Offices used to rely on intranets to communicate within the office. Employees didn’t have smartphones, tablets, and if they owned a laptop, it wouldn’t have access to the office’s intranet structure once the employee left the office. Remote workers were also vastly unheard of to use. Fast-forward to the early 2000’s and to the introduction the introduction of the cloud and cloud-based computing.
What is the Cloud?
A huge, global network of servers is the simplest answer. Cloud is simply a fitting metaphor. Here is another, though this helps explain the idea behind the cloud and it paints a fair representation on how it works. Think of the cloud as a time-share with unlimited access. Companies pay a rental fee for access to the time-share, and the provider makes sure that if there is an internet connection, the company can use their time-share whenever and from wherever they please.
Applications, websites, documents, videos, and pictures can and do live on the cloud. Computers (users) access information daily from the cloud via a network connection or internet. A company can host their entire infrastructure on the cloud. Almost anything in today’s technology, including IT resources, can be cloud based.
The cloud and cloud computing can be seen together, and for good reason since you can’t use one without the other. So,what is cloud computing? The simple answer is the act of accessing information, applications, or storage via a cloud service infrastructure from a remote location. Businesses and individuals rent the virtual service and storage space from another company.
Common Types of Cloud Computing Used by Companies
• Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—is becoming widely used by major software organizations as it is easier to manage and track its users, quickly identify and solve problems, and it gives its users the ability to use their application between multiple devices and locations.
• Infrastructure-as-a-Service—(IaaS)—replaces a business’s on-site data center. It includes replacing servers, networking hardware, storage, and more.
• Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS)—is another way that has quickly become popular with businesses using cloud commuting. It allows for the development, running, and managing of applications.
Types of Cloud Services
However, three types of clouds exist: private, public, and hybrid clouds. Each has advantages and disadvantages. It depends on what a company, business, individual, or service requires and what their chosen cloud service provider (CSP) offers in an IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS.
• Public—used for general use and for non-sensitive data and storage.
• Private—used for sensitive data and storage. This type is most common with IaaS and PaaS.
• Hybrid—combines advantages of both public and private clouds and typically allows full customization.
Cloud computing has helped companies in many ways, and as the types of services and needs of businesses grow, the cloud will adapt too. The internet has come a long way since its early days, and cloud-based services allow for companies of all sizes to share information, use applications, and to work together on projects no matter where the employees are in the world.