Why Your Business Needs Cloud Computing

The low cost computing model of cloud computing has become popular with our use of storing photos on Flikr, to running Microsoft Office in the cloud at work.

Cloud computing is a very technical avenue of computing, but it is easy to explain, especially to today's generation. Its the ability to use computer resources that are located somewhere over the internet in a datacentre, instead of relying on your local storage or programs. This includes what we take for granted now as online email services such as Gmail and Yahoo.

Is Cloud Computing For You?

Cloud computing is perfect if you have a small business and can't afford expensive software from day one. Before cloud computing, when you wanted your own email address you had to setup a server at your business address and configure email settings, and database software for your contact and application software. This was very technical, and often required it professionals who would charge you large amounts of money, something that many people starting in business just can't afford.

Cloud computing revolutionized this arena however. With its low barrier to entry costs, and the ability to scale their performance of your cloud, it started to become the go to solution for small, and then medium to large size business. The money in business can be better deployed to give the workers access to good equipment, that make remote working a reality, such as a laptop. One benefit to cloud computing is that you don't just have to be at the office to connect to your company's network. You can be anywhere, as long as you have a good internet connection.

Instead of having costly software that required a team of IT professionals to manage across all your workers computers, you now have the ability for the it team to remotely access any problems, and most of these are really just training issues. Cloud computing software is usually so well tested, it doesn't run it to many problems. Its also been easy to bring the workforce up to the idea of working from the cloud, since so many are already familiar with Gmail, and using cloud computing storage such as Flickr, and instagram.

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Cloud Computing Categories

Cloud computing can be categorized into 3 types, and these are:

  • public cloud
  • private cloud
  • hybrid cloud

The most popular type of cloud environment is the public cloud. This is where a 3rd party data center provides the user with access to both disk space and computing power for it's application software. Currently Amazon web services, and Google apps are among the most popular, being adopted for individual use as well as for enterprise solutions.

Different from a public cloud, a private cloud is when we set up everything in house and use your own equipment to create a data centre. You have to handle all the costs of installation and maintenance, but the upside is that you get to have complete control over your data. This is for mostly enterprise business that have a very good technical team behind them, and want to control privacy and data to the maximum.

A hybrid cloud is a mix of the 2 above, where for example, the applications can be hosted in the public cloud by a provider, but the network data is hosted by your company in their local office or data center. This can be sometimes to maintain control, but it can also be because the existing legacy solution is to difficult to migrate, due to time and costs. A hybrid solution is idea if you have a couple of IT members, and a staff base that can only adapt to change a bit slower than the new generation.

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Cloud Computing Solutions

There are 3 main types of services that you can receive from a cloud computing service provider. These are:

  • IaaS
  • PaaS
  • SaaS

Infrastructure as a service is when the service provider handles the complete cost of the servers and networking equipment, as well as storage and backups. You have to pay a premium for this type of service, but it is very much in demand. The Amazon EC2 is an example of this type of service.

Platform as a service is where your cloud computing service provider offers you a platform, or sometime called a stack of solutions for your users. This is a great way for a business or startup to save money on investing in expensive hardware and software, essential to the everyday running of their requirements. The Google Gc engine, or Force.com that has apps for every department in your buysienss, and contains highly configurable datafields to best match your business needs.

Software as a service is the option that most of us are already familiar with and using in our everyday life. For business this can include Google Drive, Salesforce, or even SugarCRM. These applications are hosted in the cloud and are simply accessed from a normal password and login.

The Future Of Cloud Computing

The advantages to using cloud computing are obvious. Users can pay for exactly what they need, and normally on just a monthly or per usage pricing model. This allows you to save most of your money for marketing your business, and covering the costs of real day to day activities, while having your IT problems whisked away in a heartbeat to a professional setup in the cloud. Due to the nature of most cloud providers, they perform regular day to day backups, and your data is usually guarded from their multiple servers incase one fails. No matter if you already use cloud computing or not, if there is one thing the Facebook generation can guarantee, and that is cloud computing is the final step in the computing industry, and is here to stay.

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