want to build on the shelf to make it totally unique. You can also enjoy the economies of scale with IaaS, choosing to scale up or down based on how much capacity you require. This is a good fit for businesses that are seasonal or perhaps have fluctuations in the number of projects they work on throughout the year.


Where do we host data? (About our Data Center)

Our data hosting facility was designed and built to International Tier III standards—that’s like military grade protection.  With us your data is protected in a State-of-art Fortress. 


Isolated and highly secure power supplies with backup generators, which are located away from main building

Multi-path high bandwidth data communications providing redundancy via multiple service providers

N+1 Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) system– monitored for temperature and humidity at our NOC

Dispersion System

Fire suppression system using FM200 Inert Gas

Hurricane-proof to withstand Category 5

Earthquake-resistant –classified as a Category 4 structure

Hot – Cold aisle containment to maximize cooling efficiency

Diverse PDUs backed by high capacity UPS