Though our current economic times are tougher than ever, businesses and schools alike are still looking for ways to overcome their budgetary challenges. A lot of them have found comfort in using some of the new information technologies. One specific technology that both schools and companies have taken advantage of is cloud computing. Cloud computing has the ability to offer more efficiency and to save as much money as possible on resources.

cloud computing

What is Cloud Computing?

With cloud computing, there is a system of access points to a pool of configurable resources like applications, servers and storage. There will be little need for management. The resources will be able to be divided among all computers in a specific network. The basic foundation is a remote server that is able to be changed from any tool that is part of its cloud.

Every time you begin an upload of a new video on YouTube, it will change YouTube ever so little so there will be another video that will pop up under specific search perimeters. Another good example is Google Documents. These documents are able to be accessed by more than one person simultaneously so they never have to be forwarded through e-mails or a messaging service. Google Docs helps to keep your data current.

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing

The cloud model has five fundamental characteristics that will set it apart from most other kinds of computing.

On-Demand Self-Service: Allows users to be able to access the network storage without having to communicate with any other users. So, gone are the days where your coworkers have to desperately send e-mails asking “could you forward me that document?” This document can be accessible and modified by all of the people who are permitted to use it.

Broad Network Access: It is quite easy to understand why small businesses in a small office to share resources, but what about the big multinational corporations? Cloud computing takes place across huge distances; this means that the network can be expanded to include computers in other countries if it is needed.

Resource Pooling: A business network that can share data storage space and it can also share bandwidth, memory and processing power. These companies will usually outsource some cloud computing services which will save them considerable time and money and it would save them the cost to build their own infrastructure.

Rapid Elasticity: A cloud computing network is able to be expanded and also to contract. When a company is outsourcing services, it will never be a hard task to include or exclude some new computers in the cloud model. However, for a bigger capacity of users, it means that a server will have to be more powerful.

Measured Service: With rapid flexibility, cloud computing will be able to affect only a few computers or all of the computers in the entire world. The magnitude of the service is directly related to how much the service will cost to operate. For a company that will outsource their cloud, this is a very valuable factor to think about.

Cloud Model

Public Clouds/External Clouds: Primarily, public clouds are the ones that are able to be used by anyone on the Internet. There are some public cloud services that are free while other public cloud services will ask a nominal fee for usage.

Private Clouds/Internal Clouds/Corporate Clouds: Private clouds can provide cloud computing services to a stated group of people and it should be protected by a customized firewall. Private clouds are typically called internal clouds or corporate clouds since they are what most companies will use when they only share company resources between their employees.

Community Cloud: The final type of cloud computing is community clouds, are they are typically used by groups of people with some similar interests or concerns. Many groups will have same concerns that they are fighting for. Community clouds are also exclusive like private clouds, and they are usually more elastic like public clouds. One example is Google’s Gov Cloud.
Service Models

Infrastructure as Service (IaaS): With this type of service an organization will outsource the equipment that is needed to support all their clouds. The servers and the networking components will most likely be maintained by a cloud computing service company and the client organization will pay them a nominal fee to use it.

Software as a Service (SaaS): With Software as a Service is when a service provider makes their own applications accessible to certain customers across the internet. These features are then stored online and the customers will only need to connect to the internet to use them.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): With Platform as a Service, the resources from certain personal computers will have the ability to be shared through the Internet. Some SaaS cloud computing services have taken advantage of this cloud concept and have made their software more readily available over the Internet. These programs are sometimes referred to as cloudware.

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