The Cloud this, the Cloud that, but what is it. The Cloud is basically the ‘internet’, and much like the stormy clouds over England the Cloud is big, up there and constantly surrounding us. Storing things in the Cloud is therefore storing it on the ‘internet’ rather than storing it on your computer at home.  ‘Cloud’ computing existed in many large organisations tens of years ago in the form of massive mainframes and thin client computers with lovely green screens. Here everything was stored on the mainframe but accessed by the user on his/her desk on the thin client computer. The truth is we are heading that way again with the new crop of Cloud services.

This recent buzz has therefore only really been dreamt up by marketing departments to sell you new services which have actually been around for years. Many of you use cloud based email such as Gmail and Hotmail for example and even webmail from BT and Yahoo.

Using Cloud applications and services means that all of your data, whether it’s Word Documents, Spreadsheets, Pictures or Music is stored in a server in a large data centre in a safe place for you to access whenever you like, wherever you like. There are however many things that need to be thought about before migrating everything to the Cloud, so I will mention a few advantages and disadvantage below to help.

The main Advantages of Cloud services are obviously the ability to access any of your content/information wherever you are, and from virtually any computer, phone, laptop or tablet quickly and in real time. For example if you get to work and realise that you have forgotten that important presentation, then you can simply log into your private cloud space and download it to your work computer. This can save travelling and lots of embarrassment. It also means that if your computer breaks then your data is not lost, and let’s be honest, the computer is disposable, your pictures and files are not! On the negative side, if you lose your internet connection at home then you have to wait for a large telecoms company to get you back online so you can look at your emails, files and pictures which can sometimes take hours, days and even weeks in the most extreme cases. The other major disadvantage of Cloud services, and this is especially true for many who will read this, is our broadband speed. In some local places broadband is remarkably good with speeds reaching 80Mbps, but for many outlying villages and settlements the true speed is some way off that. So those of us on extremely slow connections will struggle to use cloud services for all of our documents and services as the broadband network is simply not good enough.

Back to the question; is it for you? Well yes, even if your broadband speed is slow. This is because you can simply use the Cloud to backup data giving you the best of both worlds. This means you still have a local copy of you documents so you can access them quickly, but also you can access them remotely from the office or even on holiday! It also means that you don’t have to worry about using USB drives, CDs or to even remember to carry out the backup as it is all done automated.

If you need any help setting up cloud services and backups then please do not hesitate to contact JMV Solutions on 01626 821160 or visit