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GreatCloudGuidebook_SQThe string of benefits that cloud-based computing offers businesses is a strong driver to migrate to the cloud. At the same time, there are, as always, possible downsides that should be considered before taking that all-important dive. Where do you start from? With a guidebook, of course.

Hot on the heels of our ebook The security experts’ guide to the cloud, today we are launching another ebook on the cloud, The great cloud guidebook, packed with advice and information by 10 experts and independent authors. In our first ebook, we focused on security; this time round, our cloud pundits talk ‘everything’ cloud.

Here’s a quick rundown to whet your whistle.

Microsoft expert and author Derek Schauland advises on how to use the cloud to manage your IT infrastructure. Derek’s main point is that the cloud allows one to centralize many IT admin and management duties. And it can greatly ease end-user access to files and applications. For one, mobile and remote users can get to programs through the cloud, rather than needing access to an in-house server that may be hundreds of miles away.

“As an example, suppose my company S&J Watches is expanding to add a new office in the next town over. There will be 10 employees at the office who will need access to mail and all of the company files. Doing this will require them to login, and processing a login at the headquarters will require some type of connection or tunnel, either using a VPN or maybe Microsoft’s Direct Access technology,” Schauland wrote. “What if the services needed by the new office were provided in the cloud instead of between physical sites? Placing the back office infrastructure for the new location in the cloud will remove much of the hardware requirements for the new location – end user devices, local network connectivity and Internet will pretty much be the only needs on site,” this long time Microsoft MVP argues.

Writer and analyst Laura DiDio next takes up the hybrid cloud charge, advocating for their use. Here’s what Laura has to say:

“Hybrid clouds aim to augment and solidify the corporation’s secure, on-premises network environment and deliver the same flexible on-demand capacity as a third party hosted public cloud. At the same time, corporations must endeavor to find workable management solutions that can bridge its public and private clouds.” Hybrids may be more complex than public clouds, but they offer IT more flexibility and control.

Superb columnist and thinker Mark Gibbs shows how the cloud can make Internet of Things (IoT) work more easily, and thus support more widespread IoT adoption:

“So far, most IoT offerings have been implemented on the vendors’ servers in data centers. This means they’re tied to inelastic, poorly scalable, and relatively expensive infrastructure. Add to that list of drawbacks the problem of isolation – the lack of ability to integrate with other systems – and you have lumbering, inflexible, inextensible implementations that aren’t and can’t be part of a bigger, more agile ecosystem,” Gibbs writes.

The other topics discussed in the guidebook are:

  • Small business meets cloud computing by William F. Zachmann
  • DevOps and the cloud by Mitch Tulloch, MVP
  • The state of cloud storage by Bruce Hoard
  • The rise of the containers in the cloud by Michael Vizard
  • Shifting to VaaS: Conferencing change you best believe in by Bob Wallace
  • Five things you may not know about Azure by Karen Forster
  • Gates had vision of cloud long before Azure by Paula Rooney.

Get your free ebook The Great Cloud Guidebook here, and give us your feedback in the comments below.