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Updating Hardware When Data Is in the Cloud

Has the cloud changed how we update our hardware? It's a great question that we're asked. People seem to think that because all their data is in the cloud, they don't need to upgrade their computers and they can just use the cheapest, dirtiest piece of thing that they've ever seen. The truth is you can't. If anything, it needs to be more powerful than before and the reason is with all your stuff in a traditional sense, when there was a server that was hyper-powered super duper and it allowed for any of the things that needed to be done, that is where the processing house was and then what would happen is the data would shoot through to your computer and your computer would just be a display for it really. So it didn't need to be that powerful.

What's happened now though, as more and more things are moving to the cloud, is all those data warehouses, all the processing is done somewhere else, but they want to get it to your computer as efficiently as possible because the bottleneck we've got is our internet speeds. 

Internet Speeds Really Matter

alt textWhen everything was on your own local network, it was going at what's called a thousand megabytes, which doesn't really matter. Just imagine it's an aeroplane going at a thousand kilometres an hour. We then moved everything from that location into the cloud, especially in Australia where the average internet connection speed might only be 25 to 40 kilometres an hour, relatively speaking. It means that things are actually 20 times slower and just a boot.

If you look at the total cost of ownership of cloud infrastructure versus owned infrastructure, it's more expensive and it's 20 times slower. So it's obviously a bad problem to have for these businesses that want to own your data and keep it all in the cloud. What they've done is they've made things as efficient as possible so when they send the data from their location to your location, they want your computer to do what's called rendering and changing it all around to have it available and be seen as easily as possible on your computer.

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You Need More Resources

But that means your browsers are using more and more resources and there are more and more things happening in them than what were just happening there before with cat videos. So, you need to have significantly more resources because in a sense, all of your computers now are actually little mini servers that are displaying and rendering and doing all this stuff on their endpoints. So if you want to make sure that you've got a good experience, you really need to make sure that your computers are specked up more than what they were before.

Where possible, your internet needs to be specked up more than what it was before. Going to the cloud does not save money at all. Regardless of anyone you speak to, I'll always hold a stance that it will be more expensive. But you've got the benefit that it is also more flexible, so it's more expensive, but it gives you the flexibility.

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Working From One Spot All the Time?

alt textConsider investing in infrastructure! If you're running a business from a single location where everything can be held and done in a single location, there's no reason why you possibly need that flexibility if you know you're going to be there for the next five years. It's going to be significantly cheaper still now to buy into your own infrastructure. Having said that, the cloud infrastructure gives you that flexibility if you want to grow from five years of business to 500 years of business, you can do that and the scalability can happen in a few hours as opposed to having to plan forward these 500 users. So for certain edge cases, it is an incredibly valuable platform to be building and leveraging your business from. But as a generalisation, it's better to probably stay on site for a lot of things, coming back to that same analogy, things are going at a thousand kilometres an hour instead of 25 to 40.

Now use that in Australia as the example because over in America, the internet connection you can get there for 89 Australian dollars over there is a thousand kilometres an hour, it's a thousand megabytes versus in Australia to get that same internet connection, you wouldn't be seeing much change as of today out of a $1,200 plan per month. So it is not only a little bit more expensive, it is significantly more expensive. But we want to have all these toys and we want to be able to do all this stuff in the cloud. But you need to work out what is efficient for your business and what's sensible for your business. Most of the time it's a hybrid of the two. You think about the bits that could be a bit elastic and constantly on the up and down and then you put those into the cloud and then you think about the bits that are more static and then you keep those on premise. So you get the best of both worlds in a hybrid environment.

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The Final Word

So, an answer to the question, do you need to change how you update your hardware? Absolutely. You need to be investing more money in those desktops to be able to have the same functionality and usability that you would've had in the server desktop environments that have a workstation, cloud environment. So, have a think about that. And if you have any questions, jump across to iTunes, leave us a review, give us some love and stay good.

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