It’s 2020, “the cloud” is everywhere, and we’re not talking about the ones in the sky.
But what is it? Why are more and more companies hosting their and their user’s data on it? And why does Frogparking host the data our system collects from our customer’s parking facilities on it?
Here are three reasons why you need Frogparking’s cloud-based software and storage for your parking asset.
It’s a simple example of economies of scale.
Cloud storage is flexible and able to be tailored to your requirements now and in the future, not yesterday. There is no hardware to purchase, no fixed amount of storage to physically have onsite, and no capital being used upfront to purchase costly server equipment. You can add or remove capacity on-demand, quickly change performance and retention characteristics, and only pay for storage that you actually use.
Think of cloud-storage suppliers in the same way that you might an airline. For most of us, it would not make good sense to pay the hefty price tag to purchase an entire aircraft nor would most of us know how to fly it. That’s before you get to landing fees, the price of fuel, and other expenses.
Instead, we go online, enter our travel preferences, and purchase the seats that we need from airlines, who have the skilled pilots and large capacities to spread these costs across many passengers, making air travel more affordable.
In this example, the airline is cloud-storage suppliers, such as Amazon or Microsoft, the aircraft is the large amounts of server capacity these companies have around the world to host their own and their user’s data, and the overseas or cross country trip is the data gathered from your parking asset from Frogparking’s sensors.
To continue the metaphor, what this means is that there are also no additional or surprise costs such as fuel (power), landing charges (civil works or running cables to the server), or accidentally buying an extra seat on the flight (save space onsite by ditching your onsite server room).
We charge you one, easy, annual price for data hosting, remote maintenance on the server, access to the reporting and analytics software, and remote monitoring and optimization from our engineers. It’s as easy as that – no hidden or surprise costs, giving you full visibility and certainty of your annual costs.
Bear with me on the airline metaphor for just one more point! Before flying, isn’t it comforting to know that you’re flying on the latest and best maintained Boeing or Airbus in the fleet?
When it comes to maintenance and keeping your system up for over 99% of the time, being cloud-based gives Frogparking’s software and server a few key advantages over physical servers. It allows us to pull the aircraft into the hangar from time-to-time to fit it with the latest part to improve performance (a new reporting or analytics tool requested by a customer) or get better fuel efficiency (faster data transfer).
It also means we can have telemetry, to tell us when maintenance is required on engines (sensors), wings (on-site communications gateways), or landing gears (signage and guidance lights). In many cases, Frogparking’s team of remote engineers can perform maintenance without even needing to dispatch an engineer, also saving you money.
Technology changes rapidly. When development teams are ready to execute an upgrade or perform maintenance, the infrastructure should never slow them down. With a cloud-based server and software, we can roll out the latest and greatest upgrade in the blink of an eye, without the need to call out a technician to visit the site, all for one, fixed, annual license fee.
No metaphors required for this part of the article. The subject of data security is serious and cloud-based storage and software is uniquely positioned to provide solutions in this space.
Firstly, natural disasters, human error, or electrical/mechanical faults should not result in data loss. Data is hosted in multiple locations and our server is able to pull your data from any of these locations, meaning if a server fails or goes down in one location, your data is safe at another and able to be accessed and added to – something which our server does automatically.
Contrast this to an onsite server, where data is only hosted on one, physical hard drive (essentially a larger version of the hard drive in your desktop PC or laptop) – if, for example, you experience a temporary power cut onsite, not only is your server down, but you may experience a loss in data and, in all likelihood, a technician will need to be called out to restore your server.
Secondly, Cyber attacks are a real and credible threat to any operator of connected hardware and software. Ransomware is bad. Malware is bad.
If you’re not familiar with these terms, ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment.
Users are shown instructions for how to pay a fee to get the decryption key. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands to even hundreds of thousands of dollars, payable to cybercriminals, normally in Bitcoin. If you don’t pay, either your data is destroyed or remains locked until you do pay.
Unfortunately, it’s also in the news with great frequency and the victims of such attacks always say variations of things like “we never thought this would happen to us/our business” or “we are involved in the such-and-such industry, we didn’t think we’d attract the attention of such an attack”.
While cloud-based servers and software are not immune to such attacks, they are well-positioned to be a part of your data protection strategy. With the cloud-based approach, you are effectively outsourcing and putting your data security and protection policy and strategy in the hands of experts, whose business model relies on having stringent policies and protections in place.
Think of it like putting your money in a bank. Their business model is essentially to ensure that it is not stolen and that you trust them that it will not get stolen.
A data-aware cloud storage solution has distinct advantages for protecting against ransomware. First, it can detect abnormal file access or file modification activity, identify the user account, and block further action with an alert to the administrator. Furthermore, it can isolate the infected item versions and enable effective quarantine and recovery.
Cloud-based storage and software is now a completely main-stream method of storing and hosting data. It’s flexible, you can access it from anywhere, it provides cost certainty, ensures your system is always running the latest and the greatest, is well maintained, and protects your data. Most importantly, it just works for you and for your business. Let’s talk today!
By Christian Hermansen – Frogparking’s Brand Manager