Knowledge Center

Cloud Computing FAQs

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Data safety in the cloud is not a trivial concern. Before signing up with any cloud vendor, customers should demand information about data security practices, scrutinize SLAs, and make sure they have the ability to encrypt data both in transit and at rest. SPI delivers business-class security for your content.

Unlike on-premises content management products, cloud architecture enables SPI engineers to build in additional security controls. SPI employs an advanced access-control framework built into the core solution that enables secure authentication, provides advanced logging of user activity and allows administrators to control who has access to highly sensitive documents. Multiple layers of firewalls ensure the highest levels of protection against intrusion and security vulnerabilities.

You might say software-as-a-service kicked off the whole push toward cloud computing by demonstrating that IT services could be easily made available over the Web. While SaaS vendors originally did not use the word cloud to describe their offerings, analysts now consider SaaS to be one of several subsets of the cloud computing market.

The short answer is YES. All businesses, large or small, is required to keep at least 5 years of email archives. (Server backups are not considered email archives) If found in noncompliance will be charged fines larger than the cost of implementation.

"Contrary to what some decision-makers may think, no organization operating in the United States, regardless of size or industry, is immune from the obligation to retain electronic content in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). The FRCP are a body of rules and procedures that govern civil lawsuits in United States district courts. The 2006 FRCP ruling created an obligations on the part of all organizations to locate, preserve, and produce, in a timely manner, electronic information relevant to the subject matter of a lawsuit." -- Osterman report 2010

There are several reasons why backups are not the same or as good as archiving.

The simplest way to explain this is example: Let’s say you take a backup of your server at 10pm every night. Now what happens if someone at 10am sends an email containing all your financial records to a competitor then deletes the sent message and any record of it?

When the backup occurs at 10PM the server has no record of any of the emails that transpired, only what emails are in his account at 10pm.

Ah, but it only catches anything leaving the server, what if an employee sends inappropriate messages to coworkers and a harassment suit is filed. Those messages were never sent outside the company so they didn’t pass through your spam filter.

‘Cloud Computing’ is a somewhat nebulous term to describe users ‘renting’ or borrowing online software instead of actually purchasing and installing it on their own computers. It is the same business model as people using Gmail or Yahoo mail services, except that cloud computing goes much further and includes daily computing activities.

Cloud computing is where entire businesses and hundreds of employees will run their computer tools as online rented products. All of the processing work and file saving will be done ‘in the cloud’ of the Internet, and the users will plug into that cloud every day to do their computer work. This is in contrast to conventional on premise IT, where your company runs its applications exclusively on its own internal infrastructure. Including servers, storage, networks, firewalls, load balancers and other hardware.

The public cloud is a set of hardware, networking, storage, services, applications, and interfaces owned and operated by a third party for use by other companies or individuals. These commercial providers create a highly scalable data center that hides the details of the underlying infrastructure from the consumer. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a pay-per-usage model.

A private cloud is a set of hardware, networking, storage, services, applications, and interfaces owned and operated by an organization for the use of its employees, partners, and customers. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premises or off premises.

It attempts to mimic the delivery models of public cloud vendors but does so entirely within the firewall for the benefit of an enterprise’s users. A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of public cloud systems, but removes a number of objections to the cloud computing model including control over enterprise and customer data, worries about security, and issues connected to regulatory compliance.

A hybrid cloud is a combination of a private cloud combined with the use of public cloud services where one or several touch points exist between the environments. The goal is to combine services and data from a variety of cloud models to create a unified, automated, and well-managed computing environment.

Combining public services with private clouds and the data center as a hybrid is the new definition of corporate computing. Not all companies that use some public and some private cloud services have a hybrid cloud. Rather, a hybrid cloud is an environment where the private and public services are used together to create value.