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The Cloud – Demystified

20 Apr, 16 | illumisoftadmin

You can’t go one day without hearing something about the cloud.

But what exactly is the cloud? How can it benefit businesses?

First of all, the cloud is not something physical. It’s not fluffy and it doesn’t exist in the sky. It is actually a network of servers and you probably already use the cloud every day. When you upload a photo to Facebook, you are using the cloud. I’m using the cloud to write this post because it’s being typed within an online editor. The popularization of the term, “The Cloud,” can be traced to 2006 when Amazon.com introduced its Elastic Compute Cloud.

Each server in the network that comprises the cloud has a different function and there are many companies who own a vast array of servers. Some servers are primarily used for data storage, like the ones that store Instagram’s photos. Some servers provide a service.

But what is different with cloud computing now and why is everyone talking about it? Cloud computing has exploded in recent years for several reasons which will be explored in detail.

First, let’s look at a concrete example of a business who has moved its product into the cloud. At some point you or someone you know bought a copy of Photoshop. You may have even purchased some copies for your business. This piece of software, Photoshop, was installed on your computer and you kept the disk for backup purposes, in case your computer failed and you needed to reinstall the program.

Well, you can no longer buy Photoshop in physical, disk form. Adobe has moved its entire suite of design applications, which includes Photoshop, to servers or to “The Cloud” and license it now as a service (Software as a Service or SaaS). This means that you choose a monthly subscription plan that suits your needs instead of buying the software installation media. You will no longer have a certain version of Photoshop because Adobe will be constantly updating your version without you having to do anything. You also no longer have to worry about backing up your copy of Photoshop. Adobe has taken on that role. In this respect, the cloud is a much more stable and reliable data storage solution than if you were responsible for it.

Adobe’s new business model is aptly named, Adobe Creative Cloud. So, Adobe is now offering an on-going service instead of stand-alone software. This is an important aspect of some companies’ transition to the cloud.

 

What are some of the benefits of companies moving all their operations to the cloud?

Cloud computing allows businesses to avoid upfront infrastructure costs like servers and network hardware. It also allows a business to scale up or down in a seamless, inexpensive way that would be impossible to do if the business was responsible for all its own data storage and servers. By switching to an on-demand cloud model, the resources of a business don’t have to be tied up in managing and maintaining the data.

What about data security and data recovery?

Cloud computing is actually more secure than a single business trying to manage it themselves. The companies who specialize in storing data have more robust security and data recovery systems in place. Their entire business is wrapped up in maintaining data so their resources are allocated there. Most businesses don’t have enough resources to properly manage their own data, so cloud computing becomes the more secure option.

Cloud computing has in recent years become similar to a utility company because of the cheap cost of services, high performance, high computing power, scalability, accessibility and availability. Some of the companies who own the servers for cloud computing are: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM SmartCloud and Oracle Cloud. To explore more in-depth details about the cloud, a visit to Wikipedia is recommended.

 

I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about the cloud. My name is Dan Prince and I’m the founder of illumisoft. You can reach me via email at [email protected] or my cell phone at 816.564.9595.

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