‘The Cloud’ has become the bright future of the IT world and the adoption of cloud services is growing at a phenomenal rate. But do you really know what it is?
Defining ‘the cloud’
Cloud computing is the delivery of IT as a service rather than a product. Shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility over a network, typically the internet.
End users access cloud-based applications through a web browser or lightweight desktop or mobile application while the business software and data are stored on servers at a remote location.
Offers the opportunity to become very agile in the way computing is provisioned. As companies grow and shrink, the cloud flexes too.
Given that cloud computing is delivered as a service, you effectively only pay for what you use.
Reliability is improved, with well-designed cloud computing being suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery situations.
Dynamic, on-demand provisioning of resources on a fine-grained, self-service basis near real-time allows for scalability and elasticity. The Cloud can handle peak times and ultimately users do not experience the ‘slow down’ in performance commonly seen when a machine runs low on memory and processor resources.
Cloud-based desktops can be accessed on multiple devices, from PCs and laptops, to tablets and smart phones.
Data stored in cloud-based virtual servers is stored centrally, replicated and backed up to multiple locations. In the event of the failure of underlying hardware, or even a whole datacentre, servers become available in a matter of minutes.
Maintenance of cloud computing applications is much easier. They do not need to be installed on each user’s PC and can be accessed from almost anywhere. Every user has access to the same set of applications, of the same version.