what is cloud computing

So one of the more misunderstood online topics is Cloud Computing.A lot of people have misconceptions about cloud computing or what the cloud is so let’s start by asking:

What is cloud computing?

There are many ways to describe cloud computing as a concept on the internet.

In a nutshell though, we can describe cloud computing as an online system that delivers multiple computing services across the internet:

  • Storage
  • Servers
  • Databases
  • Intelligence
  • Analytics
  • Software, etc.

Right now, cloud computing is a phrase you will hear everywhere; run a quick Google search and well over 100 million results will appear.

It started out as just a way of offering storage on the internet but has progressed fast over the years and now there is little that you cannot do with it. Most companies use the cloud on a PAYG (pay as you go) basis, paying only for what they need as a way of reducing costs.

Cloud Computing And Business

It doesn’t matter whether you run applications that allow photos to be shared among millions of smartphone users or whether you are providing support to some of your more critical business operations, cloud computing allows fast access to IT resources that are both low cost and incredibly flexible.

There is no need for huge payments upfront to invest in hardware or in the management of that hardware. Instead, with cloud computing, you simply determine exactly how much and what type of resources you require and provision them.

There are no limits to how many resources you can access, it is virtually instant and you pay only for what you have used.

There is no doubt that cloud computing makes things much easier for businesses. No longer do they need that heavy infrastructure or need to own their own data center; instead, they simply rent what they need – processing power, applications, storage and so on, from a cloud computing service provider.

Front-end costs are much lower with the company paying only for what they need; as they grow, so their usage can grow with full flexibility and on demand. Not only that, the business is no longer responsible for any updates or maintenance as that is all down to the service provider.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are two types of cloud – public and private.

Companies are not responsible for the upkeep of the public cloud whereas, with a private cloud, the maintenance is down to the business and is located at the physical location as on-premises or remotely at a data center. Private clouds tend to be more for sensitive data as they are more secure.

Today a popular solution is the combination of the public and private cloud, with the advantage of workload distribution for better performance. This is called a hybrid cloud.

There is also a variation of a community cloud, with cloud solutions created and maintained by several organizations in collaboration with one another.

Next, let’s talk about how cloud computing works.