What is Cloud Computing and What are Its Advantages?

For many businesses, having a good IT system is essential to the effectiveness of the company. But keeping and maintaining a stack of servers, running back-ups, IT management and a whole plethora of other issues can make it complicated, costly and frankly, unproductive.

One solution for businesses is cloud computing.

What is Cloud Computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is where your business’s IT services are delivered through the internet. In other words, you won’t have a bulky server prone to breaking down or in need of continual maintenance; your IT services are all stored online.

So here is some basic information about cloud computing.

Cloud computing allows you to carry out a number of tasks, including:

The storage, backing-up and recovery of data
Website hosting
Delivering software
Data analysis
Creating new apps or services
Audio and visual streaming

There are many advantages of cloud computing for businesses compared to the more traditional server set-up.

The Advantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can offer many benefits for businesses:

More Productive – Cloud computing will eliminate the need for your IT department to spend their time on time-consuming jobs such as hardware set-up, software patching and resolving issues. This will give them more time to do the more important jobs and be more productive.

Better Performance – Cloud services are usually run on a worldwide network of data centres – which are, of course, secure. Your business will benefit from this as they are continually being updated with the most recent hardware to make it work quickly and efficiently.

More Cost Effective – Cloud computing is also more cost effective than buying, running and maintaining a server, fans, 24-hour power, buying hardware and software and the IT expertise to make sure that it is all running smoothly. With cloud computing solutions, you will eliminate all of this.

More Reliable – With a physical server, you always run the risk of losing your data if a back-up isn’t carried out or done properly. Cloud computing can mirror your data at a number of redundant sites, meaning that no data will be lost and your business will see more continuity.

Quicker – Cloud computing can allow users access to a great deal of data whenever they wish, as well as a high number of other computing resources on demand. Users can tap into whatever resource that they require, when they require it.

Worldwide – Another solution from cloud computing is that data and resources can be accessed from anywhere in the world. This can change according to whatever your needs are. For example, the band width or computing power can be changed according to what you require at the time. This is called scaling elastically.

Types of Cloud Computing

For businesses, there are usually three types of cloud computing – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

IaaS – This is at the bottom of the cloud computing ‘stack’ and is the most basic category. Your business will ‘rent’ IT services including servers, data storage, operating systems and networks from a cloud provider.

PaaS – Usually built on top of the IaaS infrastructure, PaaS is a place where software applications can be designed and developed, tested, and delivered to the business and then managed.

SaaS – SaaS is usually used on a subscription basis by users who access an application via an internet browser. It is built upon IaaS and PaaS infrastructures, where cloud providers host and also manage the software application and users access using a PC, tablet or smartphone.

Cloud Deployment

For businesses, there are three types of cloud deployment – public, private and hybrid. The public cloud means that the cloud is managed and operated by a third party, so a business would access the services offered on the cloud, managing your own account.

The private cloud is where a business has their own private cloud network, which is used solely by them. Third party service providers can be paid to host a private cloud network.

The hybrid cloud is a mixture of the two options, using technology that allows a business to move between a public and private cloud network. This will give businesses more options and increased flexibility.

With so many benefits now and in the future, it is difficult to see why businesses would not want to explore using cloud technology. For more information about cloud computing and how it could work for your business, get in touch with us today!

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