Cloud computing is a dynamic way to alter many of the important business processes necessary for computing in today’s increasingly global economy. Computers are highly important in today’s business world; those looking to ascertain more information about them can do so at computerclasses.org. The uninitiated should know that “the cloud” is a simple metaphor for the internet, which allows for a number of traditional aspects of computing—including software, platforms, and infrastructure—to be accessed online, on demand, and enables users to pay for the use of such facets as a service strictly for the duration of the actual use. This final aspect should not be underestimated in terms of its value and convenience, as it is much different than the paying for most utilities, such as internet service. While an internet service provider charges customers a flat rate in monthly intervals regardless of how much or how little the service is actually used, cloud computing allows for customers to only pay for the actual time or amount of service they actually use—which is one of several definitive financial advantages towards utilizing cloud computing.
Another primary benefit of cloud computing is the fact that information is stored on a remote server and accessed via the internet, which means it can be retrieved and altered in virtually any way that users see fit from any location in the world. The space and storage required for data, which has been finite and limited within the world of conventional computing, is limitless with cloud computing, particularly for those whose operations are data intensive and opt for Storage as a Service applications (which is referred to as SaaS—which can also be used to refer to Software as a Service application as well). Therefore, instead of renting out physical space and buying and maintaining servers and databases dedicated to the storage of data, many businesses are currently opting to simply store their data on hardware that is maintained remotely through the cloud—which allows for full retrieval and access of data on demand without all of the physical costs associated with traditional data storage.
The really good news is that there are a number of products and devices associated with cloud computing that allows for secure storage of data and its accessibility. At one point, there were questions regarding the degree of security for confidential, proprietorial information being housed by a third-party server. However, the proliferation of “private clouds”, which are essentially applications of cloud-like architecture inside of secure firewalls and the degree of support offered by cloud computing infrastructure companies have engendered a degree of trust and comfort for businesses from large scale enterprises to independently owned personal ventures. A number of products have been specifically developed to allow businesses to gain greater control over their data, such as VPN-Cubed and CohesiveFT, which aids in the level of security offered by cloud computing.
An indisputable boon of cloud computing is the fact that with a good amount of infrastructure, software, and data storage accessed remotely, the traditional costs associated with businesses and the computers necessary for their efficiency have been greatly reduced. Instead of companies being forced to spend much needed financial resources upon expensive hardware, virtually any computer with a monitor, mouse and keyboard is enough to access practically any software or infrastructure—along with applicable data storage—necessary to run a business like a multi-million dollar corporation.
In fact, one of the principle applications of cloud computing is Software as a Service, which enables companies to access virtually any software they like from any location for as many individual computers or employees as they need to. Again, with the cloud businesses are only paying for the time they spend actually using such software, which can be shared on individual networks within a company, if so needed. Additional economic savers associated with SaaS revolve around the fact that with company-wide access to specific software applications, there is little need to buy individual software or licenses for individual employees. Instead, cloud computing takes care of all of these additional expenses with a single metered fee. Therefore, applications which have been traditionally desktop based can be utilized through the cloud at a greater level of convenience and economic sensibility.
Another of the more popular and utilitarian applications of cloud computing is known as Platform as a Service (PaaS), which enables companies to access and utilize computing platforms with which to run their software upon. Platforms are required to launch software, and include part of a computer’s architecture, operating system and programming languages. The availability of PaaS enables businesses to run different types of software and allows for them to put their computers to varying types of use without going out and buying an entirely different computer, or set of computers for the companies. Businesses will be able to use different software and change their system requirements as needed to operate it—only during the time they need it and only paying for the time they actually use it. With Google and Microsoft some of the primary players in the development and application of PaaS, individual platforms such as Heroku, Force.com, and Morph Labs are instrumental in the deployment of platforms for application access and development. It may be advantageous to become a certified IT technician while operating cloud computing equipment; individuals can learn more about certification here.
Other beneficial applications of cloud computing include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) option, which are secure, less expensive alternatives to buying, installing, and maintaining servers with which to run software and store information upon. Cloud computing allows for such costly infrastructure to be “rented” and accessed remotely at a fraction of the price to set-up conventional infrastructure. Additionally, cloud computing makes it possible for enterprises to access scalable, on demand middleware—which is essentially software that connects two otherwise separate applications. Middleware is a natural extension of SaaS, and grants enterprises the ability to use an assortment of software in simultaneous ways that would not be possible to do so without it.