To help our customers and anyone else, we’re starting a new education series here on the IT On Demand blog.
The goal will be to keep it simple. Not everyone is an IT consultant and we understand that.
Feel free to give us feedback and ask questions. Also, if you have any topics that you want to know more about, let us know!
Here is the first post in our new series: Introduction to Cloud Computing.
Cloud computing has three primary service types: Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). In each case, a company may subscribe to a particular service in order to reduce overhead costs, such as hardware and individual software licenses, while still receiving the full functionality of the service.
A company that wishes to use a particular set of software can spend far less money by using a cloud computing service provider than by buying the software as a hard copy and spending money on individual licenses. Additionally, those who use SaaS will always have the most updated version of the software without the hassle of installing individual updates. Transitioning to cloud computing is not expensive, either. Services such as VMware View allow companies to quickly transform their existing desktop computers into cloud computing friendly terminals. Much as a television receives signals from an outside provider, VMware View acts as a kind of a cable box for cloud computing.
Cloud computing is also inherently scalable. Should a company wish to design and build a particular application or software suite, they may use PaaS or IaaS services. When the project is completed, they can stop using the services, or scale them down to a level more suited to day to day activities. This makes it easy for companies to focus on design and not on more technical issues like server maintenance. Should they wish to start on another large project, they can immediately increase their PaaS or IaaS functionality in the same way one would flip a light switch.
Many organizations also are fond of cloud computing because it acts as a cost-effective storage solution. Information inputted into the cloud is far safer than information stored on a single hardware device. There’s no danger that the information will become lost or inaccessible because the cloud has been designed to be inherently accessible from any properly equipped device or equipment. While information can be password protected to guarantee its security, natural disasters will not destroy valuable information.
In many ways, cloud computing can be likened to a utility. It is relatively inexpensive, delivers reliable service, and requires no maintenance on the part of those who subscribe to the service. Cloud computing providers are responsible for the integrity of their product. Companies that use cloud computing services can focus on their business, not on IT problems.