From simple off-site file and data storage to the complete digital infrastructure that businesses and commercial organization need to operate, cloud computing has quickly become an indispensable resource.
Understanding the basic concepts of cloud computing, which technologies and solutions are available and who the major service providers are can allow those who are seeking to make better use of cloud services to create a more effective decision.
Transferring personal data to the cloud or migrating essential workflow processes off-site can be an important undertaking, and understanding the options, choices, and solutions available is not an issue to be taken lightly.
Understanding the Cloud
Cloud computing is a catch-all term used to describe any process where electronic data and digital information is stored and accessed from an off-site location. Conventional infrastructure and even local area networks are limited by the resources and equipment on hand. Cloud computing and services can drastically expand the range and scope of storage options, programs, and applications and overall infrastructure that can be made available.
Types of Cloud Computing
The simplest type of cloud service, off-site data storage functions in much the same way as a hard drive or other on-site storage devices. Storing data off-site can help to facilitate remote access as well as to provide a more secure back-up solution.
SaaS provides clients with access to an application without requiring them to deal with purchase, installation or configuration. SaaS is often the only way to access some applications and may provide an ideal alternative to those who lack the IT resources, knowledge or experience to deal with the installation or setup of new software.
PaaS offers quite a bit more than SaaS. Access to an off-site platform can provide businesses and other organizations with the digital working environment they need to develop and create custom applications and software. Quick, easy and low-cost access to a development environment can be of the utmost importance for businesses interested in creating their own tools and resources.
The most comprehensive type of cloud service, IaaS provides clients with a full range of services and resources. IaaS can go a long way towards minimizing or even outright eliminating many of the tasks and functions associated with maintaining a conventional on-site network.
Services and Providers
The versatility offered by cloud computing and the growing demand for the solutions it has to offer has created an ever-growing number of providers. Not every service may be able to offer the range of features and options that clients require, so selecting the right one is an important concern.
With a full suite of services that make use of the cloud, Google is a major provider. From off-site file storage services such as Drive to IaaS services like Google Cloud, Google offers numerous cloud-based services and options that can meet a variety of needs.
Amazon provides a growing range of cloud services that range from simple data storage to services that make it easier to migrate databases, infrastructure, and workflow to the cloud. Amazon Web Services is positioned to remain a major player in cloud services for the foreseeable future.
Oracle Cloud provides the full range of service options ranging from DaaS to managed networks, edge services, and other IaaS solutions. Oracle is quickly heating up the competition among service providers and boasts an impressive array of corporate clients, including Samsung, Yamaha, and Dow Chemicals. They are also creating a robust, niche industry of Oracle Cloud consultants.
Finding the Right Cloud-Service Solutions
The cloud has a lot to offer, but the needs of each client typically vary a great deal. Investing in the wrong provider or overlooking an option that may be better suited to the situation, plans, and immediate needs of a business or even an individual client can be a costly misstep. The scalable nature of cloud services makes it much easier to migrate data and key processes off-site or to handle the future growth and expansion that businesses and other organizations may anticipate with far greater ease.