Cloud computing has become commonplace technology in modern business.
With the ability to store data on remote servers, pay computing resources per use, and enjoy improved availability, businesses can see a number of benefits. Improved efficiency and lower operational costs are just some of them.
But, what is cloud computing? How does it work and to which extent your business should use it?
Cloud computing can be simply defined as the usage of a large network of servers connected to the Internet. This network is designed to store and share large amounts of digital data, including bandwidth-heavy software applications, big data, and end-user digital files.
Such supersized data centers allow for cheaper data storage and backup options than in-house options. In fact, the very ability to scale these resources on demand is one thing that made cloud computing so appealing to businesses.
Many businesses also use cloud computing to provide services to customers. These include the storage of files and software as a service (SAAS) applications. Software-as-a-service allows remote access to applications without needing to download the software on a specific device.
Cloud computing also reduces the chances of data loss. Each server has multiple backup systems, protecting against system failure. The digital data is safely stored on the server hard drives, independent of the source data.
This is good for disaster recovery, since the data will remain unharmed and can be retrieved at any time.
Which Types of Cloud Services Are There?
Choosing a cloud service may be difficult with the different options available. Knowing which one to choose is important for keeping cost low while ensuring proper service. This choice depends on your business needs and future growth strategies.
With some research and planning, choosing the right cloud service becomes easier. Yet, one has to be familiar with the basic offer before jumping to choosing the cloud provider.
The public cloud is a default set of frameworks offered by the host for multiple users. While multiple users are able to use the servers at the same time, each user’s data is separated and protected from each other.
One key feature of the public cloud is scaling according to a user’s needs. As a result, this is a quick and cheap option for expansion and testing since it allocates server resources as needed. Costs are based on resources currently being used or making monthly payments. These are cheaper than maintaining a private server.
This type of cloud computing has several use cases. Primarily, the public cloud is cost effective and efficient at allocating data. This is a useful option for learning the concepts. The public cloud option is also good for in-house software testing. Records which will not be used for a while can also be stored long term.
This option charges a low fee per the hour, or per month, depending on a user’s needs. This option allows for quick changes to be made to the system as needed. Other features include services specialized for e-commerce solutions and the ability to import existing systems created on virtual machines to the servers.
The public cloud option is good for businesses just starting with the cloud or looking to update their old frameworks. Businesses looking to use the cloud for storing low risk data and concerned about maintenance costs would also benefit from this option.
According to the company PhoenixNAP website a private cloud offers developers control over their cloud framework. Private clouds can be scaled according to user’s needs. Private clouds allow for developers’ direct control and are accessed by the individual business. This makes the private cloud the direct responsibility of the business, instead of the host.
The private cloud offers increased data security by utilizing the firewall of the business, instead of an arbitrary security system setup by the host. Company’s in-house IT staff has the ability to directly secure and control the information stored in the private cloud.
Private clouds are suitable for storing data and applications, as well as for creating custom environments. Due to the levels of control given to the business and the security offered to the data, frameworks for applications which need to store sensitive information can be securely constructed.
This is suitable for updating older software to either add cloud capabilities or increase the security of the software. Additionally, cloud-native applications can be created using this type of cloud service, allowing them to be used anywhere and be moved to different servers if needed.
Some providers offer the Managed Private Cloud option with all the benefits of private cloud and the flexibility of resource management. There is also an additional layer of security to ensure maximum data protection. This helps reduce the costs for maintenance, while providing the necessary safety. High end processors and storage devices are used for quick data sharing speeds. There is a data backup option for information, offering duplicates of data to aid with the recovery of critical information and business frameworks.
Businesses needing more control over applications and data storage can benefit from the private cloud option. Additionally, businesses which require the storage of high risk data would also benefit from this option.
The needs of a business can fluctuate over time. This can require both public and private clouds. The hybrid cloud combines the two to allow for flexibility in pricing and developer control. This allows for the security of critical data and low cost storage of less important information.
The hybrid cloud allows developers to share data between the public and private clouds. This is useful for software applications. Many of these require long term data storage and critical data processing. This option also comes with the cost of both private and public cloud frameworks. The hybrid cloud requires developers to maintain the private cloud.
The hybrid cloud is beneficial for untested systems. In this case, testing occurs with the cheaper public cloud system to see if the system works. Later, development of the support frameworks in the private cloud can occur as the system grows.
This model is also beneficial for maintaining regulations. Some businesses store location-specific data, which might be subject to different regulations. Several governments have rules which require this location specific data to be stored within that location. Most often, it is information relating to a country that must be stored within that country.
A particularly convenient hybrid option is Virtual Private Data Center that offers options for disaster recovery and software as a service implementations. This allows for enterprise applications and virtual desktop systems.
Businesses which deal with a combination of software applications and large data analysis would benefit from the hybrid cloud option. This option is also good for businesses that are toying with new software as a service and looking to expand in the future.