Cloud computing has been a major topic of discussion for several years now. As the technology has come of age and more companies have migrated to cloud based IT infrastructure it’s become increasingly clear that cloud computing has improved the way companies work.
The Cloud Computing Model: Five Essential Characteristics
- On demand self-service – The cloud allows individual users to provision services like server time and network storage on an as needed basis. Parameters can be pre-programmed so changes will happen automatically as needed without human interaction for each service required.
- Broad access to network services through multiple device platforms – Because all capabilities are accessed via the Internet multiple devices are automatically recognized. As mobile use continues to grow the cloud allows access for all PDAs, tablets, laptops and mobile phones. This means seamless workflows and increased employee productivity.
- Resource pooling – Hardware architecture and virtualization in cloud computing means resources are pooled and split to serve multiple consumers. Using this multi-tenant model, different hardware and virtual resources can be assigned dynamically and reassigned according to demand, almost instantly.
- Scalability and elasticity – Capabilities can be instantly scaled up or down based on need. This is another service that many providers offer as an automated function.
- Measured Service – Cloud providers automatically control and optimize resources (storage, processing, bandwidth etc) by leveraging a metering capability appropriate to active user accounts. This allows resource usage to be monitored, controlled and reported for complete customer transparency.
Cloud Computing Delivery Option
- Private or Internal Cloud – Exactly as it sounds. Private service consists of dedicated hardware and is managed internally or through a third party provider. The physical hardware can be on premise in a traditional data center, or offsite.
- Public Cloud – Apple, Google and Amazon along with many smaller independent companies all provide public cloud access. Public cloud providers share infrastructure with multiple clients across their network. End User control is somewhat limited in terms of designating storage location or how applications are executed.
- Hybrid Delivery – HD consists of a combination of services. It includes a cloud component and some form of in-house or private data storage. Customer data stored on internal infrastructure can also be manipulated via a program running in the public cloud.
The cloud offers tremendous value to any business business. Flexibility of delivery, incredible scalability and elasticity along with cost predictability and the potential for significant cost savings are just a few advantages of cloud computing. Third party management also means that software is always current, and accessible via any web-enabled device. Cloud computing has come of age as more businesses migrate IT to the cloud. Migrating IT to the cloud is a smart business decision.