By MELISSA BLOCKET, AP IT workers who have taken the plunge and have switched to cloud-based services are often asked, “How do I get a good, clear picture of what’s going on in my data center?”
A quick check on the data center’s network or data center network infrastructure, a network management tool or other monitoring tool can provide a clear picture if your information is being collected, analyzed or shared in a cloud environment.
Here are some questions to ask before moving to a cloud-connected environment:Does the data centre support cloud computing?
Is the data provider providing a cloud computing service?
Is it a Microsoft cloud or Google cloud provider?
Does the provider provide a free, cloud-enabled service?
What are the cloud providers’ privacy practices and their privacy policies?
Is there an opt-in option for people to opt-out of their cloud service?
Can the provider sell their data for profit?
What’s the data cost?
The costs of providing data, or data-related services, vary widely depending on the industry, as does the level of expertise and experience in providing these services.
For example, Amazon.com, which provides its own data services, charges customers a per-page rate of $1 per data point for the first 3,000 points of the data.
Google charges $0.80 per data, and Facebook, which charges customers $1 for each data point, charges $1.99 per data.
Google’s Cloud Drive, for instance, charges up to $0,000 per day for a user’s data, depending on how many hours of usage they have on a given day.
Google also offers a free version of Cloud Storage, which allows users to store and share data at any time and with no monthly fee.
Amazon charges $9 per month per user for a basic account, which includes access to Google Drive, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Messaging, which gives users access to their email, calendar, and other data.
Amazon also offers Amazon Cloud Print, which lets users print documents to create offline storage, or upload files to the cloud.
Google charges $49 per month for a $99 plan, and $79 per month and $149 per month respectively for a free plan, or $199 for a paid plan.
Amazon offers free unlimited access to Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and Amazon Cloud Drive.
Microsoft charges $99 per month to $199 per year for an unlimited amount of storage on its Windows Azure cloud service.
Microsoft offers a similar service for Microsoft Windows 10, which can also be used on Windows 10 Home.
Microsoft’s Office 365 offers cloud-hosted versions of Office and Microsoft OneNote, and Microsoft Cloud Drive allows you to store Office documents and OneNote documents in Microsoft’s cloud.
Microsoft also offers Office 365 for Business, which is available for $10 per month.
Apple charges $199 a year for Office 365 Pro and $999 a year or $19,999 per year and $35,999 annually for Office Online, an Office 365 subscription service.
Apple also offers its own cloud services for iPad, iPhone and Mac, including iCloud, which helps users keep more of their data.
Apple also provides its OwnCloud, which offers a version of the cloud service called Office 365.
Apple’s Cloud Sync allows users who have iCloud and Apple devices to sync their data from one device to another, and it offers iCloud Drive, a version that lets users store and access documents from one iCloud account to another.
Apple has a free “Personal Cloud” plan that lets you store files on your iPhone, iPad or Mac for 30 days.
Apple says its Cloud Sync plan allows up to 30 days of storage.
Apple’s iCloud and iOS cloud services are free.
Microsoft offers its Office 365 cloud service for $39 per year, while Microsoft Office Online costs $59 per year.
Microsoft has its own Office 365 free tier for employees who have Windows Azure, or for Microsoft employees who don’t have Windows.
Microsoft has a subscription for employees that has free access to Office 365 and Office Online.
Microsoft Office 365 costs $69 per year on the PC and $59.99 on the Mac.
Microsoft also offers Microsoft Office 365 Premium, a subscription that gives you access to the Office 365 Enterprise Premium, which costs $9.99 a year.