Okay, there’s no denying that this is a technology blog and technology often becomes geeky. But, this article is about cloud computing and hey, cloud computing is fun.
So, let us start by tickling your funny bones a little bit and then we will move towards tickling your grey cells.
“Nobody understands the cloud. It’s a mystery!” Remember this quote? So, there you go, the cloud has made it to the Hollywood and definitely not as a gentleman but it plays a horrendous villain in it debut role.
Have you recalled the quote yet? Well, if you are a movie buff, you can surely recall it. And, if you are not, please Google or Bing it because we are not going to mention the name here.
Now, let’s dig our hands into this mystery and understand what cloud computing is.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery or sharing of on-demand computing resources, ranging from applications to data centers, over the internet on a pay-for-use basis. In simple terms, cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.
Hence, cloud computing is not about computing and storing data on or running programs from the hard drive or the local storage. In cloud computing, the word cloud is used as a metaphor for “”the Internet.”” Therefore, using a dedicated network attached storage (NAS) hardware or server in residence does not count as tapping the cloud.
Different Types of Cloud Computing Services
The cloud computing services are commonly categorized into three basic types of service models, namely:
- Software as a service (SaaS) – On-demand cloud-based applications, run on remotely located computers in “the cloud” that are owned and operated by others and are accessed by users via a web browser.
- Platform as a service (PaaS) – Provides a cloud-based platform to support the complete lifecycle of developing and delivering web-based applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with building and launching an app.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – Provides enterprises with computing resources, including servers, networking, storage, and data center space on a pay-per-use basis over the internet.
Cloud Computing Benefits
Cloud computing has emerged as a new paradigm for businesses and all this buzz is not just a whimsy of the computer world. Switching to cloud computing offer several benefits and advantages, which is certainly revolutionizing the way businesses across the world function and leverage IT.
Cloud computing offers businesses flexibility, efficiency and strategic value to operate and grow. Let’s look at some of the key benefits of cloud computing:
- Cost Savings
This is perhaps the most significant cloud computing benefit. Cloud computing helps businesses save a substantial amount of the capital costs required to manage and maintain IT systems. Since a cloud computing model does not require any in-house server storage it cuts down the need for on-premises infrastructure and also eliminates their associated operational costs.
Cloud-based services are apt for emerging businesses that have fluctuating bandwidth demands. Cloud computing enables organizations to scale up or scale down its existing services and resources depending on the suitability of their business needs.
- Recovery and Business Continuity
A managed cloud platform offers an environment which is much more reliable and consistent than in-house IT infrastructure. Since all the business data is stored in the cloud, it makes it relatively easier to back it up and restore than storing them on a physical device. In the event of a disaster, whether natural or technical, the cloud ensures that the business data is backed up safely to avoid downtime, keeping operations running consistently and maintaining business continuity.
- Increased Collaboration
Cloud computing increases collaboration among employees, allowing multiple users to share and work on data and document simultaneously. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing applications help them make updates in real time while offering full visibility of their collaborations.
- Remote Access
As we know that cloud is the metaphor for the internet, it is imperative that the cloud technology offers access to data, programs or anything stored in the cloud via any web-enabled devices at any time and from anywhere. Whether you are on a business trip or a road trip, the cloud allows you to work and access vital business information remotely.
Cloud computing provides simplified IT management and maintenance capabilities by virtue of vendor managed infrastructure, central administration of resources and Service Level Agreements. In the cloud, software integration usually occurs automatically. This reduces the need for additional efforts to customize and integrate new applications.
- Competitive Edge Over Others
The time required for IT procurement in cloud computing model is virtually nil. This gives organizations a competitive edge over other players who must devote IT resources to managing infrastructure. It also helps in reducing the time needed to market newer applications and services.
Not Moved to Cloud Yet?
Well, that is your call. Whilst it is true that cloud computing offers compelling advantages for every business, it would be naive to claim that the cloud is right for every task that an IT infrastructure needs to perform.
For example, if you have very high-security requirements, then a dedicated server environment will offer better levels of compliance. Similarly, if you need to run an older application that had been designed to run on dedicated servers, then shifting it to the cloud could be difficult as well as irrelevant.
Like every other technology, cloud computing has its pros and cons. However, the benefits of cloud computing clearly outweigh its risk factors enabling a business to flourish at a cost much cheaper than it could be in a traditional IT infrastructure.