The urge to take data to the cloud has been around for quite a while, but the idea of taking all your financial data from a local server to somewhere in Amazon environment can be a little concerning.
In this article we will try to explain why this is more reliable than many local on-premise installations of Workbench and why we are now providing Workbench as a hosted application.
Your most precious data is stored in an Amazon RDS cloud hosting for MS SQL database. We automatically enable Multi-AZ and we provide a SLA uptime of 99.99%. Additionally, we sync a stand by database in another zone. In summary, this means you have multiple instances of your database running on a cloud server and if there is an issue with one the system will automatically cut-over to the other instance with minimal disruption to you.
You can learn more about this here.
This environment can only be achieved by using expensive enterprise SQL Licences for on-premise installations, which is out of reach for all but the largest of businesses.
You also shouldn’t ignore the configuration and maintenance cost for such a complex environment. Hardware and Windows updates will drain your budget quickly and you would need to employ a team of IT people to manage this.
We are able to provide the above as a well tested solution by many millions of Amazon clients worldwide. In addition, this environment is fully assessed by third party auditor and certified for ISO 9001, PCI, SOC, MTCS.
Your data is available all the time, server downtime during software and hardware updates are in the past.
Maintaining your own SQL server requires you to stop it during Windows and hardware upgrades and this happens more often than you would think.
Under the Amazon environment, backups and upgrades do not stop any current database activity, meaning you can continue to work while the routine maintenance functions are performed.
Running a web server on your own premises also requires you to expose it to the internet and take care of all updates and security patches.
It is quite astonishing how badly many businesses prepare a disaster-recovery plan or do not even have one. Taking regular backups and storing these offsite off-site in case of a fire or a hard disk failure, are increasingly important in the digital age.
Amazon RDS offers automated backup and point-in-time recovery.
Amazon RDS will backup your database and transaction logs, and store both for a defined retention period. This allows you to restore your database instance to any second during your retention period, up to the last five minutes.
Secure access, anywhere
You get the convenience of a public web address available anywhere. Enter your expenses at the airport or your timesheet from home.
All this can be done securely through HTTPS even through public WiFi connections.
To set this up yourself would require you to configure and maintain a public static IP address and HTTPS certificate for your local Workbench installation. This is no problem if you have a large IT department, but not quite as easy for a lot of small businesses.
In our experience with on-premise installations, generally we are finding most smaller businesses are running everything from a single server. Often these servers are old and missing important security updates. Installing Workbench on an old and often poorly maintained environment is almost certain to guarantee some “Why it’s sooo slooow???” moments.
With our cloud environment, we take all the cost and complexity away from you, the user, so you just have to worry about using Workbench and not if your server has the latest Microsoft security patch installed.
As we want users to have a great experience using Workbench in the cloud, we offer modern content delivery networks (AWS CloudFront) almost like YouTube. This means you will get the best performing application possible at all times.
You can learn more about this here.
In summary, our Workbench hosted cloud version:
- Uses the latest available database and web technology,
- The technology is proven by millions of users worldwide,
- Some of the most well known brands use the same technology including Netflix, Vodafone, Expedia and Adobe,
- You get the latest database and web technology at a fraction of the cost of what it would to implement it yourself,
- Backups and restoring of data is done simply and automatically, meaning less worry for you,
- All of the system updates and security issues are taken care of.
When you start to look at the big picture, moving to the web just makes sense for a lot of our customers.
We hope to see you join us in the cloud soon!!!