15 Most common FAQs, SMBs ask about Cloud Hosted Applications

Cloud computing is a technology that allows businesses and individuals to access and use shared computing resources over the internet. In simpler words, a huge, secure infrastructure is hosted and maintained in one place that can be utilized by multiple people with the utmost privacy for your data (these are called data centers). For businesses, this is a game changer as it reduces the burden of maintaining the IT layer in a traditional way, saving more money and meaning more cash flow for businesses.

There are a lot of questions that arise for SMBs when they decide to move business to the cloud. Whether trivial or complex, these common questions are to be self-examined before we jump into a decision.

Cloud Computing for SMBs

1. Can Small and Medium-Sized businesses afford Cloud Application?

Cloud solutions are designed for companies of all sizes, but they are more advantageous for SMBs as they can avail of the services without having to make an upfront CAPEX investment in hardware infrastructure and IT personnel. The agility and flexibility of the cloud come as a boon to businesses in today’s competitive market. In the era of the digital age, 

SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) face challenges when it comes to managing an IT infrastructure on their own. The main reason is that IT is not their forte, and they are not aware of the best practices to control where they should spend money and where they should be cautious.

2. How can I save money through cloud computing?

Traditional IT infrastructure can be expensive, requiring SMBs to invest heavily in CAPEX like hardware and software, as well as ongoing maintenance and upgrades. Cloud computing, on the other hand, enables SMBs to pay for computing services on a subscription basis, allowing them to scale their usage up or down as needed. This means that SMBs can avoid over-provisioning or under-provisioning their IT resources, which saves them a huge chunk of time and money.

3. Is my data safe with a cloud solution?

There are regulations in place to ensure your data is 100% yours to keep and much safer compared to traditional IT storage. Natural disasters or cyberattacks can have devastating effects on SMBs if their data is not stored properly. Many cloud computing providers offer data backup and recovery to quickly retrieve and restore data from a data crash with less downtime for your business.

4. Is it a good time for a SMB to move to the cloud?

On a secret note, popular cloud providers like AWS, GCP, and Azure provide free credits for startups, and tons of other affiliate programs give you a bundle of cloud solutions that you can use with the credits they provide. This will help you gauge the working model and gain hands-on experience using it, basically for free of cost
Cloud computing offers many benefits for SMBs, including cost savings, scalability, accessibility, disaster recovery, and improved collaboration. While there are concerns and risks associated with cloud computing, such as security and data privacy, many cloud computing providers offer robust security measures and compliance certifications to help SMBs address these issues. It is high time to move the traditional IT infrastructure to the cloud and focus more on the business part and not on how to stay updated with the technology. A managed IT service provider can help SMBs select the right cloud computing provider and services, migrate data and applications to the cloud, and provide ongoing support and maintenance. By leveraging cloud computing solutions, SMBs can gain a competitive advantage over their counterparts and achieve their business goals.

5. What if I get heavy user traffic to my application during a social campaign?

Exactly why you need a cloud solution is because your IT resources scale up and down in response to your business needs. Automatically, it senses the application traffic and ensures smooth usage for all. Again, you save time and money by not paying for unutilized resources, plus there is no separate human resource to handle this part.

6. What are all the major cloud providers out there?

  • AWS (Amazon Web Services)
  • Azure (Microsoft Azure)
  • GCP (Google Cloud Platform)
  • IBM Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Digital Ocean

These are the major cloud providers out there in the market, offering various services at competitive pricing. At the same time, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. Based on the business’s needs and their offerings, we can choose the one that suits.

7. How do I choose the right cloud hosting provider?

The answer is a little tricky; there are businesses that have started using Azure and, at a later point in time, came to know that what they wanted was not available or that the know-how was complicated, so they moved on to AWS. This classic example clearly states that not all cloud providers will be suitable for all businesses.
Taking a professional’s help will save a lot of time and money, as the cloud is as widely spread as the ocean (did you see what I did here?). – Ask for help from people who are experts and have already configured a cloud solution. Talk to them about your needs and see which provider will suit your features and budget.

8. What level of support can I expect from a cloud hosting provider?

There are tons of videos and documentation provided by the cloud providers on how to use and configure the cloud, but there will be little help from them in setting up the cloud for you. There are third-party implementation specialists who can do this as a managed service.

9. What is containerization in cloud computing?

Containerization is a lightweight alternative to full machine virtualization that involves encapsulating an application in a container with its own operating environment. In simpler words, for your application to run properly in an environment, the necessary software is put together in a single container, which can be very useful in porting your app to a new cloud environment and having it work from day one.

10. What happens if there is a problem with my cloud hosting application?

Almost all the providers ensure a 99.9% SLA as they have data centers spread across the globe. In the event of a disaster at a location, the backup servers are rolled out to businesses. Their support is excellent when it comes to any problems you face with the infrastructure; 24×7 support channels are there to address your queries.

11. Can the cloud server be hacked?

The answer is yes. Though service providers take extensive measures to safeguard your data, there is a possibility that it is prone to attack. Definitely, the data is much safer than your hard disc or traditional server.

12. How do I ensure my data is backed up and recoverable in the event of a disaster?

All cloud providers have the option of backing up your data to a safe data server in a different location so that when a disaster occurs, you can safely backup your data. The important factor you should note is that in a few cases, you’ll need to configure whether you need this backup (for example, how much size for data backup, frequency, etc.).
If not done properly, you might lose them. With proper settings in place, your data is always recoverable.

13. What are the challenges of moving to cloud solutions?

Moving to the cloud requires careful planning. Choosing the right service provider, evaluating the pricing model, and understanding security and compliance requirements are important because configuring the wrong cloud machine will end up costing heavily. Certified cloud professionals can help you optimize the infrastructure based on your business needs.

14. What are the types of cloud solution models out there?

In simple words, we can categorize the service models into 3, lets see them in detail,
In simple words, we can categorize the service models into three categories. Let’s see them in detail.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This is the most basic category of cloud computing services, where you rent IT infrastructure like servers, virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, and operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Example – AWS (Amazon Web Services) provides EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), which can be rented, and applications can be hosted on top of it.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): It is easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, networks, and databases needed for development.

Example – Heroku: This It supports several programming languages, and the developers can focus on writing the code, whereas the infrastructure layer takes care of scalability.
Software as a Service (SaaS): Cloud providers host and manage the software application, underlying infrastructure, maintenance, and security. The user just has to connect over the internet and start using the application.
Example, Salesforce is a CRM platform that helps businesses manage their sales, service, and marketing from the cloud.

Bonus knowledge on, What are IAM and CDN in cloud-based applications, and why is it important to implement them?

IAM (Identity and Access Management) is a framework of policies for ensuring that the right people and devices have the appropriate access to the resources in a cloud environment. Setting this up is important to avoid unauthorized access and basic fencing from hacking.

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a globally distributed network of servers that helps deliver content faster to users based on their geographic location. Choosing a data server close to your customer base is important for speed and smooth usage of your application

15. How do I migrate my existing applications to a cloud hosting platform?

This is an interesting question, though all the applications that were built for traditional infrastructure can be moved to the cloud as is, but that will not be efficiently managed. Making a few changes in architecture, workflow, database, and other inbuilt services will reduce the load on the old application and help you move to highly scalable apps. Cloud computing is the future for SMBs to improve their operational efficiency.

If you are migrating to a new platform and planning to undergo a change, you might as well do it the right way!
At ISHIR, we build the right products with the right people in the right way!

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from ISHIR | Software Development India authored by Praveen Kumar. Read the original post at: