The phrase cloud computing has made the leap to the average person’s vernacular. With Apple’s iCloud and Amazon cloud based services for the Kindle products, the term cloud computing has grown to mean many things for many people. The big question for many is – what exactly is cloud computing?
Cloud computing refers to the use of IT environment that exist outside of the physical network. In simpler terms, cloud computing is the use of computer resources, that includes both hardware and software, that are delivered as service over a network connection, on the internet, and accessed on a “cloud”.
Cloud computing is probably best for small to medium sized businesses, as it provides an infrastructure that is scalable, flexible and also less expensive. Growing businesses could learn to use cloud in a variety of ways. Cloud services are provided by a third party and can be in the form of: SaaS also referred to as software as a service. There is also IaaS, also known as infrastructure as a service. SaaS, not to be confused with software as service, this SaaS is security as a service. Finally there is also PaaS, or platform as a service.
To determine the right cloud computing solutions for you and your business, it would be ideal to do a proper assessment of your IT environment. An assessment would ensure that the right cloud computing services you choose are the ones you need. Each business has certain needs, for example, SaaS, software as a service, would be a great choice for many businesses. SaaS resources include email, CRM, and also HRM. Services like these can be expensive but are far more accessible on a cloud.
There are many benefits to cloud computing, mainly lower cost being the most appealing. As the services are done on via a provider they are far cheaper as they do not require hardware or software in the typical, physical sense. Cloud computing is also done a pay per usage model which means the services are subscriber-based. You pay for the services you use thus reducing costs.
Being on the clouds also means more scalability and flexibility – users exist in a space that is far more flexible. Without the physical need for hardware or software, and the cloud provider providing all of the necessary applications (such as the IT infrastructure, data center, and management of financial assets), the cloud user is given far more without the stress.
A major concern is the obvious lack of security. Since cloud computing exists on network, this creates a far less safe computing environment than a physical environment. A physical environment means that the user has the servers designated for a specific purpose, however cloud based services have become far more secure as the use has grown widespread.
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