The Central Concept of Cloud Computing
An experienced cloud user would have already used services such as Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook or Office 365.
Cloud services are those which can be used from any location as long as you have internet access and can remember the credentials necessary to log in to your own personal account whereby you can access all your information stored on your account. It is interesting to note, that no matter where you are, or which device you are using to access your account on such services, your experience will always be the same.
These services are able to give you the benefit of accessing your account from anywhere in the world because your account is not stored in any installed software on your computer but is available in the “cloud” that is provided by each service to power your services.
This is the central concept of cloud computing; this becomes more complex as the number of individuals in the organization it applies to increases from let’s say, 20 to 200 or even 20 thousand. While the increase in security requirements and similar reasons results in increasing complexity, the basic principle does not change.
Before “going cloud” it is important to realize that each company is assigned its own unique cloud so the organization must first understand their business needs and operational needs.
Explaining the term “Cloud”
The most straightforward explanation of the term “cloud” is that it is the storage of data and applications which are then easily accessible on the internet. This is not a contemporary concept and over the years a large number of organizations have been using Cloud to power their applications.
One may consider cloud to be just another word for the Internet. Back in the day, when the internet was powered by a server structure, presentations would depict the server structure as a white cloud which enabled people to store, share and access their information. However, the term “Cloud” has become very common because of the increased use of applications like Office 365, as well as the increased power available from servers.
There are three general models for cloud:
- IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service – Enables developers and IT teams to deliver business solutions by delivering storage and computing power (For example, Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services).
- PaaS - Platform as a Service – With the help of PaaS developers can build applications on top of existing infrastructure. Software that is customized for a particular industry or vertical can be included in this bracket, and then offered as a SaaS service for other companies.
- SaaS - Software as a Service – This refers to software that does not require companies to install, update, buy hardware for or support it because service providers manage and maintain the software. Users simply consume the services they need and then pay for them.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.