What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Am I using the cloud? These are all questions you’ve probably asked yourself at some point when you think about ‘cloud computing’.
In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts representing the internet’s gigantic network of data centres as nothing more than a puffy white cloud.
These days, most businesses use at least a couple of cloud-based services to deliver software tools to users. But what if you could take your use of cloud computing even further? What if all your computing infrastructure was cloud-based too?
HOW IT WORKS
A simple way to understand it is to think about a standard onsite computing set-up. Typically, there’s hardware in your office – a server. Then there’s an operating system installed on the server. And running on the operating system is an application. That application is installed on the server and could be anything from accounting software to business programs. The application may then be connected to a database. The set-up might also include some other services like access control, security and networking.
Over time, hardware needs to be replaced, operating systems need to be updated, databases need to be maintained and more – and scaling up and down according to user requirements can be unnecessarily costly, tiring, labour and time intensive if your business is not technology.
Now compare this standard onsite set-up with a similar scenario where the application is in the cloud running on the Microsoft Azure platform. There’s still hardware powering the application, but you never see it. And instead of the application running on one server, it’s running across many servers in a data centre that’s part of a global network. As a user, you’re not faced with the task of setting up, replacing, managing or scaling infrastructure. You don’t ever even have to think about it. It’s all done behind the scenes by Microsoft Azure.
The basic idea of both set-ups is the same. What’s different is that
Azure offers the ability to instantly provision computing resources on demand.
Instead of managing all the elements yourself, with Microsoft Azure it’s all taken care of for you. And you can use as much or as little capacity as you need, when you need it – you’re not constrained by the same capacity limitations you have with onsite infrastructure.
PROPERTYTREE USERS GET THE BENEFITS
Why are we talking about Microsoft Azure? Because it’s the platform we use to build, deploy and manage PropertyTree.
Rather than maintaining our own data centre to support PropertyTree, we’ve harnessed the power of Microsoft’s world-class infrastructure and services.
In the world of computing, the Microsoft name has enormous brand recognition. The vast majority of us will use at least one Microsoft program each day, whether it’s Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint or something else. People know and trust Microsoft – and Rockend trusts them too.
Microsoft Azure was the logical platform for PropertyTree. Rockend has been a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for the last 10 years. This means we have access to a wealth of resources that benefit our customers in terms of service and technical expertise.
We know how integral PropertyTree is to the businesses of our customers. It needs to be incredibly reliable to ensure business continuity. When we developed PropertyTree, we wanted our customers to be able to access the system via secure, fast, reliable and robust infrastructure, and Microsoft Azure provides that.
As a customer, you have peace of mind that PropertyTree will always be available and provide you with the capacity to carry out all the functions you need, when you need them – and you can get on with the business of doing business.