Remember when clouds were just things in the sky that brought winter snowstorms, spring rain drops, summer shade, and autumn leaves?
In today’s tech world, ‘the cloud’ or ‘cloud computing’ is an important concept which has become a necessity for businesses looking to stay competitive and propel growth. To help your business prosper, let’s take a deep dive into cloud computing, and learn about how to leverage it for your organization.
Welcome to the first article of our 5-part series about the cloud and how it impacts your business
What is the Cloud pt. I
What is the Cloud pt. II (June 10)
Why should your business use the cloud (June 13)
How is cloud utilized by businesses (June 17)
Cloud pros and cons (June 20)
What is the Cloud?
The word ‘cloud’ seems to act as a trendy tech buzzword that remains somewhat ambiguous to the general population. Those who correspond within this category either perceive cloud-based computing as a foreign entity that must have something to do with the weather or even worse, pretend to understand what it is and how it is used. For those who regularly interact with technology and are appreciative of its benefits, they realize how simplistic the concept of cloud really is. The most straightforward definition of the cloud is:
“The ability to store and access data from virtually anywhere at any time over the internet without the use of a hard-drive.”
Simply, the cloud can be split into two entities: cloud storage and cloud computing. Cloud storage refers to Google Drive, DropBox, or iCloud, services that allow you to (you guessed it) store data on the internet. In contrast, cloud computing, like Gmail or Adobe Acrobat, is used to work on and complete specified projects. Working intertwined, the cloud is ever-so-prevalent in our daily lives in the forms of online banking and shopping, social networking, and live streaming TV.
Don’t worry, this article covers all you need to know about what is the cloud:
Characteristics of the Cloud
History of the Cloud (pt.II)
Cloud Deployment Models (pt. II)
Cloud Service Models (pt. II)
Characteristics of the Cloud
What makes up the cloud? Why is it so useful?
Everyone wants to save money, save time, and save space.
Nobody likes constant maintenance or needing to worry about the technical aspects of their computer and its applications. Cloud works to eliminate these problems by implementing a virtual pool of shared resources offering storage, database, and network services. Rather than making investments in a defined, rigid hardware system like a computer that needs to be bought to be updated, cloud functions as a pay-as-you-go model that offers updates virtually. The basis of the cloud is that it relies on collaboration to reduce costs, achieve coherence, and establish economies of scale. Essentially, by utilizing the cloud, you can access information at home or at work, and share information seamlessly with others.
Here are three characteristics of the cloud:
Resource Pooling is an IT term describing where providers serve multiple clients, customers or “tenants” with provisional and scalable services. These services can be modified to include only the features that the client requires without any changes to the client or end user. This concept is sustained as clients will not have a constant need for all resources available, and when resources are not being used by one customer, resources are pooled to be used by another customer. The goal of resource pooling is to remove client headache on the actual administration and maintenance of cloud services by leaving upkeep to the experts.
Broad Network Access
Access to resources in the cloud is available via many devices such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, eBook readers, and even Smart glasses. These resources are also accessible from any location that offers online access. In conjunction, the cloud’s broad network access allows users to work at the office on their desktop and then on their phones while on the road. As businesses are beginning to implement mobile devices for employees, the interconnectivity allows access to company resources any time and anywhere boosting collaboration and productivity.
Prorated Cost Service
Cloud computing resource usage is metered and organizations pay accordingly based on the number of users on the platform, the amount of time spent on the platform, and/or the amount of storage utilized. The cost model, pay-as-you-go, allows the choice of available features like CPU, memory, storage, operating system, security providing flexibility for growing companies. Cloud services, being managed by a separate entity, leave the management and troubleshooting to the experts; saving time and IT costs. Cloud makes computing a lot simpler by the use of the internet and eliminates the need to purchase and manage new hardware and software to accomplish some task
Just like in the real world, accumulating “stuff” to the point where you need to store it can become problematic. Cloud storage works by saving data at an off-site storage system maintained by a 3rd-party. Saving data remotely allows your device to carry the essential hardware aspects, while a remote database holds all the information. This information is easily accessible from different platforms — like your phone and computer — while allowing multiple people to use the data. Gone are the days of external hard drives, disks, and USB’s, as cloud storage makes saving information much more convenient.
Storage maintenance duties, such as managing additional storage capacity, are performed by the service provider leaving the burden on the experts
Cloud storage acts as a natural disaster proof backup, as typically different backup servers in multiple locations exist to prevent information loss
Centralizes information: Companies with mobile brokers, offices in distant locations, or even many departments all can store and share the data with each other.
Simply, cloud computing is the term when performing computational work. It runs on the principle of sharing resources via the internet instead of deploying them on individual machines and servers. These cloud applications are interweb-enabled, meaning that these applications are based in a shared virtual environment where the only requirement is installation and internet connection. Avoiding the need for an in-house system makes it an ideal fit for businesses with variable demands and workloads. Cloud computing gives you the ability to work on remotely and transform data (for example, coding an application remotely), while cloud storage is simply a data storage and sharing medium.
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