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Cloud computing is one of those buzz words that is constantly heard throughout the computing industry. If you are new to computers, you are probably asking yourself what cloud computing actually means. It actually is not a very complicated concept and can be explained in a few short paragraphs.
Cloud Computing Simple Definition
“The term cloud computing was used because this technology combines hardware, storage, networking and services and places them all on a remote server off site from where the user of these services is located.”
Who Uses Cloud Computing?
The user can be you the individual or a company large or small. Here are two cloud computing examples, based on user-type:
How an Individual uses Cloud Computing
Many people are not even aware that they have been using cloud computing for years. If you have ever done any of the following things, you have been using cloud computing:
- Used Online Banking
- Shopped Online
- Used Facebook or Twitter
- Backed-Up Data Online
- Used Web-mail such as Google GMail or Yahoo mail
All of these are forms of Cloud-based computing. The key to making it cloud computing is that, to perform any of the above tasks, you need to use services over the Internet. The word cloud is used because in the IT world, the symbol of a cloud is always used to symbolize Internet access, or as it is referred to in the industry, “Up in the Clouds”.
Cloud Computing for the Company?
Cloud computing allows for several advantages for most businesses:
Scalability – Having your hardware and software housed offsite allows you to quickly scale your operations based on customer demand. Solutions provided by Rackspace and Amazon allow for instant provisioning of new servers to allow for increased bandwidth and server space.
Redundancy – Most cloud based providers offer full redundancy on all of their machines and services. This allows you to not have to worry about constantly backing up your data and also ensures that your customers are always able to access your applications which are hosted in the cloud. Companies such as Amazon have regional based servers which can act as redundant backups for each other. You may have one server in California that goes down, but a server in Oregon can quickly come online as if there was never a problem.
Ease of Access – One of the greatest advantages of cloud computing is that it allows you to access your hardware and software from anywhere on the planet. No longer do you have to be chained to your desk to get work done. You can access your applications while on vacation with little to no effort. Cloud computing allows you to access your computers and software as if you were sitting in front of your machines from anywhere in the world.
As you can see, Cloud Computing may seem like a complicated concept, but it is really quite simple. Hosting your machines and software in the cloud is a cost effective way to position your company for rapid growth. Never before have you been able to scale your business in a matter of minutes. Cloud computing is a revolutionary way to do business and is here to stay!
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