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Cloud Services Thread, Small network ripe for cloud computing? in Technical; We support a small office which basically has 5 XP client PC's logging into a Server 2003 File and Print ...
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    Small network ripe for cloud computing?

    We support a small office which basically has 5 XP client PC's logging into a Server 2003 File and Print Server. This is totally outside of the school network and will remain so.

    The non rackmounted Server is situated in their office and they don't have any real space for a proper comms room. They have complained about the noise of this server. The client PC's are Pentium 4 HT based and whilst reliable are now becoming a little slow even with XP and Office 2003.

    All they really need to do is:

    Have access to Word and Excel
    Have access to email via outlook
    Be able to print.
    Be able to backup their data on a daily basis.
    Be able to run a database program called CorePC of which currently resides on the server.

    I can imagine Office365 ticks the first 4 boxes. But am not sure about the last.

    How does backup work with cloud computing? I presume you can have a copy of the files locally and duplicated in the cloud? Would also be good if they could have their own weekly backup to take offsite but without needing a server.

    thanks


    Can anyone advise as whether Office365/cloud computing will be capable of running their database program?

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    Quote Originally Posted by superatticman View Post
    Be able to run a database program called CorePC of which currently resides on the server.
    You could probably run that on an Amazon or RackSpace virtual machine instance away in the cloud somewhere and have a VPN of some kind between each client and that remote server, although that does then give you another monthly cost. Check your Internet connections reliability - if it goes down you'll have no database access.

    If server noise is the main problem then you could simply buy a silent server - I like Tranquil PC's equipmnt, but Streacom also do very similar cases.

    How does backup work with cloud computing? I presume you can have a copy of the files locally and duplicated in the cloud?
    The term to Google for is "cloud backed" storage. You can get various rather expensive servers that clone themselves on to a cloud server somewhere as you write data, but your cheapest option is probably something like Dropbox. You can simply install the client on each machine and have each user use local files, Dropbox takes care of syncing those files with other machines and allowing users to set up shared folders between themselves. Dropbox (and other companies) offer various bsuiness-orientated packages for a reasonable price, although if you're supporting this from a school you could run your own Dropbox-like server with OwnCloud in your server room and save the expense.

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