What Is Cloud Computing? A Beginner's Guide

What Is Cloud Computing? A Beginner’s Guide

You may have heard some things about cloud computing, but many writers do not do a good job of explaining things. As such, it is possible that you know about the cloud without knowing much of anything about how it works. This might be a serious problem in the future, as the cloud is quickly becoming the norm for both home and business use. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at cloud computing and explain the basics to you.

How Does The Cloud Work?

At its core, the cloud is a very simple thing. It is a way to use the combined power of many interconnected computers. Obviously, the internet already does this, but the cloud is the next natural step. By combining the resources of many machines, everyone has access to a whole lot more.

The cloud can take the place of a hard drive by providing all kinds of storage space. It can take the place of extra RAM by providing more processing speed and can take the place of a GPU in the same way. In the end, the results are better performance with less hardware.

The Three Types Of Cloud Networks

When you start using cloud computing services, you should have quite a few options as to the type of network that you want to have. If not, you should probably look for a new cloud provider, because customization is one of the best things about cloud computing. In many cases, your choices will be dictated by the level of security that you require.

You can opt for a public cloud, a private cloud, or a hybrid cloud (which, of course, is the mixed approach). A public cloud is usually run by a large third-party company that provides services to the general public. When you go with this option, you will not be responsible for configuring or maintaining the network in any way. You should have options when you create your account, but after that, everything is in the hands of your cloud provider.

In most cases, a public cloud is the least secure option. These clouds are meant for general use and are therefore inappropriate for high-security purposes. Thus, a company with more wealth to guard should strongly consider the use of a private cloud network. Technically, this network is considered to be an intranet rather than a part of the internet. The only difference, of course, is that an intranet is limited to a certain group or organization.

If neither of these options is appealing or fitting, you can always go with a hybrid approach. When you do it this way, you might keep some of your services on-site while outsourcing others to the cloud. You might choose to have a public “outer cloud” and a private “inner cloud.” You might even choose to have some physical offline storage for maximum security, should your needs require such extra precautions. You have all kinds of options, as this approach offers the greatest amount of flexibility.

The Three Types Of Cloud Services

As we have already explained, many types of services can be offered through the cloud. However, all of these will fall into one (or more) of these three categories:

IAAS:

This acronym stands for “Infrastructure as a service.” These are the kinds of services that reduce the demands on your equipment. They do this by allowing you to utilize the computing power of the cloud, giving you extra storage, extra processing speed, and all kinds of other things. When you buy this, you are basically renting infrastructure (like servers and such) from someone else.

PAAS:

This acronym stands for “Platform as a service.” In this case, they are providing a platform on which you can create programs or software. These services are probably not needed for the average home user, but they are essential to businesses that use the cloud. By using this kind of service, the IT department can save a lot of time and money. Essentially, the cloud provider gives you a template and all the tools necessary in exchange for a certain monthly rate.

SAAS:

This acronym stands for “Software as a service.” This is the one that should be most familiar to home users, as many software companies have already started applying this concept. Anytime you purchase a subscription to continue using software, you are using SAAS.

Advantages Of Cloud Computing

There are a lot of these. One of the best things about the cloud is the way that it can be customized for each type of user. For instance, many businesses use custom cloud networks that are specially designed for their company. The idea of having a private and custom internet network is pretty appealing, and it becomes even more appealing when it will save you money.

Because you can reduce the burdens on your IT department and their equipment, a business owner will normally save money on cloud computing. A home user can save some money here as well, because they can get the same level of performance without spending a lot of money on the finest computer.

Apart from this, the cloud offers scalability, easy backup and restore options, increased speed, better communication between the people on your network, and (in most cases) excellent customer support.

Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing

The only real disadvantage of cloud computing is the fact that it can only be as good as your cloud service provider. Thus, you need to be very careful when choosing a company with which to do business. Even if you have a good one, the most sensitive data should never be put into the cloud.

Conclusion

We hope that this article has given you a better idea of what the cloud is and how it works. By offering a better way to connect with others, the cloud gives many people exactly what they need, but it can be cumbersome if you don’t understand how to use it properly. After reading this article, you should have a good start, so don’t hesitate to learn more. You can start by filling out the contact form below.