In this continuing series about cloud services, we’ll delve into more cloud computing choices for small to medium size businesses, this time looking at those with roughly 50 to 500 employees.
Cloud computing is a big term that encompasses a lot of services. Most common are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which offer one specific service or application. Cloud computing can also include Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which gives businesses a platform to create (and integrate into one platform) custom apps, databases, or services. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) takes it one step further, allowing businesses to buy virtual infrastructure from providers. Infrastructure in this case can mean servers, memory, firewalls and more.
SpiderOak offers cloud storage and file sharing, with a good level of security. It syncs files and continuously logs those changes online. It also lets you add unlimited computers to the online backup network. According to most reviewers, it’s better for more advanced users that know their needs.
Cost: $10 monthly for up to 100 GB
QuickBase is an online database that combines easy to use features with intricate options for features like document storage, user permissions, automated email notifications, customized reports, and charting.
Acronis Backup & Recovery stores and recovers drives, partitions, folders, and files, and according to reviewers, does so in more ways than its competitors. It does have complex menus, but once you learn them you may be hooked. It can back up and restore a wide range of things.
EC2 is an IaaS service, and the EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud. EC2 is a web service that “provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers,” according to Amazon. It allows small developers to design and scale up or down as needed.
Cost: No minimum fee; pricing ranges depending on the user.
You get a lot of bang for your buck with this service. It has an interface that’s garnered lots of praise, and offers a comprehensive array of record-keeping, processing, and reporting tools, as well as support options. Notable features include remote timesheets and time clocks that employees can use ($1.50 per employee per month), tracking of worker’s compensation and 1099 service.