At Skyline IT Services we hear this question all the time: What is the Cloud? For the average “non-techie” out there trying to understand better what the Cloud is, here is a brief overview. Cloud computing is the next phase in the Internet’s growth, supplying a way through which everything can be delivered to you as a service anywhere and anytime you need. To the end user it is a virtual data center that uses the internet and remote servers to store, access and maintain data and applications. Cloud computing permits a user access to various resources such as email, office applications, file storage, to name a few through the internet instead of being installed and maintained locally. Because of this there is a much more efficient use of computing resources by centralizing space / storage, memory and bandwidth.

Cloud computing services has 5 essential attributes:

  1. On Demand Self Service: Any cloud service is ready to use and serve specific needs of customer. Computing abilities can be conditioned by the consumer (end user) without any assistance. The self service process is simple and friendly. Most of the changes can be done by simple configuration changes.
  2. Elastic & Able to scale up or down: Any cloud service must scale capacity up or down based on application’s demand on the consumers base. Scalability is the ability to automatically grow or shrink, whereas Elasticity is how rapidly an application can add or remove resources.
  3. Broad Network Access: Resources must be accessible anytime anywhere from many different types of platforms and devices.
  4. Resource Pooling: Multi-user entity application architecture. Ability of the software is to be offered to multiple user entities in a way that each user operates rationally alone, while using physically shared resources.
  5. Metered by use: Services can and are measured in a way similar to electricity usage. Apart from measuring and monitoring, the resource can be controlled as well. The rate plans are solely based on the amount of service used by the consumers, which may be measured in terms of hours or other use-based characteristics delivered.

Types of Clouds: public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds.

  • Public clouds (external clouds) are described as cloud computing in the traditional ordinary sense, where resources are thru a self served bases over the internet.
  • Private clouds (internal clouds) are virtualized cloud data centers inside your company’s firewall. It may also be a private space dedicated to your company within a cloud provider’s data center.
  • Hybrid clouds combine aspects of both public and private clouds.

The flexibility of the cloud is what is attracting consumers more and more. The cloud has the potential and will completely change the way companies use technology to service customers, members, and providers.  It is efficient, offers prospects for increased revenue and can eliminate constraints from the old-fashioned computing environment.  If you think the Cloud might be right for you, or would like to explorer more possibilities please contact us today.