The Mystery Of Cloud Computing

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What’s the go with Cloud Computing? 

The elusive cloud. It may come as news to some, but cloud computing started back around the same time as the infamous paperclip office assistant! 

Cloud computing is basically the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases and more over the Internet (“the cloud”) on a pay-as-you-go basis. 

Instead of owning your own computing infrastructure or data centres, you can rent access to anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider. 

So, what kind of services are available? 

Cloud computing can cover a broad range of services including storage, networking, and processing power as well as standard office applications. Pretty much any service that doesn’t require you to be physically close to the computer hardware that you’re using can now be delivered via the cloud. 

Let’s get into public cloud vs private cloud 

If your company is relatively private with access to sensitive data and information, a private cloud is probably the right option for you as it ensures maximum security. 

A private cloud is a cloud service that is not shared with any other organisation. The private cloud user has the cloud to themselves. 

The public cloud, therefore, is a cloud service that shares computing services among different customers. But don’t worry… each customer’s data remains hidden from other cloud customers. 

Basically, a public cloud is like renting an apartment, while a private cloud is like renting a similarly sized house. The house is more private, but it also typically costs more to rent. 

There’s also an in-between option – hosted private clouds. These are managed by a third-party cloud provider. 

The pros and cons of cloud computing 

The pros 

  • The most fundamental benefit of using cloud computing services is that you can avoid the upfront cost of IT infrastructure. Instead you simply pay for what you use, when you use it. 
  • No more buying servers and updating applications as it is all taken care of by the supplier. As a small business, a cloud service provider might be an efficient alternative to an in-house team. A company that specialises in running and securing cloud services is likely to have better skills than you can afford to hire. 
  • Cloud advocates argue that cloud services could contribute to business agility. Cloud services enable you to spin up new services without the time and effort associated with traditional IT procurement. 
  • When a company has big peaks in usage, it may make financial sense to have it hosted in the cloud. Moving to a services model also moves spending from a capital expense to an operating expense, which may be useful for some companies. 

The cons 

  • Cloud computing is not necessarily cheaper than other forms of computing, just as renting is not always cheaper than buying in the long term. It can appear to be more convenient and a little cheaper at first, but it can add up. If the requirements for an application are clear, it may be more economical to bring that service in-house. 
  • Some companies may be reluctant to host sensitive data in a service that is also used by rivals. If an application is core to your business, moving to a SaaS application may make it hard to create any competitive advantage. 
  • While it may be easy to start using a new cloud application, migrating existing data or apps to the cloud may be much more complicated and expensive. 

3 Types of Cloud Computing models 

Now, let’s chat models. Cloud computing can be broken down into three cloud computing models. 

1.    Infrastructure-as-a-Service 

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) refers to the fundamental building blocks of computing. IaaS providers offer storage and computing services on a pay-per-use basis. 

This solution fits companies that want to build applications from the very ground up and want to control nearly all the elements themselves. It does require firms to have the technical skills to be able to orchestrate services at that level. 

2.    Platform-as-a-Service 

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is the next layer up. This service model also includes the tools and software that developers need to build applications. A PaaS service could include middleware, database management, operating systems and development tools. 

PaaS can ensure that developers have ready access to resources, follow certain processes and use only a specific array of services, while operators maintain the underlying infrastructure. 

3.    Software-as-a-Service 

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is probably the version of cloud computing that most people are used to on a day-to-day basis. This model includes the delivery of applications-as-a-service. 

In a SaaS model, the provider delivers applications over the Internet through the browser or an app. Most enterprise applications, including ERP suites from Oracle and SAP, have adopted the SaaS model. 

The most popular SaaS applications are Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. Among enterprise applications, Salesforce leads the pack. 

Often, SaaS applications offer custom configuration options to suit the needs of larger organisations. 

And, there you have it! You’re officially a cloud computing expert. Now, you might be wondering what kind of cloud computing is right for you or your business. A chat with one of our cloud specialists can help find the right solution for you, working with your budget and needs. Get in touch today for a no obligation look at how to maximise the efficiency of your technology… through the cloud.  

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