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Is Your Data Safe in the Cloud?

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Since 2011, the Federal Government has pushed an initiative to get all its departments to move to the Cloud. It’s one of President Obama’s pet projects, and the Feds are spending about a quarter of their annual IT budget on the move.

If it’s good enough for the Feds, who house arguably the most sensitive data in the world, why shouldn’t it be good enough for the rest of us?

It’s a good question, and for all you individuals and small businesses out there, here are a few vital pointers to learn before embarking on your own migration to cloud hosting.

So, You’re Thinking of Switching to Cloud VPS Hosting…

The benefits of Cloud VPS hosting are tempting:

  • Better performance
  • It’s flexible: cloud VPS hosting grows with your website seamlessly
  • It’s easy to manage and use
  • Tons of redundancy – that means hardly any downtime
  • Tons of features & options
  • Incredible speeds
  • VPS cloud servers switch over automatically if there’s a hardware problem on a cloud server- with no interruption
  • For businesses, you get enterprise-level architecture without the huge cost

The Original Question: Is Your Stuff Safe?

The Cloud fears we have are usually prompted by things we see in the news: Target’s data breach disaster where they lost the credit card info of their customers, for example, made a huge impression on all of us.

Fears of the cloud include:

  1. Can a cloud service be hacked?
  2. Are there backups of my stuff somewhere?
  3. What happens when a cloud service provider’s servers go down?

Let’s Answer Those Fears

1. Backups.Many cloud service providers will provide free backups – whenever you like, on top of regularly scheduled backups once a week or so. A good cloud computing company invests far more money in backup services than you can!

2. Hacking. If you insist on encryption when you shop around, you should be OK. It’s usually the case with the big hacking cases that a person was at fault, not the cloud service. Encryption will make it virtually impossible for anyone to read your data while it’s being transferred over the cloud network.

Check for which security certifications your providers has. Cloud VPS hosting requires network-level security, and not just end-user precautions. Therefore, check into this with you potential provider: U.S.-based cloud servers must adhere to an additional layer of security measures due to the Patriot Act- you can ask your cloud VPS service whether they use US-based servers.

3. Uptime Concerns.This is a non-issue. Non-cloud servers go down all the time, resulting in periodic short (or sometimes long) downtimes for their clients. With cloud VPS hosting, you are using not one server but a multitude of servers in different locations.

That means, if one server goes down, you still have your data. The system simply switches over seamlessly to another cloud server if one goes bad. It’s called Auto Failover. Ask for it when you’re shopping around.

As you can see, most of your worries about cloud VPS can be chalked up to unfounded fears. Just remember to ask the right questions and you’ll soon be enjoying the benefits of the Cloud yourself.

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