The basics of cloud computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is where you use remote computing resources over the internet rather than relying solely on devices in your location. This can include both file storage and data processing. It’s an approach that can save you money, particularly if your needs vary over time. So let’s dive into answering the question “what is cloud computing?”

The Basics

You’ve almost certainly used cloud computing without realizing it. For example, if you use a webmail service such as Gmail, where you can access messages anywhere without needing to download them to your computer, that’s a form of cloud computing. Any form of online storage such as Dropbox or Microsoft One Drive is also cloud computing.

However, the most exciting use of cloud computing is where the actual computer processing takes place remotely rather than on your computer or other devices. The most immediate benefit is that your device needs considerably less computing power, as seen in devices like Chromebooks where nearly all the functions are carried out on remote servers.

Some cloud computing involves renting a dedicated server for remote access. In other cases you share space or resources, particularly when you pay through an “on-demand” model.

Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing for businesses generally falls into three categories. Each has a name ending in “as a Service,” which refers to the way you can buy access for a particular time period rather than having to buy anything outright.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the simplest to understand: You and your staff can use applications (for example, Microsoft Office 365) over the internet rather than the software running entirely on your computers.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is where you are simply accessing computing resources such as data storage and processing. Examples include hosting your website or processing data. For example, Netflix uses Amazon’s IaaS for functions such as maintaining its database of videos and creating customized menus for individual users.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) falls between the other two. In very simplified terms, it’s a little like an online/virtual version of an operating system on which you can run your own applications.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

The main advantage of cloud computing is its efficiency. It allows flexible pricing such as paying per user for software or per gigabyte for processing. That not only make services viable for small businesses that don’t have the finances or space for heavy-duty computer equipment, but it makes it much easier to grow smoothly or adjust to sudden spikes in demand. This overcomes situations such as not having enough capacity to cope with your computing needs increasing, but the increase not being enough to make buying new hardware worthwhile.

Security

It’s natural you may have some concerns about security with cloud computing, but good providers will be able to explain the measures they take to prevent data being intercepted between you and their equipment. They should also have solid physical defenses for the equipment itself.

To learn more about how CPI Solutions can help with your company’s cloud computing needs, please contact us at our website.

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