Not too long ago, businesses used computing and storage services within their networks. But, now we have a fantastic alternative in the form of Cloud Computing. We have put together why Cloud Computing could be vital for your business.
What is Cloud Computing?
The term “Cloud Computing” refers to the delivery of services to clients over the Internet. With cloud computing, companies consume a computing resource like a Virtual Machine. This is a software application running on a server on the internet. This consumes computing power & storage on the internet servers and not as local. Cloud computing thus has resulted in great savings for businesses. It has allowed them to focus on their main business strategies. And, leave the infrastructure management challenges to the cloud service providers.
Types of Cloud Computing Services
Cloud computing services fall into three service categories. These are :
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),
- Software as a Service (SaaS) and,
- Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Let’s delve a bit more into what these services are what they offer.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
As the name suggests, the providers provide the cloud infrastructure as a service. In essence, the hardware infrastructure for hosting your application is on the cloud. They provide a server and storage allowing the businesses to migrate their application. Users can then run or configure the virtual machine and storage, as they need. IaaS providers also provide customised memory instances to suit different workloads. The key advantage of cloud computing is that the infrastructure can upscale or downscale as on-demand.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS delivers software applications, known as web services, over the Internet. Email services are perfect examples of SaaS. The users can access these services using a mobile device or a computer with access to the internet. The key advantage of this model is that the providers manage the capacity and infrastructure for the service. As an end customer, the user can avail of all the new features which the provider can provide as soon as they release it.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
In the case of PaaS services, the providers host the development tools on their servers. The users can access the tools over the internet via web portals and gateway software. The developers create an application using the platform which the provider has provided. Google App Engine is an example of PaaS.
Deployment models for Cloud Computing
Cloud computing can be set as public, private or hybrid models.
In the Public Cloud model, cloud service providers offer cloud services over the Internet. These are on-demand usually in a few minutes or hours, but also with long-term commitments available for some services. Customers get charged based on actual CPU cycles, bandwidth or storage they consume. Examples of public cloud providers are IBM, MS Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
Private cloud services to the internal users of a business from its data centre. This model is very versatile and convenient as the business preserves its control, management, and security. OpenStack and VMWare are popular vendors of private clouds.
Hybrid cloud is a combination of private cloud and public cloud services. It enables the implementation of automation between these two. The hybrid cloud creates a unified, scalable and automated environment. This takes advantage of public cloud infrastructure and retains its control over critical data.
Cloud Computing Security
Security is one of the concerns in adopting cloud-computing platforms. The public cloud providers share the hardware infrastructure with other customers. Such an environment provides strong isolation between various logical computing resources. The login credentials manage access to public cloud storage and computing resources. Any lapse in security measures on the part of the cloud providers could present a serious risk to the shared users of these services. There are quite a few regulatory requirements and the standards of governance for the handling of data.
Many organisations are hesitant to keep data on public cloud for the risk due to loss, theft or outages. But, over the years, these platforms have gained the trust of business organisations. One of the reasons for that is the reliable logical isolation they have offered along with the use of technology. Also the enabling of encryption and reliable access and identity management adds to the security features.
Recovering From Disasters
One of the most important things to think about any technology is the dependency on your data. Any natural disaster or any hardware failure can cause your data loss. In a traditional setup, most of the data loss is due to the data residing on local servers. Cloud-based disaster recovery is especially accessible for smaller businesses with a strict budget. Businesses can take advantage of various disaster recovery services that cloud technology offers.
Cloud technology is easy to scale up or down depending on your business’s growth. For instance, some businesses will need to scale up to handle busy work periods, and this can be undertaken every month. If they need to scale back down to account for quiet periods, then this is possible with a few clicks. Cloud technology can also fit both small businesses and larger corporations. These organisations have more demanding workflows and need the latest technology to keep up with their demands.
One of the most convenient things about cloud technology is that there’s no maintenance involved on your part. This is because of all the servers, hardware, and software check managed by off-site professionals. This means that you can forget about needing to manage your cloud technology and focus on your business. You have more time to develop new things for your business to help it grow. And you would not need to worry about fewer things like updates, security patches and maintenance on your mind.
More Opportunities for Collaboration
Another convenient thing about cloud-based technology is that it allows you and your staff to collaborate on projects. This is regardless of your location in the world. For instance, you could collaborate on files such as documents by editing the content itself. You could do all this while also commenting and suggesting changes. You could even write different parts of a document, both contributing to the same file but at different parts of it. This is a fantastic way to collaborate and it’s made possible by cloud-based technologies.
Lower and More Predictable Expenses
When it comes to running a business, making things predictable is a huge deal. That’s because it allows you to judge how much money you’re spending. When it comes to cloud technology, solutions get offered as a service, meaning that you pay a monthly fee. There’s no hardware or extra accessories to buy. So, you don’t need to worry about going over kind of data cap. And, you can focus on generating more revenue. This is thanks to the operating cost of your company being lower due to cloud-based solutions.
Remote Working Opportunities
Working from the comfort of your own home or in a coffee shop sounds like a luxury afforded to only freelancers. But, with the help of cloud-based technology, it’s possible to establish a remote workflow. There are many different cloud technologies available to enable remote working. You can decide to use a remote desktop application to control an office PC from a mobile phone. Or, even use cloud-based applications to collaborate and get work done from remote. It’s the perfect way for your employees to stay productive while they’re on the go. This is a very common thing for businesses now thanks to the flexibility it offers.
Nowadays, cyberattacks on network infrastructure are becoming very common. Cloud companies have robust cybersecurity solutions since they hold sensitive data. Also, your workflows are off-loaded to more powerful and well-protected servers. You can have alert mechanisms in place if there is a breach. This lowers the load on your business to manage the security aspect of local servers. If you wish to learn more about how cloud technology could benefit your business, give us a call today.
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