Is Cloud Computing Just a Buzzword?
Hopefully by now you have at least heard the term cloud computing. Cloud computing is one of the most used buzzwords in technology. What is the cloud and how do you find it? How do we know if we are in the cloud now? These are pretty common questions that are asked when people first hear about cloud. Basically, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of using your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet, it really is just a re-branding. Cloud was a term that was coined back in the old days referring to the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet represented by a puffy, white cumulus cloud accepting connections and doling out information as it floats. For it to be considered cloud computing, you need to access your data or your programs over the Internet and usually with a web browser.
Some businesses choose to implement Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which runs on distant computers in the cloud. These computers are owned and operated by others and connect to user computers via the Internet and a web browser.
The benefits of SaaS:
- You can sign up and immediately start using innovative business apps
- Apps and data are accessible from any connected computer
- No data is lost if your computer breaks or is lost, as data is in the cloud
- The service is able to dynamically scale to usage needs
There’s also Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), where a business can create its own custom applications for use by its entire organization. You can achieve a complete lifecycle for web-based cloud applications, without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware, software, provisioning, and hosting.
The benefits of PaaS:
- Develop applications and get to market faster
- Deploy new web applications to the cloud in a matter of minutes
- Reduce complexity with middleware as a service
There is also Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), where players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Rackspace provide a backbone that essentially is rented out by other companies.
The benefits of IaaS:
- No need to invest in your own hardware
- Infrastructure scales on demand to support dynamic workloads
- Flexible, innovative services available on demand
Whatever type of Cloud solutions you may be considering using, there are definite benefits to it.
- Self-service provisioning. You can access computer resources for any workload on demand. This eliminates the need for your IT staff to manage computer resources and frees them up for other tasks.
- Elasticity. Your business will be able to scale up or down based on the demand. This eliminates the need for massive investments in local infrastructure which may or may not remain active. You only pay for what you need, saving you money.
- Pay per use. Resources are measured at a granular level, allowing users to pay only for the resources they actually use. What a concept!
Regardless of how you use Cloud Computing, your business really should embrace it. It gives smaller companies the ability to be the most productive and allows their systems to be better than even some of the biggest companies. You are able to self-administer your technology, have access anywhere, gain data security, and all while saving money. 2W Tech is an IT Consultant that specializes in Cloud solutions. Give us a call today to see how we can help your organization move to the cloud.
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