Cloud Computing & Beyond: What has been and what can be
Today, we’re seeing a great amount of technology shifting to the cloud and the trend is steadily gaining momentum as time passes by. The term “cloud computing” refers to the delivery of diverse hosted services over the web. Users of cloud computing can access software and applications from any place, while it’s being hosted in the cloud – an outside party. Traditional IT models have always been highly complex and expensive. The amount and variety of software and hardware needed to run and maintain them cause extreme difficulties for the organizations. An entire team is required to install, configure, maintain, secure and update them. With cloud computing, these headaches are eliminated as the users no longer need to bother about managing these. Essentially, these are the responsibilities of the cloud service provider.
Types of cloud computing
Although cloud computing has experienced changes over time, it’s divided into three main categories:
- SaaS (Software as a Service): This distribution model delivers software applications over the web. SaaS applications and services can be accessed from anywhere using a device or computer that has access to the internet.
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): A virtual server instance, storage and APIs are supplied by the IaaS providers. Users can migrate their workloads to a virtual machine (VM). They’ve an allocated storage space and are able to access, start, configure and stop the VM and the storage as required. IaaS providers typically offer small, medium, large and compute- or memory-optimized instances, in addition to different customized instances to cater to different workloads.
- PaaS (Platform as a Service): In this model, development tools are hosted on the cloud providers’ infrastructure. Utilizing web portals, gateway software or APIs, users of PaaS access these tools over the internet. There’re different types of PaaS models available. For instance, private PaaS is hosted on private networks or on-site servers and the user is responsible for its maintenance while public PaaS is hosted on the cloud and it’s the provider’s responsibility to manage the infrastructure. Hybrid PaaS comprises of elements of both private and public, and applications can be executed from multiple cloud infrastructures.
There’re critical reasons that drive organizations, regardless of their industry and size, toward cloud adoption. With the steady emergence of different web-enabled devices, access to critical business data has become easier than ever, making cloud computing one of the essential parts of a successful business model. Let’s have a look at the key benefits.
- Reduced cost: With cloud computing, organizations can either eliminate or reduce the size of their personal data centers. A lesser number of servers and staff together with reduced software cost – all significantly contribute toward reducing the overall IT expenses without impacting the company’s IT capabilities.
- Latest software: With SaaS, the latest versions of software required to run businesses successfully becomes available to the customers immediately. Productivity gets a boost with immediate upgrades to new functionalities and features.
- Flexible cost: Cost of cloud computing is much more flexible compared to traditional computing. Organizations only need to pay for the infrastructure and server capacity they actually use, and can even upgrade or downgrade, as and when required. They can utilize more capacity during peak times and de-provision that when the need is over. On the contrary, traditional computing requires adequate buying capacity for peak times and making it sit idle when it’s no longer needed.
- Enhanced mobility: With cloud computing, software and applications are available to anyone who has a device with access to the internet.
- Business continuity: Efficient business continuity planning is an integral part of any successful business. Protecting critical data as well as systems is immensely crucial during any unwanted occurrence like power failure, natural disaster etc. Cloud computing ensures that your data is backed up and securely stored in the cloud. Hence, companies can access their data quickly and conduct business as normal, minimizing any loss of productivity and downtime.
- Enhanced collaboration: Cloud computing offers efficient collaboration, enabling companies to communicate with other parties more easily than traditional computing. For instance, when working across different locations, critical files can be shared with employees, third parties and employees faster through cloud computing.
- Always-on availability: A majority of cloud providers maintain extreme reliability in their services. Hence, the infrastructure always remains available to the users as along as they’ve access to internet connection. Thus, work can be done practically from anywhere, anytime.
Almost everything in our digital world holds a connection with the cloud in some way or the other – unless it’s particularly kept in local storage for security reasons. As technology giants as well as startups look for new ways to classify, process and exhibit data, cloud computing will become more and more essential to our lives. With cloud computing, a whole new world of services, jobs, applications, platforms and much more are likely to open up. Even organizations will be able to manage and conduct business more professionally and in an affordable manner. In short, numerous possibilities will start to develop as the future of cloud computing actually takes off.
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