No we’re not talking about the cooled & condensed water vapour formations floating over us like newborns under a baby gym. We’re talking about Cloud technology, although those other clouds are quite impressive too…
What is Cloud computing?
In short cloud computing is a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store and process data.
Let's start from the beginning.
B.C. (Before Cloud)
Before Cloud computing, companies had to have their servers/hardware on-site. They had to install a CD onto their personal computers to use it — I know, what even is a CD?
A.C. (After Cloud)
After Cloud was introduced teams no longer had to own and operate their own hardware and software assets, which meant previous expertise were no longer needed for setup and maintenance.
In this age, businesses of all sizes from government agencies to non-profit organisations can be found embracing cloud technology for a whole host of reasons.
Major players from Google to Microsoft and Amazon already have their heads well in Cloud Technology, and investors are slowly learning that Cloud computing is a scale game, with Amazon having a significant lead in the market.
Despite household names utilising Cloud technology, many people are still scratching their heads wondering what all this "Cloud business" is about when in actual fact they’re probably using Cloud technology while YOU'RE reading this.
How can someone make use of something without even realising it?
It’s simple, online services. Sending emails? Editing documents? Watching films or television? Listening to music? Gaming? Storing images or files? Thank Cloud technology for making all of those things and more possible from behind the scenes.
It's pretty amazing how something used by the masses on a daily basis can still be such a foreign concept, don't you think?
How does it work?
Ultimately it's the delivery of computer services – servers, storage, databases, networks, software, analytics and intelligence – all over the internet (or Cloud), which offers a wide range of benefits.
Cloud computing is a big shift from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources.
Some of the most common reasons businesses turn to a cloud solution are:
Not all clouds are the same and no one cloud fits all but several different models, types and services have evolved to offer the right solution for individual requirements.
IaaS, PaaS, Serverless and SaaS
Some of you may have read that as a foreign language but rest assured it's in English. These are all types of cloud services.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Considered the most basic of all, IaaS is where IT infrastructure is rented from a cloud provider on a Pay As You Go basis; servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks and operating systems.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Designed to make the lives of developers easier, web and/or mobile apps can be created quickly, without having to worry about the set-up or management of the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases required for development. In short it is an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software apps.
Overlapping with PaaS this focuses on building app functionality without putting in the time it takes to manage the servers and infrastructure. Setup, capacity planning and server management for the user are all things handled by this option. A Serverless architecture is highly scalable and event-driven, only utilising resources if and when a specific function or trigger occurs.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Software as a Service is a software licensing and delivery model. The software, or application is accessed via the internet and is mainly responsible for the security, performance and maintenance of the applications on the servers. Typically licensed on a subscription basis, users pay a monthly fee based on the level of service they require and the number of users needed. In this way SaaS delivers and maintains applications over the internet as a service.
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