Virtualization to Cloud - What Small Businesses Need to Know

Editor’s Note: Helping startup entrepreneurs and small business owners introduce new web technologies such as cloud applications to their businesses is one of our biggest tasks as an IT outsourcing partner. We carry out this task not only in specific projects but also in this blog by publishing some informative articles for newbie entrepreneurs to learn a thing or two regarding possibilities to boost their web presence.

cloud computing for small businesses

Businesses have gone a long way since the pen and paper days. Digitalization of business processes has been the first step toward the great situation that we have today. At first, it has been reserved for the great and big companies with big enough budget for modernization of their process, but nowadays, it is not the privilege but the necessity for any type of business. The latest trends in this process improvement are virtualization and cloud computing. There are many ways why these things are the latest hit among the small business owners and why so many small businesses conduct their work using virtualization and cloud.

What is Virtualization?

When you talk about virtualization, you are actually talking about the infrastructure of your company. By introducing virtualization, you are actually introducing a software that acts as a virtual server. This server enables you to use multiple applications. These are all the applications that are essential to conducting your business. All the database software, email applications, apps that help you do your accounting and every other app that is specific for your own type of work, don’t have to be carried out by a separate physical server, but it can be conducted and supported by a virtual one.

What is Cloud Computing?

If you understand that virtualization is a process that manipulates hardware, the cloud computing is the result and the service that is provided by virtualization. These two are very much connected, but there is difference. With cloud computing, it is no longer necessary to have the physical server at your premises and all the software can be accessed from a secure server that is maintained by a provider of this service. There are many benefits of using this type of data storage and software usage as just some of the good sides of cloud computing.

What are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

The most obvious way cloud computing makes your life and work easier is the mobility it provides for you and your workers. Since all the apps and data are on the server that is reachable from anywhere, it is possible to conduct business from anywhere. This thing alone has many financial benefits. The least of those is the fact that you can finish your work from home after office hours if you have the need. One of the most economic ones is the fact that you can outsource some of your work by using cloud computing or even reduce the offices to the bare minimum, getting your workers to work from home. That would reduce the costs of everyday office life significantly. With this type of business conduct, you don’t have to download software and spend money on training as everything is straightforward. Also, cloud computing ensures that your data and work are safe from being lost due to some physical damage of your drives, servers and the like. Losing all your data could easily kill your business and that is something that cloud computing prevents.

What is a Private Cloud?

There are private and public clouds out there. Private cloud means that you own the software and the server itself. Of course, there are the options of renting it, as well. Public cloud is something that you share with other users of the same service. When you have the private cloud, you enjoy all the benefits of it on your own. This means that you can tailor it according to your needs and be as flexible as you like with its resources. However, public cloud is more prone to innovations that big companies have to introduce to their services.

It seems that the best way to deal with these decisions about moving to the cloud is to combine the benefits of virtualization, private and public clouds. Also, although this is a great solution for many small businesses and those that switched to cloud report major savings and increase of productivity, it is not necessary to move your entire work on the cloud. The whole idea is to carefully tailor the best and the most optimal solution that will suit perfectly the specific features of your business.

Author’s bio: Dan Radak is VPS security and Hosting generaly specialist. Currently employed as a consultant in couple of Web Hosting companies, like australian web hosting company Crucial. In his free time, he likes fishing and traveling. You can reach him on Twitter.