Everything you wanted to know about Cloud Computing



About Cloud Computing

Since the introduction of internet has changed the way business was conducted, it’s a thing of past, when you were accessing your data and programs on your PC only. It’s high time for the business to switch onto cloud computing.Cloud Computing is a way through which you can access your data & programs outside your ‘own’ computing environment. With cloud, you can easily store all your data, applications, databases, email, file services and software’s in ‘the cloud'. Business usually rent the capacity of server space or software access from a Cloud Service Provider i.e. instead to buying their own IT requirements; they pay only for the resources they use.

Types of Cloud

- On the basis of security options and terms of assess, cloud computing has 4 Networks. Considering what data needs a particular business has, you can choose from any from these.

1.Private cloud

Private cloud reduces the potential security and simultaneously controls risks associated with it, as the services and infrastructure are maintained and managed by you or a third party. It would be beneficial if data and applications are a core part of your business; you require higher degree of security or have sensitive data requirements.


2.Community cloud

Community cloud comes in to existence when several organizations having similar security considerations share access to a private cloud. A perfect example of such would be, a series of franchises having their own public clouds, but are hosted remotely in a private environment.


3.Public cloud

When services are stored offsite and are accessed over the internet, it’s referred to as public cloud. The data storage is managed by an external organization such as Google or Microsoft. Public cloud offers greatest flexibility amongst all others and is cost-effective as well. The only issue is that public cloud is more vulnerable than private cloud.


4.Hybrid cloud

A perfect amalgamation of advantages of both public and private cloud services, hybrid cloud spread business options across different clouds so that you get advantages of each and every Network. You can very well use public cloud fro emails and save costs, while you can keep your sensitive data safe and secure behind firewall in a private cloud.


Types of Cloud Computing Services

- You can chose from any of the 3 services available for cloud computing. Depending on your business needs, you can opt for any of the 3 services or a combination of them.

A.Software as a Service (SaaS)

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B.Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Typically referred to as buying or renting your PC’s power and disk space from an external service provider IaaS gives you access through a private network or internet. The service provider will maintain the physical computer hardware which will include CPU processing, memory, data storage and network connectivity among others. Amazon EC2, Rackspace and Windows Azure are some examples of IaaS.


C.Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A perfect combination of SaaS and IaaS, PaaS allows you the freedom of renting the hardware, operating systems, software servers and application environments, storage and network capacity. It gives you more control over technical aspects of your computing set up and customization as per your specific needs.


Advantages of Cloud Computing

- On your way to set up a virtual office to gain flexibility to connect to your business anywhere, cloud computing offers you numerous benefits –

1.Reduced IT costs

Cloud computing is very effective in reducing the managing and maintaining your IT costs. Now, you would be able to reduce the operating costs as –
• No need to purchase expensive systems and equipments along with the cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software.
• Reduced energy consumption costs.
• Fewer time delays.


2.Scalability

Cloud computing gives you more time to manage your business efficiently. Now, you can run your business as per your requirements and with flexibility as well. Instead of purchasing and installing expensive system upgrades let your service provider handle it.


3.Business Continuity

For any business to continue its operations, data and system protection always tops the priority list. In case of any emergency, natural calamity, power failure, or crisis of any sort, cloud keeps your data backed up and protected in a secure and safe location. Thanks to cloud, you can retrieve your data anytime and conduct your business operations in a usual manner.


4.Collaboration Efficiency

While working on a particular project across different locations, cloud allows you to share the same files with your employees, contractors and third parties at the same time. Now you can share files and data with great ease and comminute securely with advisors, consultants, lawyers etc.


5.Flexibility of Work Practices

Cloud Computing gives flexibility to employees in their work practices, as they can access data from anywhere, anytime and everywhere. Provided one has the access to internet connection, they can access data off-site as well by connecting to virtual office.


6.Access to automatic updates

Depending on your business requirements, your system will be upgraded with latest technology from time to time. Check the status of your ever-changing IT requirements and if a third party is involved in it these up-to-date versions of software, as well as upgrades to servers and computer processing power would be included in the service fee.


Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

- Before you consider moving your business into the cloud computing technology, it is important to understand the risks associated with it. You need to carry a risk-assessment procedure before you hand-over your business in the hands of cloud computing. You should consider the following issues:

1.Privacy agreement and service level agreement

A business need to have all the necessary agreements with the service provider in place before the commencement of the service. You need to outline the responsibilities each party has in the form of SLA (Service Level Agreement).Thoroughly understand SLA to make sure you understand every obligation on your part, and the responsibilities laid down for the service provider.


2.Security and Data Protection

Plan out a manner in which you want to store your data in a secured way, especially when you outsource it to third party. Reach a clear understanding with your service provider regarding access of data and the security measures in place to ensure protection of data under any circumstances.


3.Track Data Location Carefully

Before you opt for Cloud Computing services, take ulmost care to investigate about -
• Where your data is being stored? • Which ‘privacy & security laws’ will apply to your data?


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