The term “cloud” is used figuratively for the Internet, but when “cloud” combines with “computing”, the definition becomes larger and more blurred. Several analysts as well as “cloud” vendors explain cloud computing as a version update of “virtual servers” over the Internet. There are other analysts who explain it in broader terms, suggesting that anything used outside the firewall is “in the cloud”, which includes conventional outsourcing.
“Cloud computing” is only in its beginning stage with groups of both small and large service suppliers offering all types of services that are cloud-based– varying from storage services to spam filtering to full applications. So, utility-type suppliers are part of the services or programs offered but so are “software as a service” service providers such as Office 365 from Microsoft. So today, cloud computing is becoming different things to different business companies.
Legacy Computing vs. Cloud Computing
Legacy computing has all the programs installed on a computer’s hard drives or local servers while with cloud computing software services and platforms are offered through the Internet. Cloud computer for dummies examples consist of:
- Email – Outlook vs. Yahoo! Mail services
- Programs – Office programs located on local computers vs. Office programs located on the Cloud
- Data Storage – Stored on local computer or servers vs. data stored on computer cloud
- Videos – Stored on CD or tapes vs. stored on computer cloud
Cloud computing is quickly becoming the choice for many businesses, because money can be saved with this type of computing as there is less chances to breakdown, delay resulting from server downtime.
The IT resources that can be saved are not really thought about until you list them out.
IT always seem to need:
- Ways to add capabilities
- Ways to increase capacity
- Ability to do everything without any money to invest in a new infrastructure
- To train new personnel
- License new software
- To install new software or updates on all computers in the business
Cloud computing is a mix of subscription or pay-per-use services over the Internet, and expands IT’s accessible capabilities with half the personnel.
What does this mean to a company’s bottom line? Money saved by fewer IT staff working fewer hours as well as not having to buy computer software for everyone in the company. Basically it comes down to a computer being more of a terminal to access all software and data over the cloud. So that is basically what cloud computing means.