A CenturyLink sales and consulting engineer presented his case that having one’s head, or at least one’s software and data in the Cloud isn’t such a bad idea. BizFest participants heard from David Taverner, who is involved with the company’s communications networks and cloud-based technologies.
Taverner is a graduate of the University of Reading, England, with degrees in math/computer science and a post graduate certificate in education. The 19-year veteran has spent almost 30 years in the communications industry, specializing in voice and data networks.
The seminar was titled “Cloud for All” and was sponsored by CenturyLink and Kelly Services of Winston-Salem. Taverner was introduced by Kelly Office Solutions Document Management Specialist Mike Horne. Horne characterized his firm as a locally-owned and operated company which has served businesses for 66 years. Horne told the group Kelly “believes in community involvement” and explained the trend of “follow me” printing where little computers such as smart phones are increasingly being used by businesses lends itself to cloud solutions.
“Everybody is on the go and using handheld devices,” said Horne. “Pike Electric, for instance, is one of our largest customers. We have many versions of our connectivity product at many of their locations nationwide which work via the Cloud allowing them ease of data transportation.”
Taverner began his talk by describing explanations of earlier technology, such as a telephone company’s communication network, were sketched out as an undefined circle on a whiteboard. This tradition was continued by engineers describing similar functions that are now at the ends of Internet connections.
“You are less connected with the technology but more tuned to what you can get from the Cloud,” said Taverner. “Any service you access over the Internet can be a Cloud service.” He told the group Cloud services can include applications such as communication between businesses, platforms where businesses store data in the Cloud and infrastructure such as the ability to network small, handheld devices between businesses and distant locations.
“We are all certainly a consumer at home of these services, but as a business owner, you will have different requirements,” continued Taverner. “As people who are more mobile we want to collaborate with others we work with wherever we are.” He also pointed out having data and applications stored on the Cloud, as opposed to a local computer server was safer. Business data would not be lost when an area is hit by disasters, such as hurricanes because it is stored elsewhere on the Cloud.
He told participants the Cloud is a more secure location for their data and data is regularly backed up for those using its services. Taverner told them the cost of data storage is reduced by using the Cloud’s unlimited storage capacity instead of them having to upgrade their own servers. Taverner said Cloud data can be encrypted or encoded and access to this can be embedded in the portable personal computer itself.
“You need some idea of where it (data) is and that is is secure. You also need the ability to get that data if you need to at three in the morning. Cloud based applications can do this and do this securely,” said Taverner. He said there are typically three categories of cloud services. They are software as a service, infrastructure as a service and platform as a service. He said the third category is often used by businesses who build, test and deploy software applications.
“Businesses could use cloud based firms to custom build them servers which would be stuck somewhere on the Cloud,” explained Taverner. “You could use these short term to meet unusual demand. There’s just not many firms that allow you to buy a server and use it for two months.”
BizFest was staged as an opportunity for local businesses and business representatives from Surry County to build relationships and celebrate products and services in this area. The event was held Thursday at Cross Creek Country Club.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.