Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, etc. over the Internet (“the cloud”).
Typically, you pay only for cloud services you use, just like a utility bill. Similar to a vending machine, you get to choose what services you like and you get it instantly, but the cost will vary based upon the selection you choose.
Cloud Computing Benefits
- Costs - eliminates the expense of buying hardware and software, datacenters with on-site racks of servers, network equipment, 24x7 power, cooling, etc.
- Scale - resources are provisioned immediately and can be turn on or off and scaled up or down to meet business demands.
- Reliability - data backup and disaster recovery can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites in the cloud for establishing business continuity.
Cloud Computing Deployments
- Public cloud - all hardware, software, and infrastructure is owned and managed by a cloud provider. You can access all of these services and manage your account using a web browser.
- Private cloud - all resources are used exclusively by a single business or organization. A private cloud can be physically located on-site or hosted by a third-party service provider.
- Hybrid cloud - the combining of public and private clouds, offering your business greater flexibility, more deployment options which helps optimize your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.
Cloud Computing Models
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) - the rental of servers, storage, networks and operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Learn more about IaaS
- Platform as a service (PaaS) - services that supply an on-demand IT environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Learn more about PaaS
- Software as a service (SaaS) - hosting and management of software applications and the underlying infrastructure. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.
Learn more about SaaS
How Do I Start Cloud Computing?
As you can see, there are many choices to make. What type of cloud deployment is best for me? What computing model would benefit me the most?
Over the next several weeks, we will help answer these questions and many more. If you run a small or medium size business with a substantial investment of on-site hardware, we will discuss strategies for enabling cloud computing so users can be mobile and securely access IT resources in your office. I will provide examples and success stories on how we have helped business enable and adopt cloud services.
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