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What is Cloud Computing: 7 things you need to know

Cloud computing is simply the delivery of computing services like storage, servers, databases, software, analytics and more by cloud providers – companies offering these services, for example, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform – over the internet (cloud) on a pay-as-you-go arrangement. You may want to ask, what is cloud computing all about and why is it so popular? Instead of having an in-house data center, companies may want to rent infrastructures and pay on an as -you-use basis. There are great benefits to having a rental could services. Here are few things you need to know about cloud computing:

1) You only pay for what you use: Companies that offer cloud computing services are called cloud providers and they charge based on usage, in the same manner as you are billed for electricity. Examples of such companies are,  Amazon Web Service (AWS), Adobe, IBM cloud etc.

2) Rentage: Companies can rent access to services ranging from an application to processing power from a cloud service provider instead of owning their own data centers.

Cloud computing services that are available currently range from storage and networking to standard office applications. In fact, any service that doesn’t need you to be in front of a computer hardware can be delivered through the cloud.

3) Service Categories: Cloud computing services can be classified into three categories. Knowledge of the different services will make it simpler for you to achieve your business goals.

IaaS: With Infrastructure as a Service IaaS, you can rent IT infrastructures such as storage, network, OS from a provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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PaaS: With Platform as a Service (PaaS), developers can create applications quickly without the hassle of setting up or managing the infrastructure needed for development.

SaaS: With Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud providers will cover the hosting of software applications and handling of maintenance issues like software upgrades and security patches.

4) Suitable for all Businesses: From startups to global corporations, a lot of these companies benefit from the technology due to a number of reasons but mostly; the ability to perform a number of operations on the cloud such as: Hosting of websites and blogs, creation of new apps and services, streaming of audio and videos, storing and recovering data etc.

5) Less Expensive and easy to manage: Corporate and business Firms benefit from these services by avoiding the cost of owning and maintaining IT infrastructure which can be very expensive. With such an arrangement, there is no need to buy servers, update systems or applications, or decommission hardware or software because all of this is undertaken by the provider. And most especially, you would imagine that a company who specializes in providing cloud computing services will have in their workforce, more experienced staff than a small startup can afford to employ. Overall, it is safe to say that cloud providers can deliver more efficient services to consumers.

6) Economies of scale: Cloud providers benefit massively from selling the same services to a lot of customers.

7) Disadvantage Cloud Computing: one of the major disadvantages of this service is that companies do not really like the fact that sensitive data will be hosted in a service that is also used by an industry rival. With SaaS applications, it could mean that two rival companies can be using the same applications, hence there is no advantage between one business and the other.

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According to experts, spending on cloud computing services globally will reach $260bn by the end of 2018.

Some great benefits that will make you consider cloud computing 

  • It’s very flexible as your companies can easily scale with it no matter the size.
  • Softwares are automatically updated by the provider, no need to worry about software out of date, software compatibilities etc.
  • Low cost of maintaining infrastructure:
    • no need to buy servers,
    • cooling systems,
    • reduced electricity bill
    • No need to buy server racks and cables and lots more.
  • Security is guaranteed: data is saved online and can be retrieved in case there is loss of physical hardware such as laptops, burglary etc. Your data is safe as it’s rare to hear that Google or Microsoft has been hacked.
  • Collaboration made easy: Collaboration and file sharing are very easy and fast.
  • You get to work from anywhere in the world: As long you have internet and access to the platform you are good to go. Just to mention few

Despite the long history, cloud computing is still very much in its early stages of adoption. However, usage will likely increase as companies will prefer the idea of having their data somewhere else instead of a server in the basement.

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