A Simple Guide to Cloud Technology

Back in the 1970s, computer technology hadn’t developed as it has now. In fact, for most businesses and companies wanting to crunch up sales and payroll numbers, their best bet was to hire the services of a company that had expensive computer systems for the task.

Advancements in technology have seen computers in virtually every home. They are a necessity for daily life. However, a surprising turn of events has seen more people shy away from using their own hardware and software to complete certain tasks. The alternative is cloud computing.,

But how can you define cloud computing?

As opposed to using your own software and hardware, you can access certain services from a company through the internet meaning that all you require is good connectivity. The software is situated somewhere in the “cloud” of the internet.

Why cloud computing?

First of all, the management of the service or software is somebody else’s problem. Forget about buying licenses for your word processing software or keeping your spreadsheet up to date. Cloud computing does this for you. The only thing that you need to concern yourself with is getting the task at hand complete. What’s more, your computer is safe from viruses.

It’s cost-effective. Sometimes the nature of your work may vary with some periods requiring complex computer functions while others require simple tasks. Instead of purchasing an expensive machine you can make use of the services in cloud computing. Some of these are free while some require subscriptions. Even with the latter, it is far more cost-effective than purchasing expensive equipment.

Main types of cloud computing

While the definitions may overlap, there are mainly 3 types of cloud computing. These are:

1.    SaaS or Software as a service

This is possibly the most common type of cloud computing where you use software that runs on another computer. A good example is Google Docs.

2.    IaaS or Infrastructure as a service

Here you are paying for computer hardware and not just applications. A good example of this is website hosting where your site’s files are stored in a different server.

3.    PaaS or Platform as a service

Think of an e-commerce store where you set the different functions such as themes, shopping carts and payment gateways from a different server. This is an example of a PaaS. You build the entire website using web-based tools.

Cons of cloud computing

With the paid services of cloud technology, the costs may accumulate in the long term with the regular payments as opposed to a one-time payment for your own hardware or software.

If you want to make use of cloud computing you need constant internet access. It should also be fast and reliable to allow you to fully utilize the service.

While it does come with its own set of advantages, you lack the functionality that you would get with your own software. For example, Google Docs doesn’t provide a lot of features that you would find in Microsoft Word.

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