Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more – over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale.
You typically only pay for cloud services you use, helping to reduce operating costs, increase infrastructure efficiencies and scale as your business needs change.
Cloud computing is a big change from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources. Here are six reasons why organisations are turning to cloud computing services:
Cloud computing eliminates the expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site data centres – the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity, the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It all adds up.
Most cloud computing services are provided as self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.
Cloud computing also includes the ability to scale, which means delivering the correct amount of IT resources (e.g. the right amount of computing power, storage and bandwidth) when it’s needed, and from the correct geographic location.
On-site data centres typically require a lot of IT management (hardware setup and software patching). Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.
The biggest cloud computing services run on a network of secure data centres, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of computing hardware, which keeps them fast and efficient . This offers several benefits over a single corporate data centre, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies and controls that strengthen your security posture overall, helping to protect your data, apps and infrastructure from potential threats.
Not all clouds are the same and not one type of cloud computing is right for everyone. Several different models, types and services have evolved to help offer the right solution for your needs.
First, you need to determine the type of cloud deployment, or cloud computing architecture, that your cloud services will be implemented on. There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.
Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers, who deliver their computing resources such as servers and storage over the Internet. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.
A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organisation. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site data centre. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimise your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.
Most cloud computing services fall into four broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), serverless and software as a service (SaaS). These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack because they build on top of one another. Knowing what they are and how they’re different makes accomplishing your business goals easier.
The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure – servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems – from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.
Overlapping with PaaS, serverless computing focuses on building app functionality without spending time continually managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so. The cloud provider handles the setup, capacity planning, and server management for you. Serverless architectures are highly scalable and event-driven, only using resources when a specific function or trigger occurs.
Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, such as software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC.
While cloud computing services all work a little differently, many provide a friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easier for IT professionals and developers to order resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud computing services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line interface, giving developers multiple options.
You’re probably using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realise it. If you use an online service to send emails, edit documents, watch films or TV, listen to music, play games, or store pictures and other files, it’s likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes. The first cloud computing services are barely a decade old, but already a variety of organisations – from small to global corporations – are embracing cloud technology for all sorts of reasons.
Here are a few examples of what’s possible with cloud services from a cloud provider:
Quickly build, deploy and scale applications – web, mobile and API – on any platform. Access the resources you need to help meet performance, security and compliance requirements.
Reduce application development cost and time by using cloud infrastructures that can easily be scaled up or down.
Protect your data by transferring it over the Internet to an offsite cloud storage system that’s accessible from any location and any device.
Unify your data across teams, divisions and locations in the cloud. Then use cloud services, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to uncover insights for more informed decisions.
Connect with your audience whenever, wherever, on any device with high-definition video and audio with global distribution.
Use intelligent models to help engage customers and provide valuable insights from the data captured.
Also known as software as a service (SaaS), on-demand software lets you offer the latest software versions and updates around to customers – whenever they need it, regardless of where they are.
If you’re contemplating moving your business over to a cloud-based system, why not call us to discuss? We can help you to find the right solution for your business. No matter what the size of your organisation, a cloud-based solution from Genesis will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a dependable cloud solution - all for a price that suits your budget.