As more and more companies make the switch to some form of cloud or virtual computing, they find themselves confronted by a broad array of experiences, from the streamlined to the stifling, and determine from there where their own space in the cloud will be. For some, more cloud storage and backup is the answer, while for others, a balance between physical servers and cloud applications seems to be the best fit.
On February 22, 2011, an earthquake struck New Zealand, rocking the Christchurch head office of outdoor clothing and equipment company Kathmandu. The company had recently been in the process of upgrading their cloud connectivity and although their offices took quite a beating in the disaster, it only took 2 days to get the IT systems back up and running at full power. Thanks to a cloud provider that did not have a single, physical space that could be impacted by a large-scale natural disaster, the company was able to avoid a great deal of lost time and revenue and continue business more or less as normal.
The New Zealand company Aspeq had a less glowing interaction with the cloud on their first try, with their first attempt at cloud email processing resulting in a breakage of the way the company typically brainstormed and did business, and leading to a migration back to earlier email options. Now, the company has tried a new Microsoft email hosting solution with better results and plans to implement more cloud-based solutions in the near future.
While the result of experiences differ, more and more companies are finding their space in the cloud – be it through trial by fire or trial and error – and are seeing better and better returns on their IT investment dollars.