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What Is Cloud Computing?

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What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is quickly gaining a lot of ground in the current technological era. There are numerous merits that come from going in this direction. Large companies like Amazon and Google have taken their operations to the cloud already.

In light of this, it is important to know what it entails and why it is the next big thing. Indeed, cloud computing is as a result of the evolution of the internet. Having said this, it is important to put your mind around this concept to really understand what it is. The following information gives you insightful facts about what cloud computing is and the components thereof.

The Definition of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is simply the assignment of a wide array of applications to a designated server that is outside your personal computer. This special server is able to hold all your software, hardware and any other applications that are necessary to run your company or business.

cloud computing meaning

In the cloud, companies are able to store vital data, access word processors remotely, use email services, and the like. Complex database applications will also be accessed in the cloud. In other words, it can be defined as a one-stop-shop for all your computing needs, without having to run heavy applications on your computer.

There are specialized companies that have these servers and provide this service to both companies and individuals. Cloud computing comes with many benefits and the obvious one is convenience and efficiency. Cloud computing companies have invested heavily to make sure that they satisfy the needs of their esteemed clients. This concept is not complicated at all and most people have already used it, with or without their knowledge. For example, if you have an email account with Yahoo or Gmail, you are using cloud computing because their software is not on your computer.

Cloud computing is definitely a revolution because it is helpful and easy to implement. With a web browser, clients can access their information and engage in different applications without investing in expensive software or paying hefty license fees to use some web infrastructure. A cloud computing system or network is complex to say the least. However, the following is a simple breakdown of some of the top components to expect therein.

The cloud computing system is made up of the front end and the back end. The front end is the interface that the client or the user will see when they are accessing information or data from the cloud. The back end is composed of various programs and applications which are stored on a dedicated server.

Some clients can choose to get services of a private or public cloud. Some will go for a hybrid cloud. This basically means that they can access their data as per their own definitions to allow access to those who are permitted. There are certain vital protocols that the system follows to deliver the right results. Additionally, the software used in the cloud is special and it is referred to as middleware.

Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular in society. The companies that provide this service must have essential systems that create backups in a bid to store or process data properly for clients. Being in the cloud is soon going to become a requirement for businesses that want to save money while retaining a seamless flow of work in their organizations.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

Cloud computing is definitely having a huge impact on society. Most large companies like Facebook are opting to go in this direction because it is effective and makes economic sense. In addition to this, cloud computing is able to integrate computers into an organization to save both time and vital resources such as software.

Cloud computing has been termed as the next level of the internet age, and more and more people are making use of it. However, to fully appreciate what it is all about, you need to understand how it works. The following information gives you details.

The Basics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing employs trusted specialized companies to store vital data and components on your behalf. Your access therein will be made easy and your workers can access this large database of information and processes. In the cloud, email serving, data storage and specialized protocol can be observed with utmost ease. This happens because of an integrated infrastructure base that is held together by dedicated servers to deliver accordingly. The two main areas of a cloud are the front end and the back end.

The front end is the interface that is accessed by the user on their computer. It is basically revealed through a web browser and a company can enter the cloud to access this vital information at any time. The ability to network different software and hardware to serve many computers has defined the word cloud. It does not work by inflicting any heavy load on your personal machine; it works by simply availing all relevant information and databases in an efficient manner. The front end is a result of the intricacies that take place at the back end.

The back end is the nerve center of every tool and infrastructure needed to make cloud computing possible. It is composed of vital software and application tools that make mass storage possible. The back-end tools are also responsible for the intelligent communication to the front end owing to specialized programming mechanisms applied therein. With this system, you will be able to integrate any worker in the cloud without having to buy additional software that allows them to perform their job. It is a complex system that has been created to enhance coordination and access to vital resources that allow your businesses to be conducted accordingly.

The architectural prowess of any cloud is maintained by the companies that provide these services. They are also tasked with providing or creating essential backup systems which will keep the data of clients safe at all times. They implement dedicated servers to make the process a success. Depending on the needs of a client, private, public, and hybrid clouds can be defined to ensure access control. Safety is critical and with specialized cloud companies, delivery of essential software and data has become a mainstay.

It is worth noting that cloud computing has been here for some time. Mega companies who have enormous data and software needs have led the way to use the cloud. However, the future is clear and the cloud might just feature more prominently. All in all, it is a system that allows for better computing infrastructure and is definitely welcomed by businesses.

The Benefits of Using the Cloud

Moving to the cloud for any business is certainly bound to come with an array of merits. Cloud computing is after all becoming a mainstay of technology. Large companies have been able to achieve their goals by going in this direction.

It is all about offloading and leaving the work to experts for a seamless flow of work and activity in your business. It is very clear that there are many benefits of using the cloud. This article gives you a detailed look into the top merits that you can look forward to.

Tap into the Economies of Scale

The cloud allows you to have more productivity even if you are working with a few people. This is because the output is greatly increased. Additionally, it is a sure way to reduce wastage of resources because you only buy the service when you need it. This is unlike what companies used to do in the past when they invested in expensive software and hardware even when they were not necessary. In the cloud, your cost per unit is bound to come down, making you enjoy the awesome economies of scale.

Remove the Need for Maintenance

Because you do not have to deal with any software or specialized hardware to accomplish your goals, there is no maintenance needed. This will further save your costs, enabling your business to make more money. However, for those who maintain hosted servers, the maintenance costs will still be in the picture. The ideal situation is where the cloud service provider uses their own servers, eliminating this maintenance cost.

Easy Access and a Global Outlook

As long as your workers have access to the internet, they can log into the cloud from anywhere in the world. This has made this technology versatile and has provided a new outlook that is international. In this regard, a business can further grow globally by ensuring that all workers are well connected to the cloud and that a lot of work is done. This global outlook for work infrastructure is valuable to say the least.

Enhanced Project Monitoring

Since you have access to all the projects going on in your business in the cloud, you can monitor work more effectively. This way, you will ensure that work cycles are effective and followed through. No matter where you are, you will be kept on top of your game, making business management and monitoring a very easy task. This has been seen to dramatically improve productivity.

Reduction of Staff Training Costs

Since the cloud systems are straightforward and easy to grasp, the need to train personnel is reduced greatly. With a reduced workforce, you will work with competent people and ensure productivity is kept high. The staff does not have to learn about software and hardware infrastructure, saving a lot of time as well.

Data Is Backed Up

In the cloud, data is always backed up and there is no fear of any loss. Therefore, people can conduct their business with the knowledge that there is complete safety. Conventional systems do not guarantee backup unless expensive data recovery measures are enforced. With cloud services, you can put all your fears to rest.

It is obvious that the list of benefits can go on and on. Most companies have realized the merits and they are using some form of cloud in their operations. It is worth going through all the merits so that you can make an informed decision about choosing to hire cloud services.

Cloud Issues You Should Be Aware Of

Cloud services are now being adopted by many companies due to the numerous benefits they offer to businesses. The cloud can provide more choices of communication facilities and many companies are said to have reported an increase in the efficiency of their teamwork.

However, cloud computing services are known to have unique attributes that may require risk assessments in various areas such as data recovery, data integrity, privacy, and critical evaluation of certain legal issues that involve regulatory compliance, auditing and e-discovery.

Service customers are required to demand transparency and must avoid those vendors who refuse to reveal their information concerning security programs. They should ask questions that are related to risk control processes, policymakers, technical mechanisms, operators, and coders. The following are the cloud issues you should be aware of:

Use of Internal Cloud Is Said to Be Inherently Secure

Most companies have moved away from using public cloud services and have instead opted for a private cloud area. This type of cloud is hidden by a firewall and many believe that it can increase the level of protection. However, this is not the case; companies need to understand that protecting the cloud by a firewall does not guarantee a safe solution.

Lack of Visibility Poses Safety Risks

Most cloud providers are invisible and this could pose some safety risks to businesses. Therefore companies must make an informed decision when moving their files to the cloud since there will be lack of authority to deal with eventual risks that are associated with this operation.

Unsecured Applications

Regular security applications have attracted a lot of attention for a long time. If it’s possible, the application can be rebuilt to provide a reliable deployment for cloud services. This action will help the application components to be more resilient. It’s important to note that a cloud provider will not help you during this process.

Long-Term Viability

Ideally, cloud providers will never be swallowed up by other companies, get acquired or go broke. In case this happens, consumers must be assured that their data will be safe. You should ask your provider what measures they have put in place to return the stored data to the consumer in case their company goes under.

Sensitive Data Files Need a More Secure Storage

Service consumers should be careful about the storage of sensitive information using the cloud storage technology. However, the solution is to encrypt your data and the question will be how and where to decode it. It’s advisable that encrypted data should never be stored together with the coding key.

Access to Files and Transfer Rates Depend on Internet Speed

To access the files from the provider’s data storage, the consumer must have a stable and reliable internet connection. It’s important to note that wired internet can be affected by the vagaries of nature. Even though a consumer can access these files via mobile devices, their uses are still limited.

Cloud technology is still a wise choice for providing storage services to individuals, small businesses, public organizations and many others. However, one needs to understand the security issues involved when signing up with a cloud provider.

Things You Can Do on the Cloud

Cloud computing technologies can help companies save a lot of cash by taking away the burden of acquiring servers, software, the people required to provide enterprise services, deployment of customized shelf solutions and shared technology solutions – all of which are very important in supporting the mission of the business.

things you can do on the cloud computing

Most vendors use infrastructure, software and servers to provide specialized services to the organization. Cloud computing will help organizations by providing scalable and dynamic computing resources over the internet. These computing services are delivered virtually through online servers and data centers to anyone who can access the network.

You Need to Identify the Need

Cloud computing provides a lot of benefits that include email, file storage, calendars, documents, etc. Some of the cloud computing providers like Google provide a tool that helps you to compare Google mail costing versus Microsoft Exchange. Others like Astadia will provide a basic tool used for calculating your return for investing on cloud services. If you are planning to introduce something new, you can use social media as a platform to raise awareness.

Carefully Think about Your Company’s Data Protection

This is an important function that is provided by cloud computing. A good example is when you use a meeting management tool that is available online and it provides a low risk. Users have little control over the place where the provider stores their data. The storage could be in a different country that has different privacy laws. This function is a deal-breaker for organizations that work with vulnerable communities such as asylum seekers and refugees.

Staying Connected with the Rest of the World

Cloud computing encompasses social media tools that include Twitter and Facebook, which helps the users to stay connected.

Data Recovery

The cloud is very successful when it has been pre-configured for disaster recovery. The cloud recovery plan is an important application that works automatically when data or a server crashes since it will help to recover the data at the earliest time possible. By incorporating these applications it enables the cloud to be an efficient platform to manage PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS competitively.

Optimizing the Existing Resources

If your company is facing a tough time managing software and hardware, or your servers are running low and there is limited space left, then look for cloud services. With cloud services, your existing servers will get a rest from being overloaded and your company’s work environment will be synchronized.

Enhancing Device Independence

Cloud service helps to reduce the worries of tracking your software and hardware devices. This is because the cloud enables you to move from a physical world into a new virtual world, and you don’t think about what is going on in the in-house IT department. You can let the cloud manager do the hard work of getting rid of that expensive software and hardware.

The Cloud Helps to Cut Cost

Don’t lag behind when everyone is quickly moving to cloud technology and starting to enjoy a cost-effective business environment. The cloud will promote device independence and automatically reduce the cost of software and hardware.

Cloud computing is currently the most promising IT technology in the world today. Most companies are now using cloud services and they are achieving their desired goals. Cloud computing provides a lot of applications to businesses that are beneficial in the long run.

How to Choose the Right Cloud Service for You

The movement towards the cloud has been gathering momentum of late. If your company is preparing to make this shift, finding a reputable cloud service provider is crucial in order to realize a successful transition. Many benefits associated with this transfer are widely accepted in the business industry.

A recent study has shown that 76% of the companies are expected to move to private cloud or public cloud. Most of these companies are concerned about the risk exposed to their business during the transition period. If you decide to shift to a cloud-based platform, you need to learn about this technology in depth. Do a thorough investigation by consulting with the existing users and researching online. The following are factors that will help you to choose the right cloud service.

You Need to Have the Right Network

Shifting to cloud technology could have an adverse effect on the company’s network. The effects on the network can include the inability to access databases, applications and many other materials over the web. Therefore the company must plan to get a reliable and sufficient bandwidth to support the new mode of working.

Cloud technology is used by companies to store data files and deliver applications without using in-house servers. The efficiencies of this technology can easily be lost if the network is unreliable.

Can the Cloud Provider Offer the Right Support?

Technical challenges are likely to occur due to changes in business. A reputable provider should be able to solve your problem in a swift and efficient manner. A service level agreement will help you to understand who takes responsibility for the faults and how fast they can be fixed if they occur. You should bear in mind that the service level agreement should not be the standardized one. This is because all businesses are different and unique. That means every business has different service needs.

Cloud Security

When thinking about cloud deployment, the number one concern for most businesses is security. Therefore it’s important to know who will be responsible for security, especially where confidential or sensitive data is concerned. Some service providers prefer leaving this to their customers. Cloud security is a very sensitive issue that needs to cover data centers, devices, and applications. This security should also cover compliance and governance issues, which should be sector or industry-specific.

Check if the provider has a security policy suitable to your business. At the same time, it should be compliant with the law.

Cloud Expertise

Your cloud provider should have the right technical expertise, industry accreditation and a long experience in the cloud industry. Look for service providers who have worked with similar companies like yours because they will know what can work and what can’t work. Remember to speak to other clients or check references.

There is definitely a lot for you to think about if you decide to shift your company’s IT infrastructure to the cloud. But the service provider you choose should be able to guide you since it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed. Your partner should take you from network security and design, all the way to implementation of the project and maintenance. An experienced partner will help you identify aspects that you never thought of and also create a cost-effective solution.

Cloud Computing versus Cloud Storage

Cloud computing provides various IT services in the form of applications to the end-user via the internet. Cloud technology is defined as a set of networks, hardware, services, interface and storage that are combined to deliver all aspects of cloud services. Some of the cloud services include infrastructure, delivery of software and virtual storage. Below we will look at the difference between cloud computing and cloud storage.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing entails the sharing of software with different computers over the network. That means the software does not necessarily need to be stored on the local machine. A good example is when a computer user wants to write a report but he has not installed Microsoft Word. The user can purchase Microsoft Word service through cloud computing from another computer on the network.

Cloud computing is comprised of four characteristics that include elasticity and being able to scale up and down, application programming interfaces, automatic de-provisioning and self-service provisioning, and finally the ability to offer metering and billing of service usage.

Cloud computing services have become popular because they are convenient and affordable. With cloud computing, you will be able to keep your contacts, email and calendar. This will also allow you to view your content, edit and share with other devices that you’re using.

Since 2013 Google Apps is one of the cloud computing services that allow the user to view, edit, create and collaborate any office-style documents including spreadsheets, presentations and word processor docs. Photos can easily be managed at Picasa and videos can be shared and uploaded through Google Video.

Cloud Storage

Disasters can be as a result of human or natural causes, and can easily fry your computer. Some of these disasters include floods, fire,s or power surges, and all can destroy your precious files. Beyond these natural calamities, locally-stored data is faced by many other threats that include hard drive failure, accidental erasures and theft.

It’s hard to predict when and where the disaster will strike, but you can now store your data in the cloud through a storage management service. This data storage service will ensure that your files are safely stored and can be retrieved anytime.

Cloud storage can provide unlimited storage at a flat-rate fee. This means that the user can store a large number of files since the service will not cap his limit. Cloud storage provides some useful features that make it possible to share and upload files in an easy and convenient way. The service will provide offline syncing, folder sharing and file versioning.

With online storage, you will have an opportunity to store digital files and access your data from various devices such as mobile devices and multiple computers. Cloud storage is a powerful service but simple enough for most customer to use. This online storage is supplemented with support and help options. Direct customer support is offered via email, live chat and telephone.

Cloud computing technology can be used in different forms that include private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds. This technology can change the way businesses apply technology to serve clients, suppliers and partners. Cloud technology can eliminate many constraints that are common with a traditional computing environment, such as space, power, time and cost.

Top Cloud Storage Services

Cloud computing is becoming very popular in society, even for individuals. People are realizing the merits of going in this direction. There are so many possibilities in the cloud and the most significant one is the ability to store files and data safely. This way, no matter where you are in the world, you can access your information as long as you are connected to the internet. Better yet, you can connect to your files using a smartphone. This saves a lot of time and money, making things easier.

All this has been made possible by cloud storage services. The following is a look at the top cloud services. It is also worth mentioning that many of the top storage services offer free storage and people who need bigger capacities or space can then purchase it.

Google Drive

This cloud storage service was launched in 2012 and it is a great way to organize your files in the cloud. Here, you have a chance to share and store spreadsheets, documents, files; the list is long. You can do this in a completely safe manner. Your online file storage is very secure. It is also versatile because you can edit your documents as you desire. The best thing is that you can do this together with your workmates.

To begin with, you will have 5GB space to do all your stuff and you can increase your capacity as you wish; the maximum space being 10GB. Chrome, Android, Apple and Mac devices are all supported by this cloud storage service from Google.

Dropbox

This is one of the most popular cloud storage services and it was launched in 2007. It is a great place to store your files and photos as you like. Share all your documents with your friends as well. To start off, you will have a space of about 2GB and upon successful referral to others, you can increase your space. It is a free service that has gained a lot of popularity in the market. For PC, Mac, Android and more, you will be in a position to use Dropbox without any hassle. Here, you can upload many files without any limit. You will find both desktop and mobile applications.

Microsoft OneDrive

This is yet another cloud storage service that is provided by Microsoft. It makes file hosting possible with an initial space of about 7GB. You can store unlimited files and if you need any additional space, you can consider a paid plan as desired. Here, you can expect to find office applications like Excel, Word, One Note, PowerPoint and more. Within a browser, you can create, edit and share documents as you desire without others.

There are many options when it comes to cloud storage services. The great news is that you can use these platforms free of charge. It is a chance to see how well you can integrate your business or work to the cloud. If you are pleased, you can roll out a bigger capacity and purchasing plans will be well in order. There is no question that this is the future of the internet. It makes work much easier and saves you lots of time, money and heartache.

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