In short, the term Cloud refers to the way in which a hosting platform is established to better allow for scalability of websites and web services/web applications. Whereas in the past you may have required a server (either dedicated or shared) or a Virtual Private Server (a single server hosting multiple instances of a server) to host a website or web application, the Cloud now provides a platform whereby a group of servers are combined to act as one machine. In doing this, the Cloud can provide a more responsive, scalable and robust system for hosting services and software online.
The formal definition for cloud computing is as follows:
"Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."
What the Cloud has done is to enable a more stable and reliable platform for hosting software and services online. As a result, businesses and individuals can now look to host their solutions (or make use of readily available solutions) online and effectively outsource the requirement to manage the hardware to a Cloud provider. In doing so, they can ensure that they are working off an optimised platform with the resources to support their systems - no matter the change in computing requirements.
The two main uses for the Cloud in your business are likely to be Cloud Hosting and Cloud Computing.
Cloud Hosting is essentially the alternate approach to hosting on a dedicated/shared or virtual server (or purchasing your own server). It provides more flexibility in regards to your setup while at the same time ensuring that the platform and back-ups are managed by the hosting provider. And given the service runs over several computers, it is much more robust than conventional hosting.
Cloud Computing is using software hosted on the cloud in your day-to-day operations. This includes e-mail systems, document/project management systems, accounting systems or any other variation of software that you access and use through a browser. In these instances, these businesses are making use of cloud technology to allow them to leverage their software to a wide base of users via the Internet - often known as Software As A Service (SAAS). Many of you may already be using these tools in your business today!
While, the concept of the Cloud is nothing new, the way in which it is used to create a "flexible" hosting arrangement has changed the offerings available to business. Client-server architectures are a very common platform for business systems, however being able to offer applications and alternate hosting arrangements are the strong suite of the Cloud.
If you're keen to see how the Cloud can help your business, or you would like to develop your own Cloud Applications, DCODE can assist you in analysing your requirements and then developing the solution. For an obligation free discussion, please Contact Us today!
Get updates, tips and industry news delivered directly to you