We all hear the word Cloud now and then, but I, am sure many of us aren’t exactly very sure about Cloud and Cloud Computing. So, first of all, it is important to understand what is the Cloud.
What is Cloud?
Cloud is just a metaphor for the internet when we say cloud, we are just referring to the internet only and simply the services we use using the internet – through our web browsers. Now when I say Cloud Computing, then there is no standard industry definition which talks about cloud computing, given the fact that this is in a nascent stage and the only handful of companies are investing in cloud computing & virtualization which are often cited as the FUTURE TRENDS.
What is Cloud Computing?
But, in simple words,”
Cloud Computing is more than the few internet-based services which we access through our web browsers, it is the fundamental shift from the traditional client/server or n-tier architecture, and it primarily focuses on the effective utilization of the IT INFRASTRUCTURE “.
Most Cloud Service providers offer this service on the “pay as you go” model. By “pay as you go” model it means that you pay only for the services you use and a number of the resources you use. You are billed for only those services & resources that you consumed. In short, everything that is offered is actually a service that you use.
You must be thinking it’s just another computational model, so why should one have an interest in it? Well here is the answer to it! Let me brief you with the features of it, and I am sure you will agree that it is a next-generation model.
Features are as follows:
- Scalable: These are highly scalable services than the traditional services that tend to reach a limit at a certain level, but these are designed and managed to cater to the needs of people around the world because these services are replicated at the data centers which have a very good geo-distribution.
- Automated Services Management: Well, it simply means you don’t have to worry about the manpower, servers, software upgrades, hardware, etc. all are managed by the cloud services offering company. I will elaborate this in a future post on Windows Azure.
- High Availability: These have almost 99.9999% uptime services because they have thousands of data centers across the globe and they have hundreds of instances which are replicated on them, so even if one server fails other jumps in to serve the client.
- Multi-tenancy: One Cloud – many tenants, that is the way most Cloud service providers, effectively utilize underlying IT infrastructure. They have many clients whose services are running on a single data center.
- Virtualization: It actually is the most important aspect of it. Cloud service providers have data centers where they run thousands of servers virtually using a hypervisor which increases the effective utilization of the resources of a mere 40-45% to around 85%.
So what it actually does, is that it takes all the stress of managing your servers, databases, security patches, software upgrades, infrastructure, etc. ( in the case of public cloud) from you.
Some common Myths about moving Businesses to Cloud Service
For any small and medium-sized businesses to be successful, it is essential to incorporate certain traits like business agility, flexibility, and the ability to save extra costs. All this, and others can come by moving to Cloud Technology but the bewildering amount of contradictory information floating around on the Internet stop us from making the right move. Knowing the facts can certainly help to bust cloud myths and dispel wrong notions that we might think are true.
Cloud computing myths
The first myth. If our data moves to the cloud, our business will no longer have control over our technology. Here’s what you need to know! When you move to the cloud, time spent in maintaining hardware and upgrading software is significantly reduced. How? The capital budget spent on maintaining servers on-premises for email storage and workloads is greatly reduced. So, rather than spending large portions of resources on servers, you can think strategically to support your business needs in a more prudent manner. This will help you spend more time and energy in improving business operations and launching agile initiatives.
The second myth. Keeping data on-premises is safer than in the cloud. True? Certainly not! Your on-premises systems aren’t inherently more secure than they’d be in the cloud. Security experts say there’s a rising trend seen in cyber theft problem. Many companies are routinely hacked so security has grown into a full-time job as it requires a team of experts to thwart security breaches. Fortunately, some of the companies offering cloud services like Microsoft hires the best and brightest in this business. Its team uses processes such as the Security Development Lifecycle; traffic throttling; and preventing, detecting, and mitigating breaches that many companies don’t have the resources to ensure.
Apart from this, Office 365 also has a 99.9 percent financially backed uptime guarantee and keeps itself up to date with the latest regulations and rules: HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), ISO 27001, European Union (EU) Model Clauses, U.S.–EU Safe Harbor framework, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), to name a few.
The third myth. You have to move everything to the cloud. In short, it is an all-or-nothing scenario. Not true! Cloud gives you complete control for delivering the computing power and capabilities that your business necessarily demands.
The fourth myth. Cloud costs jobs. Not true! Instead of taking jobs, Cloud computing has created jobs.
Lastly, many believe governments get access to all the data if it is in the cloud. This is a major fear many businesses have about the cloud and thus stops them from adopting this technology. It’s unfounded! Why? It is just the vendor IT team that manages access, sets up rights and restrictions, and provides smartphone access and options. The company remains the sole owner and retains all the rights, title, and interest in the data stored in the cloud. Moreover, the data is not used for any sort of advertising or for any purpose other than providing you services that you have paid for.
There are a bunch of posts here about the Cloud that you want to take a look at.
These posts talk of some of the best cloud computing services and free Cloud Storage Providers.
These links will also interest you: