When you hear the word cloud computing, you may immediately have an image in your mind of a computer network teeming with colorful avatars, pop-ups, and flashy banners. The reality is far different. Cloud computing is an off-the-shelf availability of internet resources, specifically computer processing power and storage, without direct human oversight. Essentially, the term is used to describe large data centers accessible to numerous clients over the Internet. These machines are usually located in the data centers of various providers, such as Amazon and Rackspace. In most cases, the machines are leased from the providers in question, but there are instances where a user can rent a machine on their own.
The basic idea behind cloud computing services is that businesses can save a lot of money in terms of IT maintenance by renting high-performance servers from third parties. Rather than purchasing expensive hardware and maintaining it in the house, the business can simply lease the machines and have them provided for them. There is no need for software updates, patches, and custom training. Instead, all that is required is to have trained staff to update the machines on a regular basis and to ensure that they are behaving correctly. This is in contrast to traditional server provisioning methods, where changes to the configuration settings require technical knowledge and may take weeks or even months to make adjustments to the operating system.
Cloud computing services provide a number of advantages for small and medium enterprises, such as saving time and money by not having to buy hardware and software. More importantly, it allows for real-time usage monitoring and improved productivity, as users do not need to physically access and use the servers. By sharing data across multiple remote locations, users can get instant access to important analytics, allowing businesses to make informed decisions on what to do next. By migrating data between different locations, a business can also cut down on travel costs and improve customer relations.
Offers offsite storage and data migration solutions
Another advantage of using cloud computing services is that it offers offsite storage and data migration solutions. For companies that own and manage their own data, offsite storage is essential to securing data and making it accessible on multiple devices. However, for businesses that use cloud-based storage or have IT staff that will physically access data, offsite storage is not always an option. Migration of data to a cloud storage service reduces maintenance requirements, making it easier and more cost-effective to implement in the first place.
One of the advantages of using offsite storage is improved, deployment models. In traditional server provisioning and deployment, physical hardware and software components are required for the entire system. However, with cloud computing, certain features may be available only through subscription or managed use. This means that an organization’s IT department can rely on its own expertise and resources for managing the servers. There are a number of deployment models available, including elastic service, public cloud, self-service, and virtual private cloud.
The ease of access to various tools and applications
The other advantage of cloud computing is the ease of access to various tools and applications. By leveraging the same infrastructure, computers and their supporting technology are shared. This allows users to access data, storage, web applications, email, and collaboration software in different ways, according to their needs and preferences. Some of the different ways include instant messaging (IM), chat, text and file transfers, and video conferencing.
Cloud computing services also allow for greater customization of websites and application setups. This is because the service provider already has established infrastructure and application applications, simplifying the task of configuring websites and applications. This also makes it easier for organizations to meet the technological challenges of the future. The ability to rapidly establish new cloud applications and configure different business processes has meant that cloud providers can offer business-to-business solutions and services in different ways, catering to every need.
In a nutshell
Cloud computing services refer to the setup of an infrastructure in which computers and other IT infrastructure resources are hosted in a remote location. Organizations have the flexibility to configure how these resources are used. They can create and modify the necessary network settings and install custom software on their machines. They can even make use of their own computing resources (servers, desktops, laptops) on the server and deploy them on their network. However, the most popular use of cloud computing services is the provision of IT infrastructure that can be accessed as and when needed by organizations.