What are the pros and cons of cloud computing?

Everyone in the field of business technology is talking about cloud computing these days, but decision makers are more concerned with where the hype stops, and the real benefits begin. Despite what some vendors might say, the cloud is not a fix-all solution. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine any organization that can’t benefit from including cloud services in their technology strategies. In fact, if you’ve ever used leading applications like web-based email or Google Docs, then you’re already in the cloud.


Although they’re becoming more reliable, computers need occasional maintenance from operating system updates to upgrades and physical replacements for ailing hardware. There’s always going to be downtime during these processes, which is why relying solely on in-house IT can substantially reduce system availability. If, for example, your email server needs to be taken offline or is taken down by a hardware failure or cyberattack, you’ll lose access to one of your most mission-critical systems.

The cloud doesn’t have such issues. Providers proactively look after cloud hardware and back up mission-critical systems in multiple offsite servers to maximize availability and so that you never have to worry about scheduled or unscheduled downtime.


When it comes to flexibility, cloud-hosted applications and other computing resources are with you no matter where you go and which device you use. This affords an unprecedented degree of flexibility, thereby enabling workforce mobility and the productivity and cost-saving benefits that come with it.

While you do, in theory at least, lose a degree of control when you’re having your computing workloads handled in a third-party data center, almost all everyday business applications work optimally in a remotely hosted environment. With platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, you can even develop your own bespoke cloud applications and services.


Scalability is one area where the cloud trumps in-house IT every time. Since the cloud gives you access to a wealth of computing resources on demand, there’s practically no limit to the scalability of your infrastructure.

By contrast, relying entirely on your own IT department and on-premises services means you’re limited by things like budgetary constraints and physical space and infrastructure. Furthermore, the cloud is heavily intertwined with virtualization, which offers the ability to create an entirely software-defined computing architecture that completely does away with your dependence on physical hardware.


As mentioned, enabling workforce mobility can boost productivity and morale. After all, most people prefer to work with their own devices with which they’re familiar, and an increasing number like to work at home or on the move. Both are impossible if you’re fully reliant on an in-office network. The cloud, however, lets people access the applications they need for work wherever they are on any internet-connected device. Since the data stays in the cloud, administrators can still maintain full audit trails and enjoy complete control over access and security policies.


When it comes to weighing the benefits and drawbacks of cloud computing versus in-house IT, this one’s a tie. Whether performance will be better or worse depends a lot on the workload. While the cloud gives you access to the most cutting-edge hardware in the world, the fact that there’s a large distance between the end user and the remote data center means bandwidth and latency will never be as good as they are with local computing. For most applications, this doesn’t present any discernible difference. However, for very high-performance, specialized, or latency-sensitive tasks, it’s still better to use local computing resources.

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10 Ways Cisco Meraki Solves Your Organization’s Growing Pains

Whether you’re managing IT in a startup or fast-paced enterprise environment, your organization can benefit from a centrally managed network of IT solutions. Read a list of the common issues growing organizations face, and get an idea of how Cisco Meraki can help you securely manage your infrastructure 100% from the cloud.

Do any of the following issues sound familiar?

Issue #1My organization is in a constant state of flux. At our current rate of growth, it’s difficult for our business solutions to keep pace.

Meraki is a centrally managed solution, meaning you can add and modify components as your infrastructure necessitates. Whether you’re looking to streamline the deployment of a new company communications system, or ensure your security across multiple sites, you can manage all of your deployment and security needs from an online Meraki dashboard.

Cisco Meraki dashboard

Issue #2 – We need a better way of targeting potential customers who visit our retail branches.

Meraki’s presence analytics capabilities allow you to measure the number of people who visit each of your locations. Use the data to compare one location to another, or build out a customer profile by piping in data from other sources (such as a CRM or other analytics application) using APIs.

Issue #3 – Dealing with third-party threat management has made it difficult for us to set up all of our sites consistently.

Deploy a Layer 3 firewall to block threats at the network layer, or a Layer 7 firewall for threats at the application layer. Manage all of your different security services, such as Kaspersky and Brightcloud. Ensure your security policies are followed at each of your locations. And make sure your security definitions stay up-to-date. Handle all of this and more within the Meraki dashboard.

Issue #4 – Setting up and connecting new devices to the network is becoming harder to manage the more we scale.

Meraki Systems Manager allows you to manage and control thousands of mobile and desktop devices from the web-based Meraki dashboard. Drive company initiatives by seamlessly onboarding new devices and automating application of security policies.

Issue #5 – Syncing up a new location’s VPN is a headache, takes forever, and can leave us vulnerable.

Take advantage of Meraki’s automatic configuration of site-to-site VPNs. By enabling AutoVPN through the Meraki dashboard, you enable each participating device to:

  • Automatically advertise its local subnets across the VPN
  • Advertise its WAN IP addresses on Internet 1 and 2 ports
  • Download the global VPN route table
  • Download the preshared key for establishing the VPN tunnel and traffic encryption

Issue #6 – Network downtime could ruin our business, and failover setup is both complicated and time-consuming.

Meraki MX Security Appliances support multiple layers of redundancy, ensuring WAN connectivity, appliance availability, and seamless failover for branch sites.

Issue #7 – Client device troubleshooting takes multiple hours daily and consumes already scarce IT resources.

The Meraki solution gives you complete network visibility. Use the dashboard to identify switches, and track device connections through the network to pinpoint likely issues. Learn more about your device connections with a one-click cable test or ping.

Issue #8 – I need to deploy new switches to remote sites without sending an expensive tech on-site.

Instead of making the trip out to your sites to deploy new switches, simply configure a switch and the switch port settings from your Meraki dashboard. Then ship the switch to the new install site and have anyone plug it in. Streamline the process by cloning switch settings right from the dashboard.

Issue #9 – How can I save electricity and the environment without compromising performance?

Cisco Meraki leverages time-based port scheduling to put switch ports into energy-saving mode after-hours.

Issue #10 – Torrenting on our network is hogging our bandwidth and putting us at risk.

The Meraki dashboard provides insight into clients that drastically slow down WiFi networks, or downloading illegally on your network. Use the Meraki Layer 7 Firewall to block applications by type, and shape traffic by setting application-specific bandwidth limits.

Would you like to learn more about Meraki cloud-based IT solutions? Sign up here for a live demo of the Cisco Meraki platform and receive a free AP! You can also contact NetWize by calling 801-747-3200, option 1.

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