Basics of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the on-demand practice of data storage on a remote server accessed via the Internet. It is easily accessible (to those with approved access) at any time, from any location, on any device. It is ultimately an off-site network that can be built to suit one's personal or business needs.
A Brief Background on the Cloud
Widespread cloud computing is a relatively new phenomenon, being first adopted into mainstream computing usage in 2006. However, network-based computing dates back to the 1960's. AT&T introduced the early foundations of cloud computing in 1994. While its reach, efficiency, and accessibility has ballooned in the past decade, the goal has always been the same: to easily connect people and data at any time and in any place.
Amazon Web Services takes much of the credit for what we view as modern-day cloud computing. AWS launched modern cloud infrastructure when it introduced Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud in August 2006.
It took a few years before cloud computing really caught on and became widely popular. However, when Apple launched its iCloud in October 2011, the cloud really began to boom.
What is cloud computing?
The common notion of cloud computing architecture is a system to store data and a system to share data.
As your organization grows, more and more information is accumulated and increased data storage is required. Every aspect of every project that your organization undertakes should be logged—not only to keep track of the status of each particular project, but also to create an analysis that will aid in your future endeavours. You can choose to store your data in-house or in the cloud.
There are numerous software and hardware solutions available to aid with the storing of your data in-house. However, these tools require a fair bit of setup and continuous maintenance to ensure that they are running at full capacity. Further updates and add-ons are required periodically, adding further cost and the need for ongoing attention. When storing your data in-house, you can expect the following:
- Higher costs for small and mid-sized companies
- Resources directed towards set-up and maintenance
- Routine updating and purchasing add-ons
- All troubleshooting must be done on-site by you
- You must assume responsibility for keeping abreast of new risks/threats in the industry
- Possible disruption in productivity and efficiency
As your organization grows, more and more information is accumulated and increased data storage is required.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of in-house data storage is that since it is stored in house, it is necessarily less accessible and it can be more time consuming to share with others. Sharing data requires a lot of steps: first to recover the data, then attach the data, and then send the data. The recipient must then receive and often download the files—this also takes time.
Aside from being less time efficient, there are many other factors of traditional file sharing that can be problematic:
- Higher susceptibility to malware/viral infections both remotely and internally
- Slow delivery/download/load times for larger files
- Not enough space on the remote network to receive files and data
- Possibility of sending data to the wrong recipient
- More prone to human error
Features of Cloud Computing
- On-Demand Access
- Broad Accessibility
- Tracking of Usage
- Prompt Flexibility
- Pick and Choose Resources
The cloud essentially builds an infrastructure that can support the data and programs and applications used by a company on a third-party platform. The following are the key features of basic cloud computing architecture:
1. On-Demand Access
The cloud is fully self-service and on demand, therefore data can be obtained at any time by anyone with the authority to do so.
2. Broad Accessibility
The cloud network can be reached through any device, from laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
3. Tracking of Usage
Cloud service providers allow customers to track their usage and needs, allowing them to amend their memberships plans to suit their needs. Basically, this means customers can ensure that they choose a membership plan that does not require them to pay for extra space they do not need.
4. Prompt Flexibility
Cloud service providers are adept at quickly and effortlessly absorbing increases and decreases in demand, without interruptions in service.
5. Pick and Choose Resources
Storage, memory, network bandwidth and other resources are offered to customers based on their needs and demands.
Cloud computing, in its modern iteration, can play a role in ensuring your business continues to run at its highest functionality and efficiency.
If you are interested in moving your organization to the cloud, get in touch with CITI. We will evaluate your costs and cost savings, security in the cloud, and productivity for your unique business needs.