Is the Cloud Really A Cloud?
April 27, 2015
There has been plenty of talk about ‘It’s in the clouds!’, but have you ever stopped to think…what exactly ‘in the cloud’ means?
Where is all your information going?
Cloud computing is the next stage in the Internet’s evolution, providing the means through which everything — from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to personal collaboration — can be delivered to you as a service wherever and whenever you need.
The “cloud” in cloud computing can be defined as the set of hardware, networks, storage, services, and interfaces that combine to deliver aspects of computing as a service.
Cloud services include the delivery of software, infrastructure, and storage over the Internet (either as separate components or a complete platform) based on user demand.
Cloud computing has four essential characteristics:
Elasticity and the ability to scale up and down
Self-service and automatic access/provision
Application programming interfaces (APIs)
Billing and metering of service usage in a pay-as-you-go model.
This flexibility is what is attracting individuals and businesses to move to the cloud.
The world of the cloud has lots of participants:
The end user who doesn’t have to know anything about the underlying technology.
Business management who needs to take responsibility for the governance of data or services living in a cloud. Cloud service providers must provide a predictable and guaranteed service level and security to all their constituents.
The cloud service provider who is responsible for IT assets and maintenance.
Cloud computing is offered in different forms: public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds (both private/public).
Cloud computing has completely changed the way companies use technology to service customers, partners, and suppliers. Some businesses, such as Google and Amazon, already have most of their IT resources in the cloud. They have found that it can eliminate many of the complex constraints from the traditional computing environment, including space, time, power, and cost.
What do we need to be aware of?
The use of ‘public clouds’ means the provider, such as google, have access to your data and perhaps will offer little or no support.
The use of ‘private cloud’ generally means you will pay a minimum for usage. The benefit is the support provided.
Either way I would ensure you have a backup of your content incase they decide to pull the funding or the platform altogether.
So to answer the earlier question…is the cloud really a cloud?…no it isn’t but the term ‘cloud’ is so much easier to say and understand than what it really is!
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