The term “cloud computing” is everywhere. We all have been obliviously using cloud services without realizing it. Netflix, Apple Music, and YouTube are the most common examples but cloud computing is a lot more than just social media and online streaming of movies and music.
So, what is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now? These are all the questions you’ve probably asked yourself. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet.
For decades, traditional businesses operated with the overhead costs of maintaining servers and storage on-premise, while the transportation of essential data was carried out with portable storage. VPN (Virtual Private Network) and RDS (Remote Data Service) have played their roles in easing the access to data remotely but have limitations of their own. Data storage and exchange servers being on-premise posed difficulties when rapid growth and scalability was required.
In the last decade, cloud services have changed all these classic methods with the capability to access files, applications and email housed on remote servers in the cloud. All you need is a simple internet connection.
With documents and applications being available online, cloud applications enable flexibility to collaborate with colleagues and co-workers regardless of their location.
Cloud computing can provide organization of company data, user permissions, licenses, and lower the cost of hardware and personnel to maintain traditional, on-premise servers. It also makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier while reducing cost. Data can be mirrored at redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
Types of Cloud Services
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
IaaS is the most basic category of cloud computing services which allows you to rent IT infrastructure. This includes servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems. Examples of IaaS are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Dropbox.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
PaaS refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. Examples of PaaS are Microsoft Azure and Google App engines.
Software as a service (SaaS)
SaaS is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet and is typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage software applications and infrastructure, and handle any maintenance like software upgrades, security patching, and support. SaaS examples include Office365, Microsoft Azure and Salesforce.
If any of the above benefits would be enough to convince your business to move into the cloud, give us a call at 604.682.3444 and we will be glad to assess your IT infrastructure to suggest which cloud computing option is best suited for your business!
Shah Azizi | Support Specialist