If you’re one of the many Insight Gym Management Software users, you have used our cloud-based services. So what is this cloud and why does it help small business owners and fitness clubs run businesses?

Talk about the Cloud seems to be everywhere these days. Any time you use applications like Facebook, Slack, MS Office 365, or one of the many others, that’s the cloud. Apps that appear in your web browser or your mobile device put all of the work on the far side of the connection to deliver better service and to do it efficiently.

The cloud is a way of describing the practice of putting the computation power on servers that are essentially simulations running on real servers. What that means for gym business owners is low-cost subscriptions for the services you need rather than making large down payments to get started.

What Is Going On Down At The Server Farm?

Everything in the cloud is even more abstract and ephemeral than it appears. At one time not so long ago, to set up a web-based service you would have to purchase the hardware. Then you had to acquire rack space at a Co-Lo (a co-located server farm) install it at and debug it yourself. Even if you knew a computer science whiz kid, willing to work for pocket money it was a major endeavor.

Now, as we comp science guys and gals like to say, Co-Lo has merged with the Cloud. Your machine will be a virtual server, a computer that runs as a simulation on another computer at the server farm. You can just spin up new instances whenever you need them. Your virtual machines (VMs) might take up all the power of one physical processor, or there could be half a dozen VMs running on one processor.

Infrastructure, Platforms, Services, Public Cloud, and Private Cloud

Your infrastructure includes your processing power, your storage memory, and the network that ties it all together. This infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is all based in the cloud, the platforms that support your operations are in the cloud, and the service you deliver to your customers is too. The reasons that cloud-based computing has taken off include the fact that it’s so flexible, it is inexpensive for the service user, and apps can use APIs to share data and become more powerful together.

When you offer a service that delivers data to customers through the cloud, it is called Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. The key feature that makes SaaS so attractive to clients is that rather than purchasing software or hardware you can use the services of your provider for a monthly or yearly subscription.

Services that support other applications or provide environments into which to develop software are called Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS. These are the services that add on to other applications like your payment processing service or hosting services for your website.

The public cloud is the most efficient arrangement for cloud-based infrastructure, is the most open, where the VMs of unrelated users might be working on the same hardware. Banks, healthcare organizations and any other group that needs security can trade a little efficiency for security with private cloud services that reside on segregated servers; no other user can grab your data.

Some companies find it helpful to utilize a combination. Such hybrid clouds give some of the economies of a public cloud for general purposes and the security of a private cloud for sensitive data.

What The Cloud Brings To Gym Management

There are excellent benefits to cloud computing for small gym businesses and probably many more coming in the next few years.

  • Low-cost access to game-changing services
  • Subscription-based services that allow you to add new users step-by-step
  • Flexibility to change your service level
  • Redundancy and security with computation and connections made at the other end
  • Leverage cloud-based platforms for bolt-on services

Some things run outstandingly well in the public cloud, and others need to be right in your building. Running gym-specific access controllers and such works better onsite. Also, you want to have applications like sales software working even if your Internet connection gets cut. As unlikely as it seems things happen, for example, the cable accidentally being sliced by the water company.

This post isn’t long enough to get you certified in cloud computing and probably more than you wanted to know about the subject. However, the importance of these things is only likely to keep growing in the next few years. So you present and future gym owners out there should keep it in mind when you decide on your next gym business opportunity.

Bibliography

Alexander, Selena. The Club Management Software Utilization Debate. April 20, 2017. http://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2017/04/club-management-software/ (accessed May 10, 2017).

Chase, Michael. 5 Reasons: Why Cloud Computing For Small Business? https://www.dincloud.com/blog/why-cloud-computing-for-small-business (accessed May 10, 2017).

Fagan, Lawrence. The New Security Risks To Your Gym Management Systems. January 13, 2017. https://blog.gyminsight.com/4187-the-new-security-risks-to-your-gym-management-systems/ (accessed May 10, 2017).the cloud

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