Although you may not realize it, most people are using cloud computing in one way or another every day. Using an online service to send an email, edit documents, play games, store pictures, watch movies and TV, or listen to music is utilizing the cloud. The first cloud computing services are a decade or so old, and companies from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits are embracing the technology for a variety of different reasons including; Creating new apps and services, storing, backing up, and recovering data, hosting websites and blogs, streaming audio and video, delivering software on demand and analyzing data for patterns and making predictions. Before making a move to the cloud, companies should understand the nuts and bolts of how cloud computing works, what benefits it can deliver, and the costs to run in the cloud.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing services work a little differently, based on who the provider is. Most provide a user-friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easy for technology professionals and developers to add resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line interface (CLI), giving developers multiple options. Simply put, cloud computing is an arrangement between a provider and a customer that allows customer access to a server that remains under the control of the provider. Normally there is a recurring or monthly fee for these services. The customer can use the server in a variety of ways including as hardware on which programs run, or to store data. Using a server in this way is often referred to as IaaS. Others use the server as a platform on which to develop their own software (PaaS), and others use the server as a portal that accesses a service such as a payment portal for a customer or to process the customer’s data (SaaS).
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing can significantly reduce the investments an enterprise needs to make in hardware and software as well as the eliminating the need for on-site data centers and IT staff to manage the infrastructure, and that reduces utility, labor and overhead costs as well.
Cloud computing eliminates the need for ongoing IT tasks such as “racking and stacking,” setting up hardware and patching software. It makes your organization more productive and enables your IT personnel to focus on more important business goals.
Cloud computing provides an enterprise elastic scalability to meet the ever-changing IT requirements of your enterprise. You will always have the right amount of IT resources available for storage, computing power, and bandwidth whether your business is seasonal or steady.
The bigger cloud computing services run on a global network of secure datacenters. In addition, they are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of the fastest and most efficient computing hardware. This means improved performance, reduced latency, and the benefit of economies of scale.
Cloud computing makes business continuity and disaster recovery easier and less costly because data is mirrored to redundant sites on the cloud provider’s global network.
Since cloud computing services are self-serve and on-demand, you can provision vast amounts of computing resources on the fly-in minutes — no more worries over capacity planning.
Cloud computing services are defined by three categories: IaaS-The rental of IT infrastructure that includes servers, virtual machines, networks, operating systems, and data storage from a cloud provider on a pay as you go basis.
PaaS– This includes cloud computing services that provide an on-demand environment that developers can utilize to develop, test, deliver, and manage software applications.
SaaS– cloud computing that provides a way to deliver software applications over the internet on-demand. Normally these cloud services are on a subscription basis. The provider hosts and manages the software application and the underlying infrastructure, including maintenance, upgrades, and software patches. Users will connect to the application using an internet browser.
Cloud Computing Deployments
Cloud computing can be deployed in different ways, and it is crucial to understand how the different deployments work in order to choose the right type or combination of cloud deployments that best fit your organizational needs.
A cloud owned and operated by a third party provider. Computing resources, including servers and storage, are delivered over the internet. All of the components of the system, such as hardware, software, and any other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the third party cloud provider.
Cloud resources that a single business or organization uses exclusively. The cloud can be physically located on a company’s on-site datacenter or hosted by a third party provider. The services and infrastructure would be maintained on a private network.
A hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds. The clouds are bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared. A hybrid cloud normally involves a firewall to enhance the security of data and applications moving between the two clouds. For many businesses, this is the best choice because the private cloud better protects sensitive data, and it offers greater flexibility and more deployment options.