Real Cloud vs. Fake Cloud—How to Tell the Difference

Complex Triangle

Introduction

The term “Cloud computing” is widely used today. The “cloud” has become so pervasive and generic that it now includes branded and unbranded (as well as paid and free) services used by hundreds of millions of online users around the clock.

On the consumer side, many of us store our personal documents in the cloud, or buy and download music and movies from it. Most people who use popular online services sync their email messages and address books on it (see Gmail, YMail, Hotmail, etc.) and store bookmarks in it (e.g. Delicious, FoxMarks). Millions of consumers buy or download Android (Google Play), iOS (App Store) and other applications from the cloud. iPhone/ iPad and Mac operating systems (as well as those from Ubuntu, Nokia, Chrome OS, Android and others) now even come with free cloud accounts to back up pictures, contacts, documents, bookmarks, calendars, and so much more.

On the business side of the cloud, companies today rely on hosted solutions that are vital to their smooth operation, from payroll to time tracking, as well as financial, CRM and ERP systems, to name a few. At its core, any Cloud service is essentially either Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), so not every cloud solution works the same way, or offers the same features.

Definition

What exactly is the Cloud, or Cloud Computing as it is sometimes referred to? According to the United States NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), Cloud Computing is defined as:

“…a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

Is your business really using the Cloud?

Now that we know what “Cloud” really means, what are the implications for cloud users in general, and businesses in particular? Thousands of companies worldwide are running business applications and corporate systems in the cloud—but are they true cloud systems or just pseudo-cloud? Many companies have been sold business applications and timesheet solutions that are supposedly cloud systems, but in reality they’re just getting a legacy platform known in the industry as “hosting.” Let us show you how to determine whether your organization is getting all the benefits of a true cloud solution like Replicon’s.

INFRASTRUCTURE

True Cloud is an environment that provides reliable and scalable application performance, with Class 1 hardware and software. Replicon’s globally distributed Tier 4 data centers assure our customers full redundancy and failsafe protection if there is catastrophic failure. Our infrastructure is also designed to be secure, with environmentally controlled data centers providing dependable data backup and disaster recovery.

Fake cloud systems are what you get when your business solution provider just takes the on-premise version of their software and hosts it on hardware in a remote location. This doesn’t provide any of the benefits or the reliability of a True Cloud implementation.

UPGRADES & MAINTENANCE

A True Cloud environment ensures free, automatic and frequent software upgrades that do not result in any downtime or interruption of operations

A fake cloud solution does not offer you the advantages of regular, free and seamless updates. This is because the hosting provider is usually not responsible for software upgrades.

PERFORMANCE MONITORING

Replicon’s cloud infrastructure is monitored 24×7 and features redundancies at every level, as well as load-balancing and clustering technologies to ensure the ultimate in reliability and uninterrupted service. In fact, our uptime regularly exceeds our guaranteed level of 99.5%!

Fake cloud-based time management solutions cannot offer you uninterrupted service or anywhere close to 99.5% uptime, since they are neither monitored around the clock, nor do they have redundancies and clustering technologies such as Replicon’s cloud systems.

SECURITY & COMPLIANCE

Replicon cloud systems undergo annual SSAE 16 audits and feature SSL encryption, enterprise firewall technology and permission-based authentication for the safety and integrity of customers’ data. Our global infrastructure even allows us to store data at the location of your choice to satisfy geographic compliance requirements.

Non-cloud solutions may offer SSL encryption or firewall technology, but not much more to assure the integrity and confidentiality of valuable business data.

Because of the above reasons, it’s easy to see why organizations looking for secure, dependable, and hassle-free cloud-based time tracking solutions prefer solutions from Replicon.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Replicon
Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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