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Move to the Cloud

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Brad Ruben, President Archway Computer

When highways first began to dominate America, one of the many industries to see record profits was the moving industry. The cause is obvious: once people start to see that they have options about the way they operate, they want to take advantage, and anyone who allows them to do so more easily definitely stands to profit.

I believe the same principle applies to the global superhighway known as the Internet. See, once upon a time, your choice of places for your network to live were extremely limited...in fact, most people just stayed where they were born for their entire lives, no matter how bad the neighborhood got.

For example, when Microsoft announced they were abandoning support for Windows XP, most companies within the Microsoft-dominated marketplace were stuck between two options: upgrading their PCs to the new Windows 7 or buying new machines pre-loaded with the new OS (and repeating the process every time Windows felt like milking the cow in either case). To make matters worse, upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 is actually two separate upgrades, from XP to Vista, then on to 7, which is intentionally set up as a tedious process in the hopes that users will just throw up their hands and buy new Windows 7 computers.

However, to go back to the original analogy, everything changes when there's a way out.

The exciting new option is to have the ideal machine built just for you in the cloud. No, this isn't some steampunk science-fiction fantasy, the innovation that's making waves across the computing industry is the rise of virtual machines through the magic of the Internet. With virtual machines, all you have to do is connect to your database with an Internet-capable device, including mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and the full functionality of a Windows 7 computer is right at your fingertips.

If that sounds like it pretty much makes the traditional desktop setup obsolete, that's because it does, for all intents and purposes. Moving your server to the cloud is easy and offers extreme versatility without you having to put out a penny for infrastructure costs, so it's easy to see why more and more companies are seeking out assistance with making the big jump.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of strong players in this brand new moving game, including VMWare who really based their whole business on virtualization as well as established juggernauts like Amazon, who somehow found time to do this along with delivering groceries and building infinite digital libraries. Even Microsoft is making a last bid to keep its throne by announcing a move into this space.

There's a lot of information floating around about moving to the cloud, but here's what I can tell you for a fact: if you're considering buying a server for your network, don't. There are some good reasons to for you to own a physical server, but most of them are even better for the people selling you the server. Always get an independent opinion about the right sourcing solutions for your network.

Another thing is to be careful of who you trust with your relocation. Just like with a physical relocation, going with the wrong provider could be your worst move of all. Don't go with an unestablished vendor to host your network online, because if it goes down, so does all your data. It's always a good bet to go with proven commodities like an Amazon or VMWare when taking such an important step into the future.

If you're looking into getting new workstations, get all the information you can about their compatibility with cloud-based networking solutions. Vertafore has an offering available through Amazon, and VMWare supports the growing Google ChromeBook family, which just added a line of desktops to its affordable and internet-optimized ranks, so it's also worth taking a look at.

Of course, all of this moving is a prelude to the ultimate destination, browser-based computing. Soon, the day of the OS will be dead, and that means serious problems for Microsoft. You don't even have to look far to see the writing on the wall, with the top 6 laptop sellers all being ChromeBooks and the top desktop machine being, you guessed it, a ChromeBase. It's becoming more and more clear that one day soon, we'll all have devices that simply connect us to the Internet and let it work its magic from there...we sure won't have to buy a new version of Windows for that.

 

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