So we’ve all heard of the term “the cloud” before, and i’m sure most of you have a general understanding of what it is. So, as this is vastly popular concept, we thought it well to take a closer look at what it is and how it works.
Cloud Computing? Come again?
The cloud, or cloud computing is best understood if you think of it as a utility, like electricity. When you put a plug in the wall, electricity will flow on through. You had no part in creating the electricity, it was just there when you needed it. Cloud computing works on a similar principle. Through an internet connection (the equivalent of the electricity supply), you are able to access whatever you wish. Be it applications, files, music, movies, data etc.
The potential benefits of this concept are endless. Sticking to the electricity analogy, if you have an IT department and they are still pre-cloud, you are basically running the equivalent of a generator. With this comes a great deal of maintenance and responsibility. However with the cloud, you free IT from all that. Basically, same as a power company, the cloud providers are responsible for the all maintenance, infrastructure and repair.
In the case of cloud computing, there are three basic types of service.
- Software as a Service (Saas) – Ever used Gmail or Hotmail? If your answer is yes, then you have used software as a service. Simply put, SaaS is an application hosted in a central location and supplied via a web browser.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – This describes a software-development platform which is kept in “the cloud” and is accessible via a web browser. Using this service offers a variety of programming languages, operating systems, and tools to developers. This then saves them the cost of purchasing and installing it all themselves.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – This service is best explained as an outsourced data centre with added benefits, and unlimited capacity. All aspects of the data centre (storage, hardware, servers and networking) are owned by a third-party provider, which is responsible for all the maintenance, operations and housing requirements.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
- Reduced Costs – There’s no longer a need to spend thousands on licensing fees, hardware or software.
- Improved Accessibility – The Cloud can be accessed from anywhere, at anytime. As long as an internet connection is available.
- Convenience – Sharing documentation and files is now very simple, as cloud-based applications, such as Google Docs, have made sharing items an easy and user-friendly task.
Snowball offers a wide variety of cloud based solutions from Virtual Private Server Hosting to Google Apps for Business. If there is anything we may assist you with, drop us a comment below, or give us a call on 021 880 2228.
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