What Is Cloud Computing? A Beginner’s Guide

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Cloud computing is a collection of technologies that provide shared access to a pool of configurable server computers and services, hosted on the Internet. 

This allows users to share resources and collaborate as if they had a single computer with a central processing unit (CPU).

Here is the answer for, what is a challenge for cloud computing that could cause employee performance to decrease?

This post will teach you what cloud computing is, how it works, and what you need in order to get started. 

So get your caffeine fix ready because this will be an exciting read!

1. What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a term that describes the delivery of hosted services, or software as a service (SaaS), over the Internet. These services are provided through an external vendor, who hosts all of your data and provides your access. 

Some common examples include e-mail, cloud storage (i.e., Dropbox), and online backup services (i.e., CrashPlan).

The advantages of cloud computing include:

Cost.

With paid cloud computing services, you no longer have to purchase expensive hardware for centralized computer processing and storage. In many cases, you pay only for what you use which assures that only your most important data is stored in a safe place.

Efficiency.

Cloud computing allows you to focus on your work, instead of your computing environment. It centralizes server management and other resources that would traditionally be required for maintaining a secured and efficient network environment.

Scalability.

Cloud computing scales as your business grows, by allowing you to add resources as needed. This can help prevent unnecessary downtime during periods of high activity or unexpected surges in traffic.

The biggest advantage is the utility model. You pay for what you use and scale as necessary without worrying about building, expanding, and maintaining a data center infrastructure.

2. What Is the Cloud? 

The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet and cloud services are provided over the Internet to your business or local area network (LAN). Cloud computing actually refers to the services and not the physical infrastructure. 

The cloud is a network of remote servers providing data storage, applications, and more over the web.

Cloud computing is currently in the business model stage of cloud adoption with big data and mobile devices still in their infancy.

3. A History of Cloud Computing 

Cloud computing existed before companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft jumped on board; we just didn’t use that term. It All Started With the Mainframe

When computers were first invented, mainframes were the only option for computing power. Thousands of users would connect to the mainframe through terminals. This was, essentially, the first Internet.

Mainframes evolved to include interactive terminals that allowed users to share information and run applications over time-sharing systems. 

Time-sharing is a system that allows multiple users access through what seems like dedicated machines at any given moment in time even though they are sharing the same physical machine. 

Users would gain access to their own terminal sessions that connected them to shared central resources including printers, disk drives, and memory storage.

4. The Evolution of the Business-to-Business    

The B2B eCommerce market exploded in the early 2000s, and the need for business to business services increased rapidly. 

As companies transitioned to an Internet model, they required Internet connectivity, powerful data storage, flexible access to applications and data, and managed access to managed services.

Companies were looking for help with building their IT infrastructures. 

Cloud computing was invented in 2003 which allowed businesses to store their critical data in secure servers that were located in remote locations at highly trusted ISPs (ISPs are networks that provide broadband connections over satellite or terrestrial links).

5. Businesses are Moving to the Cloud   

SaaS is a word that means “software as a service.” There are three models of SaaS, which are infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

IaaS refers to the delivery of infrastructure, including storage, processing power, and network access. 

IaaS providers offer building blocks for building your own IT infrastructure by delivering shared resources on demand over the Web.

PaaS is a term that refers to the delivery of a computing platform and/or software development environment over the web. 

This involves providing the necessary infrastructure, tools, and applications for running software applications, usually on a pay-as-you-go basis with time or usage limitations.

SaaS refers to the delivery of pre-packaged software over the Web. For example, Google Docs is an example of Word processing SaaS. 

These products are “on-demand” applications that are accessed via a Web browser. Many companies offer both IaaS and SaaS products in their cloud offerings.

6. The Benefits of Moving to the Cloud  

Cloud computing offers numerous benefits over traditional IT infrastructure. Some of the top benefits are:

Cost-effectiveness.

A cloud computing system can cost less than traditional methods, especially if your business is operating in a high-risk industry. 

Safety features allow you to use limited resources more effectively, while reducing your cost.

Disaster recovery.

Cloud computing does not require onsite expertise or equipment that inevitably becomes outdated or breaks down. You are able to get everything that you need from one provider, with data stored in multiple regions for redundancy. 

This allows you to recover anytime whether it is for hardware failure or natural disaster. You can simply replace the hardware and continue working without interruption or expensive downtime.

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