Cloud Computing for Business
One of the most marketed terms at the moment in the IT industry is 'Cloud Computing'.
On a daily basis we hear how it can reduce costs and eliminate capital expenditure, and whilst it is true that some services are well suited to running in the cloud there are other key aspects of your IT environment that are best kept on premise.
What is Cloud Computing?
Wikipedia defines Cloud Computing as: "Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like electricity."
In general across the industry the term 'Cloud Computing' seems poorly defined and has been used as an umbrella term for anything remotely internet based, we have spoken with hundreds of software and hardware providers and each has their own definition of what constitutes Cloud Computing. It is also very clear that many of them are simply using the term to jump on the marketing band wagon. As a provider of IT services to the small to medium sized business market we have spent months evaluating and researching cloud based solutions, we understand that in order to make good decisions you must be well informed and this is our well informed view of cloud based products as they relate to the SME market. To start off it's important to understand the types of cloud services that are available.
Types of cloud computing services
Software as a Service (SAAS)
The most widely known form of cloud computing, providing applications to end users of the internet, there is nothing to install on your PC and the applications are generally accessed through a web browser.
Infrastructure as a Service
Provides virtual servers and networks along with storage and systems software and designed to be an adjunct to or replace and entire data centre.
Platform as a Service
Provides a virtual platform on which you can run existing applications or develop new ones without having to worry about the underlying operating system and it's management.
This means that instead of installing a local server, it is possible to have your server (in the cloud) or hosted somewhere else.