In the January 2009 installment of IT Pro Perspectives, we asked readers to let me know what they thought of cloud computing. We received a number of emails, phone calls, and letters from readers about the topic, so we've included excerpts from the best letters and compiled them into this article. Thanks again for your input!

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Jeff,

We made a significant investment in our server hardware about 4-5 years ago before cloud services became mainstream, so most of our services are handled in-house.

We do have two remote employees who work out of their homes, and I use Mozy Pro to provide for remote backups (since we know users will never do backups on their own). We have our web site hosted off-site and we use an email provider to handle sending mass emails to our clients. We have looked into VOIP, and if we go ahead with that we may put that in the cloud.

Other than that we handle Exchange, SQL, our LOB application and customer data in-house.--Peter Diamond - Multimedia & IT Services Manager

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Jeff:

As a self-employed IT Consultant, I have discovered that Cloud Computing can be both a benefit as well as a hinderance.

On the benefit side, I get a lot of use from my Google Docs account while I am off-site - I have several documents that I need constant access to and Google Docs has made that possible for me.

On the hinderance side, I am very wary of websites that offer off-site backup services simply because, if these websites were ever to experience downtime, I would be faced with not being able to retrieve my data. I am still a fan of off-site storage, however, it's just that I perform my off-site storage by making a "second copy" backup to storage media and storing that media at another location.--Matthew B. Howell - CompTIA A+ Certified Professional

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I am not recommending any SaaS to my clients professionally. I may be recommending it to them for personal use but not professionally due to the many short comings at this time.-- Jon

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