What is Cloud Computing?

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(The Hosting News) – With so many businesses migrating to the Cloud, it has become a popular buzzword in the mainstream press. But what really is the ‘Cloud’, and why should your business use it?

Cloud computing is the latest stage in the Internet’s evolution. As a scalable and virtualised form of web hosting, the Cloud offers a range of benefits over conventional hosting. The ‘Cloud’ itself is a pool of resources – the hardware, networks and storage that combine together to deliver the end user with a service that they require.

As a method of outsourcing IT systems, Cloud computing enables users to access services over the Internet whenever, and wherever they need it. Essentially Cloud computing means that instead of your IT system being the equipment and software that you buy and own, it becomes a service that you pay for monthly and access via the Internet.

Cloud computing has revolutionized and streamlined thousands of businesses. Users place the running and maintenance of their servers in the hands of the service provider, therefore businesses no longer need to maintain IT systems in-house.

Cost-effectiveness is an overriding benefit of the Cloud, with users paying on a subscription basis to their service provider. This also means that businesses will have access to the latest and most up-to-date equipment and technology, as opposed to financing upgrades to hardware and software themselves.

The Cloud also offers a great deal of flexibility and adaptability; it grows with your business. RAM and memory can be upgraded instantly with the Cloud, meaning that users can scale up their server capabilities as and when they require.

The Cloud beats dedicated servers in performance as it uses fast virtual servers with optimum responsiveness, meaning that no costly downtime will occur. Additionally, with virtualisation software such as market leader VMware, users are guaranteed unbeatable performance and reliability, which can be a major pitfall of running your own hardware in-house.

The Cloud’s versatility is most useful for businesses in its ease of access, particularly with data sharing. Documents and files can be stored in the Cloud and accessed via an Internet connection, which is ideal solution for businesses. Also in terms of data backup, the Cloud provides peace of mind with securing valuable data.

Most providers offer flexibility within the Cloud by offering the main ‘as a service’ models, namely IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. With IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) the provider runs and maintains the Cloud infrastructure, which is then accessed over the Internet. With PaaS (Platform as a Service), the provider facilitates the running and development of software applications from a central platform. And finally with SaaS (Software as a Service), software is rented from and managed by the provider.

Article submitted by Lucie Sadler, Editor at Hyve.com

What is Cloud Computing?

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