Recently, many organizations have been implementing cloud computing technology for everyday operations, leading many IT professionals to question, “Is cloud computing an efficient, long-term solution for updating my organization, and if so, for what systems?”
Cloud computing is an innovative concept, not a specific type of technology. There are several ways to describe this concept, but one of the simplest definitions describes cloud computing as, “A practice of utilizing an environment that consists of remote, independent servers hosted online, whose basic objective is to store, handle and process information and data, and is provisioned in an automated way.” Instead of storing, managing and processing data with the help of a desktop/laptop computer, or a local server, organizations can use an Internet-based server, or service, located in a remote data center.
There are a few different types of cloud computing models available on the market such as:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
- PaaS (Platform as a Service) and
- SaaS (Software as a Service).
In addition, there are a few distribution models related to cloud computing. These include:
- Public Cloud: operated by a business that offers cloud services for multiple organizations
- Private Cloud: created for the needs of a single organization
- Community Cloud: accessed and used by a few organizations, and provides support to a community of users
- Hybrid Cloud: includes at least two other clouds such as a private and public cloud
Cloud computing has many benefits and drawbacks. Some of the benefits include cost savings (for workloads with inconsistent resource requirements), allowing IT to focus on applications, and unlimited access regardless of the location. Some of the drawbacks include cost (for consistent workloads) and service levels that are less flexible. In future articles, we will discuss these benefits and challenges more fully. For a more detailed look, refer to Logical Front’s page on Extensile Hybrid Cloud.
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