What is Cloud Computing and can it help you?
Most companies today require a server and database management system in order to provide efficient apps for their workforce to use. In the past, many companies relied on managed IT services, however, as technology and internet speeds advance, a new form of internet-based technology is now available, now commonly referred to as cloud computing.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is a term describing delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, which means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. Those services are divided into 3 categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a new way of distributing software in which vendors or service providers, instead of selling it, they make it available to customers over the internet, using cloud-computing. So instead of installing software on your own servers, software providers host the software and charge according to the time the customer spent using it, or a monthly fee. The benefit of SaaS is that all users have the same version of the software because updates and are done automatically, which saves time and money.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS) eliminates the expense and complexity of evaluating, buying, configuring, and managing all the hardware and software needed for custom-built applications. Companies offering PaaS support a broad selection of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases and devices needed to build applications.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
In an IaaS, a third-party provider hosts hardware, software, servers, storage and other infrastructure components on behalf of its users. IaaS providers also host users’ applications and offers services including system maintenance, backup and resiliency planning.
How does cloud computing work?
Virtualization is one of the core technologies that contributed to the emergence of Cloud Computing. Virtualization technology made it possible to create the virtual servers, desktops, and application streaming of a Cloud environment. There are three main types of virtualization that enable Cloud Computing:
- Server Virtualization
In the past (and unfortunately still in most companies) servers were bought to fulfill a dedicated role, such as an e-mail server, file server, app server, etc. Server virtualization enables one physical server to be provisioned into multiple virtual servers. Each virtual server can perform a dedicated task that an entire physical server would otherwise perform (e-mail server, file server, application server, etc.).
- Application Virtualization
Application Virtualization is running applications from a remote server rather than on onsite server.
- Desktop Virtualization
Desktop virtualization enabled companies to avoid purchasing physical PCs by using lower cost dumb terminals instead. Cloud Desktop Hosting Service provides constant access to your desktop over the internet, no matter where you are. You can access your Cloud Desktop through your usual web browser, without the need to install or maintain additional software.
Cloud Computing Vs. Traditional Managed IT Services
Traditional Managed IT services include Computer & Server Support, Remote Network Support and Security, Backup and more. The IT service provider manages part of or an entire computer system for the client for a service fee. Hosting of the system can be done internally or remain entirely under the service provider. When using a traditional managed IT service, the business or the IT Company is required to purchase new software to deploy a new service. Then the IT personnel load the program into the computers within the network. This may take a long time, depending on the size of the business and it also costs companies a lot in terms of finance.
Cloud computing services on the other hand, are hosted off-site. It’s a great solution for businesses. Employees can access programs over the Internet instead of their personal computer’s hard drive. As long as the employees have internet access, they can work from anywhere. With Cloud computing services there is no need of software updates as it is done automatically. That makes cloud computing the most cost efficient method to use, maintain and upgrade. As it comes to storing data, the cloud gives you almost unlimited storage capacity and you no more need to worry about running out of storage space.
As you can see, cloud services have faster deployment and lower budget requirements.
If you are already using traditional managed IT services, there are cloud service providers that allow you to move your services to the cloud. That means you can still use your traditional IT while utilizing the cloud. This makes cloud computing a good server alternative to traditional managed IT services.