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What is cloud computing and what is it used for?

When it comes to modern technology, the word cloud is ubiquitous. Storing your data in the cloud has become trendy. But are cloud solutions something flimsy that will go away just as fast? This article covers what cloud is and how you can benefit from it.

Although maybe you think that the concept of cloud computing does not concern you? As it turns out, almost all of us are using cloud services, sometimes even without realising it. If you surf the internet, you have most likely come into contact with cloud computing. Among other things, it enables you to: store data (e.g. Google Drive) and backups, host applications and websites (e.g. Wikipedia), stream audio and video (e.g. Netflix), deliver software on demand (e.g. Windows).
The definition of “Cloud computing” given by Amazon (one of the largest providers) on its website is that it’s on-demand delivery of compute power, database, storage, applications, and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.

What advantages does the cloud have?

Why do companies decide to switch from their own servers to a cloud? There are many reasons, the main ones being:

Quick start and scalability – the cloud allows for a huge amount of resources to be made available virtually instantly (within a few minutes). It also allows you to set an automatic increase in capacity depending on, for example, traffic on your website.

Billing for used resources – you pay only for what you actually use. If you need a cloud for a test environment that is only used from 8AM to 4PM, then you will only pay for the data that was effectively used. With a cloud solution, you also avoid software and hardware costs due to using existing infrastructure (and you also don’t have to maintain your hardware, which translates into even more savings over time).

Reliability – facilitates the creation of environment snapshots and, thanks to the possibility of using different server locations, increases the availability to 99.9999999%.

Service delivery models

Cloud computing delivers services in a few different models. The three major models are IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service).

IaaS – is the most basic model. It entails renting infrastructure from a cloud provider, i.e. servers, networks and operating systems, and paying for them in accordance with their actual use.

PaaS – is a service that provides an on-demand environment. It may be used, for example, to create or test applications. It enables development work without the need to configure servers, databases, networks, etc.

SaaS – allows to deliver applications on demand. This most often takes place in the subscription model. Internet users usually connect to it via a browser, without having to worry about configurations, updates or security patches.

Cloud types

Cloud is not only about external providers. There are companies that create the cloud also within their organisation. There are also those that use a mixed model. The types of cloud include:

Private cloud – it is a cloud created and used by only one company. The servers may be located in the server room of that company, but may also be hosted by external providers.

Public cloud – it is a cloud that can be used by everyone and its resources are provided by external providers online. The most popular clouds are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azzure, and Google Cloud.

Hybrid cloud – it is a middle solution between a private cloud and public cloud. It means that a given company/institution maintains its applications/environments in both cloud types, private and public

So, is cloud computing the ultimate solution?

Reading this article, you might get the impression that there are no downsides to the cloud. Although this may be true, it doesn’t mean that everyone and their mother needs cloud computing. If you run a small blog with a constant, rather small number of visitors, you probably don’t need the cloud yet. It will be the right solution for you when you notice an increase in users, or when you expect increased traffic. Also, although cloud providers do their best to make the user interface simple and intuitive, without specialised training and advanced technical knowledge it is impossible to unlock its full potential. In such a case, the best solution is to hire a company that has the right skills and properly trained, certified employees. Everyone makes their choice based on different considerations and thing that are important to them. Apart from professional expertise (which should be demonstrated by all suppliers), Qlos places great emphasis on the highest commitment of its employees and on the relationship with the Client.

How to choose the right company for you?

To what extent can you be assisted? External providers can help you with:

  • Preparing your organisation for the transition to the cloud and carrying out that transition
  • Analysing and picking the perfect cloud
  • Migrating your website/application
  • Unlocking the full potential of your cloud
  • Developing your services
  • Also, they provide support and management assistance.

More and more companies are becoming cloud ambassadors. There is no doubt that the cloud is the future. If you are wondering whether you should move your business to a cloud, the answer is most likely “yes”. However, I think a better question than “is it worth it?” is “how to do it and when to start?”

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