What is Cloud Computing and Who Uses Cloud Services?

What is Cloud Computing and Who Uses Cloud Services?

Perhaps you haven't thought about it yet. But there are high chances you've been using cloud services for quite some time. If you've streamed media online, accessed your photos online, or worked on a document that's not stored on your device's hard disk, all of those have been made possible by cloud computing.

What is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing involves the delivery of a wide range of computer system resources such as IT tools and programs via the internet. A good example of cloud computing in use is when a business relies on another company’s computers, servers, and databases to host its applications and operational data, and its employees access this data and applications remotely through the internet. This arrangement saves the business the risk and cost of having in-house data storage equipment and servers.

A cloud service can exist in three primary forms: Platform as a service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS).

Depending on business needs, organizations can rent a private, community, public, or hybrid cloud service. These are referred to as the deployment models of cloud solutions and their difference lies in the level of control of equipment or IT resources provided to the client.

  1. Public cloud: With this deployment model, clients will be sharing the cloud resources made available to practically anyone. Management of the computer resources is carried out by the provider who offers their solution on demand. In this case, clients pay according to the bandwidth, storage, or central processing unit cycles they consume.
  2. Community cloud: This model is customized for users with similar concerns. For instance, they could have similar security standards or needs, shared missions, or related policies. Think of cloud solutions designed for colleges collaborating on certain projects.
  3. Private cloud: With this model, clients enjoy more control over their company's data. Clients can get computer system resources designed specifically for them. They'll enjoy sole access to the services and systems thus ensuring better data security.
  4. Hybrid: This model is a mix of public and private cloud versions. It's designed to offer clients flexibility. They get the option to store their business-critical data in private servers and access other services via on-demand resources.

Who uses cloud service?

Almost everyone today, whether businesses, individuals, government agencies, and non-profit organizations can benefit from cloud solutions. Cloud computing avails various solutions that match the needs of big and small organizations, as well as individuals.

Individual users who need large storage spaces for their documents, images, and videos can opt to store them online via services such as Dropbox and Box. Cloud solutions include data backup that empowers users to access their documents online when their original device is damaged. Also, communication tools such as email, conference calling, and messaging apps (like WhatsApp and Trillian) are cloud-based.

Cloud services offer advanced cloud computer system resources that all types of companies and organizations can take advantage of as well. Companies can hire – rather than purchase – computing power and resources to facilitate secure data storage and archiving, big data analytics, software development and testing, disaster recovery, and business management.

Organizations can also rely on cloud providers for platforms and infrastructure such as servers and virtualization tools. It enables businesses to use hardware and virtual machines (such as VMware) to launch their machine learning projects without bearing the equipment and licensing costs.

Having computer systems with sufficient computing power is a crucial requirement in modern businesses but setting up the infrastructure and running them in-house is costly. Cloud computing comes to alleviate the cost burden by allowing clients to pay for only the service they need at any time.

Why cloud computing?

Cloud services are convenient, reliable, and cost-friendly. It avails robust computing power and high-level computer resources to businesses that would hardly be able to acquire such hardware due to cost. These are just some of the reasons individuals and brands the world over are quick to harness cloud computing business solutions. Let's dive into the benefits of hiring computing power:

  1. Flexibility: By moving to the cloud, businesses pay for only the computer systems they require at any particular time. This means they can scale up and down to meet their changing business needs.
  2. Cost-friendly: Since clients are free to rent only the computing resources they’ll be using and are charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, they save on cost. Also, companies can hire computing infrastructure, software, and platforms they require to run their daily operations. Without the solutions, businesses would have to acquire equipment and software to install on their premises. They'd also hire IT experts to operate and man the installations in-house. Cloud solutions eliminate the need for in-house infrastructure and expensive IT departments thus cutting down on a business's operational costs.
  3. Data security: The cloud offers opportunities for safe data storage and backups away from a business's premises. The services can be configured such that only authorized parties can gain access to the data. With such an arrangement, it's hard for a company to lose its important data in case of damage or virus attacks on its systems. It also makes recovery of business operations easy and quicker in case of a disaster. 
  4. Eases collaboration: Workers can access files remotely on any device as long as they have access to the internet. It makes working on a project with people from different regions of the world a bliss. Cloud computing has been a major enabler of remote working and collaboration.

Summing up

There's no doubt cloud services are gaining traction among many organizations. That’s why discussions about moving to the cloud might be becoming popular in your organization. With the many benefits associated with cloud technology, it’ll be a strategic move for any business to consider cloud services.

Tue, 01/24/2023 - 08:42