Cloud Computing Basics
Since its birth way back in 1993 the internet has morphed from a non-user-friendly novelty to a vastly complex, easily accessible and highly interactive everyday necessity. From dial up connections to Wi-Fi, the internet has consistently made giant leaps in improvement, and cloud computing is not an over-hyped marketing tool but simply the latest stage in the continued development of the Internet.
“Cloud computing for businesses represents an opportunity for seriously cost savings and reductions in expenditures, ample storage space without the maintenance costs and physical storage space requirements of servers, easy automation, flexibility, and substantially more mobility. Basically cloud computing is cheaper, faster, more secure and greener than traditional computer system” Heather Guffin, President and CEO of Alliance Sales & Marketing Solutions
Walking in the Clouds
Cloud computing isn’t a new concept it is just at its latest and most advanced stage of development. Cloud computing has been around since the mid-90s and was commonly referred to as “on-demand infrastructure”. During 1995, it was revamped to “Shared Web Hosting” and had limited features such as multi-tenant, automated provisioning, easy-to-use interface. It was not until the early 2000s when automated computing became closer to what is known as “cloud” today. It came in the form of Grid Utility Computing and had full infrastructure demand and multi-tenant, partial resource size flexibility and automated provisioning. After many years of re-branding, what was once “on-demand infrastructure” is simply referred to as cloud computing. After successfully crossing the chasm of acceptance, cloud computing now represents the next step in the evolution of the internet and business.
Cloud computing grants everyday users the ability store and access their information and data somewhere other than their PC or Mac. Cloud computing is a one-stop-shop for its users, through its unique and highly appealing ability of supplying access to software, hardware and infrastructure such as applications, storage devices and servers.
“Millions of people including everyday users and businesses are accessing and utilizing cloud services daily, utterly oblivious to the fact that they are partaking in a cloud computing experience” says Heather Guffin President and C.E.O. of Alliance Sales & Marketing Solutions.
The Cloud Platform and Hosting
Every time you access your Gmail account, watch a video on YouTube, update your Blog or post a photo of yourself on Facebook you are using a cloud. Cloud computing is basically the delivery of hosted services over the Internet. The service end is where the data or software is stored and the user end is a single person or company network. Cloud hosting can be broken down more or less into three distinct sections.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
Software as a Service is usually free or pay-as-you-go, fast and easy to deploy, managed by the vendor and available for either short or long term use. SaaS represents the every-day-applications that millions of people use on a daily basis. SaaS applications are developed and built especially for the Internet.
PaaS (Platform as a Service)
Platform as a Service represents and hosts the operating environment in which applications run. You can deliver services broadly without having to manage the infrastructure. PaaS allows you to create and build your own cloud, provides scalable test environments and is generally managed by the vendor while allowing you the control to manage your applications.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Infrastructure as a Service provides a flexible computing capacity that you rent when you need it. Instead of owning and running your facility, servers, and network, get pay-as-you-go data center capacity for adding CPUs, storage, networking, or web hosting and rapid and dramatic scalability and geographically distributed servers for increased security
Cloud computing is comprised of four unique characteristics, scalability or rather the ability to scale up or down depending upon needs, pay-as-you-go models allowing the user the freedom to pay for the services they actually use, self-service provisioning including automatic system and application updates and upgrades and application programming interfaces (API).
What cloud computing represents for the business user, is an indispensable tool to reduce business operating costs and increase open access to their office resources while promoting the functionality of their business when mobile. “The “everything under one roof” nature of cloud computing is one of its most appealing assets and reasons why so many businesses are switching to the cloud” Heather Guffin President and C.E.O. of Alliance Sales & Marketing Solutions.
Mainstream Adoption of Cloud Computing
Its not just the every-day-users of the internet who are reaping the benefits of cloud computing but businesses have also adopted the notion of a cloud office. Main stream companies such as Amazon and Google have already made the switch, by transferring a substantial amount of their IT resources to the cloud. Both Google and Amazon enjoy the flexibility and constraint alleviation such as the reductions in cost, power, space and time associated with the cloud computing model. Microsoft has also launched its own open and flexible cloud platform with Windows Azure.
“The mass exodus from traditional computing models and the widespread adoption of cloud based computing, by so many mainstream companies is further evidence that web enabled cloud platforms are the future of big business” Heather Guffin President and C.E.O. Alliance Sales & Marketing Solutions