What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is actually not as complicated as it sounds. Cloud computing involves the delivery of computing services including servers, networks, software, analytics, databases and storage over the Internet or over what is referred to as the cloud. Firms and companies that offer cloud computing services are known as cloud providers. These providers charge for cloud computing services based on the frequency of use, just as other utility companies charge for service rendered.
Today, more and more businesses are moving towards cloud computing because of the opportunities it presents. Over the past years, the shift from traditional software models to cloud computing has gained momentum. In the future, it is clear that cloud computing will present numerous opportunities for increased collaboration, particularly as mobile devices continue to take center stage in today’s contemporary life.
Life before the cloud
Before the cloud, business applications were complicated and financially constraining; the technical know-how required for running, updating and maintaining the wide-ranging software and hardware was not only daunting but time-consuming as well. The process required an arsenal of supporters and experts to install, configure, run, test, secure and update everything. As a result, unlike large companies that had the capacity to take of all these components in-house, medium and small businesses tended to suffer before cloud computing came into the picture.
Types of cloud computing
Cloud computing is available mainly in three forms namely hybrid clouds, private clouds, and public clouds. Cloud computing can also be classified based on the service that the cloud is availing such as IaaS (infrastructure as a service) SaaS (software as a service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service).
A public cloud is what many would refer to as the internet. Public clouds are more suited to businesses that are public facing and non-sensitive. Applications such as SaaS and storage that is available to the public can be included in public clouds. Examples of public cloud services include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) or the Windows Azure Services Platform.
Private clouds are data centers that are operated by a single company. The company provides businesses with scalability, monitoring, and support. The purpose of a private cloud is to gain the benefits associated with cloud computing without having to give up the autonomy of your business’ data center.
Hybrid clouds imply the use of both private and public clouds for different business operations. It allows companies to maintain an internally privately managed cloud while depending on the public cloud for non-sensitive purposes.