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03 Jan 2016

Why do I need a smart cloud when I have a free cloud?

The hype and buzz around cloud computing has reached business boardrooms over the last few years, but there still remains a lot of confusion around how it is used and what exactly it means.

In August 2014 several hundred private celebrity photos including nude pictures were published after hackers attacked Apple’s iCloud storage service. This kind of high profile and very public security breach has only added to the confusion around the security and safety of information in the “cloud”.

Cloud Computing essentially involves pooling servers, storage and networking resources together to offer centralised computing infrastructure that can be shared by several people or organisations. This can range from simple file storage services, or online backup services to comprehensive corporate infrastructure solutions, and these services can be made available for access by any internet connected device.

The key to most cloud services is to share computing resources across a large numbers of end users, spreading out the cost and in some cases enabling free access to a sufficiently large customer base, where revenues to the cloud provider are derived from upselling additional services, advertising or other sources.  These services tend to be very easy to use, with simple security, broad accessibility, and the ability for end users to create new accounts or enable access without any special knowledge or experience.

However, when applied to a corporate environment, while there are some cases where this can work well, this approach can also cause several issues. An organisation’s data can suddenly “sprawl” across a variety of Cloud platforms, and different jurisdictions. It can be controlled by end users who may not secure their accounts well or who may even leave the organisation. Inter-departmental access controls can be difficult to regulate, and a number of backup and data integrity issues arise.  There is significantly enhanced risk of data loss, and data theft.

The First Focus Smart Cloud is a private cloud service that is adapted and tailored to suit each of our customer’s needs. Like a public cloud, First Focus operates large pool of servers, storage and networking equipment available for use by our customers. However, unlike a public cloud service our infrastructure is carved into small “modules” which can be completely tailored and dedicated for use by just a single customer.

As a private cloud service, access levels can be tightly controlled, and centralised professional administration ensures that there are no security “back doors”. Our Smart Cloud provides the highest levels of management, visibility, control, security, privacy, and physical data proximity as well as the peace of mind of knowing exactly where your key business data resides at all times.

First Focus Smart Cloud can deliver custom-built private clouds and hybrid clouds from infrastructure that is locally hosted at secure data centres in Sydney and Perth and which are instantly scalable to meet your growing data requirements.

Because our modular approach simplifies ongoing management and greatly improves performance, the First Focus Smart Cloud service is available at the same price points as large multi-tenanted public cloud offerings, with the added benefits of access to First Focus’ comprehensive help desk and on-site support options. This provides a cost-competitive alternative without the public cloud’s disadvantages.