Whilst cloud computing may sound mysterious and confusing, it’s actually a really simple concept. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at what the cloud is and how it can be used at home and in your business.
What is the cloud?
- Simply put the cloud is when you access information that is not stored on your local device (e.g. your phone or PC’s storage).
- That data is usually stored in large data centres, owned by the company whose service you’re using, or a larger supplier (such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google).
Am I already using the cloud?
- Yes! Spotify, Netflix, Etsy and other similar services work by storing data at massive data centres that you can then access. The website you’re reading this from is hosted in the cloud from WordPress!
- Services like Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive allow you to store data (pictures, documents, videos) on the cloud so you can save it.
What can it be used for?
There are 3 main different services that cloud products are grouped into.
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- These are applications that run on cloud infrastructure.
- Web servers, web-based email providers, CRMs, online games, streaming sites and more are examples of SaaS platforms.
- Examples: Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, WordPress.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- These cloud services are ones that recreate something that traditionally may have been a physical piece of hardware.
- Cloud-based servers, virtual machines, storage and networks all fall under the IaaS label.
- Examples: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- These are services where you are provided with a platform (storage, hosting) on which you can set up your own things such as a web server or a database or an eCommerce site, which you and others can access. Here you create the interface but the PaaS provider stores it for you.
- Microsoft Azure and AWS also offer PaaS solutions.
What are some of the benefits of the cloud?
- Ease of use and access
- Having things stored in the cloud means you can access them anytime you want, from anywhere. You can access it at any time with ease.
- Cost efficiency
- By using IaaS and PaaS, users don’t need to pay unnecessary hardware expenses. You only pay for what they need when you need it.
- Flexibility and scalability
- By only paying for what you need, this means that if you suddenly need more storage or capacity, you can get it easy as that!
- Remote working benefits
- Using the cloud means your workspace can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection – perfect for working from home.