What Exactly Is ‘The Cloud’?9 May
“The Cloud” is a term that is thrown around a lot in technology circles, but how many people actually know what it means? Everyone loves a good buzz word, and “Cloud” is one that has been gaining popularity over the last several years. Many technology providers now offer “cloud services” or something of the like. Today we’ll explain, in simple terms, what the cloud is and why it’s being mentioned so much.
First off, let’s set a definition for the cloud, or in other words, cloud computing. Cloud computing refers to a machine or group of machines, more commonly known as a ‘server’, which allows multiple users to access and use the same application. Any user who has permission to use the server can run applications (such as Salesforce), store data, and perform other computing tasks. The main advantage is users can access applications and data no matter where they are, without having to have the application directly on their computer. The cloud also refers to how people use and pay for services. For instance, in previous years users would have to install Microsoft Office on their actual computer. Programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and others would have to be installed on their own machine. Not only does this take up more memory on your device, but you have to pay for a full suite of products of which you may only use a few, or may only need for a certain length of time.
The cloud now allows users to simply use applications on a pay-per-use basis, and this is known as Software as a Service. The cloud has also brought on other services such as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). In the case of IaaS, the cloud allows customers to move away from the CAPEX model, which is when companies purchase the hardware and it depreciates over time. The cloud model is known as an OPEX model. This allows customers to provision servers and IT infrastructure as needed and on a pay-per-use basis.
Another advantage is the ability to allot resources to different users as they need it. For instance, say your company has a European office and a U.S. office. We know they run on different time zones and the amount of computing power needed at certain times of day will be different for both offices. With cloud computing, the resources can be allocated to the European office during their normal work hours, then allocated to the U.S. office during their normal hours. This allows organizations to utilize computing power based on demand. Less demand needs less power, while higher demand needs more. This can also be useful for companies who run promotions or see a spike in web traffic during certain times during the day, month, or year. It allows these companies to provision computing power as needed without having to have on-site servers which also require care and maintenance – which in turn increases their cost.
Overall, the cloud allows people to provision services as they need them, as opposed to installing them or loading them onto their own personal machines. Not only does this help companies grow and spend money when needed, it also allows users to access these applications and collaborate with others users no matter where the user is – only an Internet connection is required.
To learn more about cloud computing including cloud storage, SaaS, and IaaS, contact the Neovera team to learn how these services can help reduce your company’s CAPEX without diminishing productivity.