Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources
over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.
Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data
centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing
power and storage, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider.
If you want/like to know more about cloud computing and how
it can benefit your business, you need to know about this rapidly growing
technology and why you should consider using it for your business needs.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to access technology services (computing power, storage, etc.) over an Internet connection. Consumers can purchase just what they need from their cloud provider—and pay only for what they use.
It eliminates upfront capital costs to build your own data center or server farm, eliminating ongoing maintenance and support costs.
And you don’t have to manage or maintain cloud computing infrastructure; that’s all handled by your cloud provider. You simply consume whatever resources you need whenever you need them.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is an ideal solution for enterprise and business users who need access to large amounts of storage, processing power, and other IT resources on a short-term basis.
Rather than purchasing all these resources and maintaining them internally, companies can pay for them as they go from providers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. It saves/keeps companies a considerable amount of money in hardware purchases and cuts maintenance costs.
For example, you don’t have to worry about servers crashing due to insufficient cooling with cloud services—the provider takes care of that.
You also don’t have to hire someone full-time just to manage your servers. And if you run out of space? Just add more! It’s simple with cloud services.
With no upfront cost and low ongoing fees, it’s easy to see why so many businesses turn toward cloud computing solutions for their needs.
Types of Clouds
|Types of Clouds|
Cloud computing is often broken into four categories based on the control users have over their infrastructure.
- Private clouds are fully managed by one organization.
- Public clouds are offered by a third party and are available to anyone.
- Community clouds rely on shared resources such as data centers.
- Hybrid clouds are mixed public and private.
Each has its pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your business needs before deciding. For example, if you need more flexibility or security than what’s provided by public clouds, you might opt for a private cloud solution.
But if you’re looking for cost savings or quick deployment capabilities that aren’t possible with in-house systems, you might lean toward using public or community options instead.
Security concerns and risks
Cloud computing has security risks that you need to address before moving any major infrastructure to a cloud environment. For example, you might have to contend with compliance issues and how your data will be handled and stored overseas.
Third-party computing resources can also pose risks. Before signing any contracts, make sure you fully understand who manages your data.
You can mitigate these risks by implementing an information security program that includes well-defined policies, procedures, standards, guidelines, and technologies (such as encryption).
It’s also important to perform regular audits and penetration tests on your applications running in a cloud environment.
Concerns about Interoperability
As more cloud providers enter and compete in markets, vendors have to adapt their platforms to work with various other platforms.
Microsoft’s Azure platform, for example, is committed to interoperability with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and more. It ensures customers aren’t locked into one vendor. However, it does make it harder for developers who want to build on a single platform.
Common Misconceptions about Cloud Computing
There are many myths surrounding cloud computing. In order to help you better understand how it works, here are some common misconceptions about cloud computing and its actual meanings.
Cloud Computing, for example, isn’t just another technology that stores data on servers; instead, it’s a new service that companies offer that provide an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform.
These businesses own and maintain physical data centers but rent out space to other companies for storing their information.
It can be very cost-effective for small businesses or startups with limited resources since they only pay for what they use without purchasing any equipment themselves.
Impact on the Industry
Change is inevitable, especially in technology. Cloud computing is changing an industry that has remained relatively unchanged for years.
Moving to a cloud solution eliminates a business’s need to purchase and maintain hardware and software, which means it doesn’t have to keep up with fast-paced technological innovation.
Businesses also eliminate data security risks by storing files on remote servers instead of their computers.
Cloud providers can offer more protection from hackers because they have a more extensive network, whereas businesses are limited to what they can protect themselves. And not only does cloud computing reduce costs, but it also offers flexibility.
In some cases, companies aren’t locked into one type of service; they can mix and match between different offerings based on what works best for them at any given time.
As cloud computing becomes more mainstream, CIOs and CTOs are already looking for their successor. The next step is cloud bursting, whereby large corporations use cloud technology to supplement existing on-premise infrastructure during peak usage periods.
Companies will still maintain their own data centers to ensure high uptime and security. Still, they’ll also increasingly rely on cloud computing for more flexible scalability in times of high demand.