When the concept of "the Cloud" first came out, there was a lot of confusion about how this virtual world works. It is a difficult concept to grasp, since "the Cloud" is a virtual reality with no tangible or visible features (unless you are a computer programmer who can pull down the details about a specific Cloud space, and even then it just looks like a list of programming commands and codes). Now that there are several companies offering "managed cloud solutions," you may be even more confused about what this phrase means or even why your Cloud would need to be managed. Here is a more simplified explanation about managed cloud solutions and why this is a business necessity.
Put It in the Cloud, Take It out of the Cloud, Put It in the Cloud
The virtual space known to everyone as "the Cloud" is like a giant virtual filing cabinet, but instead of locks for an entire "cabinet" there are individual locks for every "drawer." Every time someone in your company opens an application that has not been used in some time, he or she has to use a password to open the "drawer" in the Cloud and download the "drawer's" contents. When he or she has closed the application, it can hang around in that particular computer for a while, but if it remains unused again, it gets put back into the Cloud "drawer." Sometimes the settings on your company computers makes this an automatic process whenever an application is closed, but that depends on company infrastructure practices.
Managing Your "Drawers" in the Cloud
If you have way more files than you have "drawer" space for in the Cloud, you either have to pay your Cloud provider for more "drawer" space or you need other managed cloud solutions. These managed cloud solutions might include:
- Compressing files to fit more into your Cloud
- Deleting old and outdated files or auto-deleting files that have not been used or opened for "x" number of months
- Updating and replacing applications with their updated versions
- Application deployment and security
- Disaster recovery services that allow you to get everything back by pulling down everything saved to the Cloud
By choosing some or all of these services, you have chosen to "manage your Cloud." It is a lot like going through all of the old file cabinets in a business that still uses paper records and clearing out everything that is not needed and then re-locking and securing everything else you want to keep.