There is a running joke on the web...
There is no cloud, just someone else's computer.
So what exactly is Cloud computing? Infrastructure as a Service? Software as a Service? Platform as a Service?
It may not be a catchy phrase, but in reality the cloud is "a hyperscale, automated server farm run by someone who's better at automation and security than you, and can buy electricity, servers and network connectivity cheaper than you".
In the past, organisations would purchase their own hardware, software and network and needed to hire IT managers to configure, mantain, update and secure their infrastructure. Cloud computing allows organizations and individuals to achieve the same but using someone else's infrastructure.
Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet and here are some of the reasons why companies are slowly moving to the cloud:
Some of the leading cloud providers
While Public cloud refers to the big vendors like Amazon Web Services, Microsot and Google which deliver services to multiple organizations, Private Cloud offers the sames benefits through a proprietary architecture, dedicating ressources to a single organization.
Gartner estimates that by 2020, organisations not relying on the cloud will be as rare as organisations not using internet today... Sure, not all companies will have the guts to go 100% public cloud. Some will outsource some of their ressources to the big players and keep some mission critical applications on their premises. This is normally known as hybrid cloud and it will be the reality of most organizations in the years to come.
Cubic Penguin has the answer
to all your cloud questions!
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) refers to Virtual machines, servers, storage, load balancers and other fundamental computing ressources being provided by the vendor. Some famous examples are Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) and Google Compute Engine
Platform as a Service (PaaS) refers to the ability to deploy applications using development tools, libraries and web servers provided by the cloud vendor. Some examples include Google App Engine and Heroku from Salesforce
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the capability to directly run applications running on the cloud infrastructure of the vendor. Some great examples are Salesforce's CRM and Ariba from SAP
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers that deliver web pages and content based on the geographic location of the user. This reduces download speed and enhances User experience. The leading vendor in the market is Akamai that you use everytime you access facebook
A model to keep data available and accesible through multiple servers (and often locations). One of the most prominent examples is Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), ideal for hosting static and large files.
Reducing reliance on one single vendor and increasing flexibility through choice is a very smart decision. Your organization can use a cloud vendor beacuse of its SaaS offering, but choose another one for its IaaS capabilities. Why rely on one single company when you can diversify?
If you are an entrepreneur and you are thinking about launching a disruptive startup, you are probably in need of a technical partner to make your idea come to life. We have been where you are and we know the difficulty of finding the right set of techical skills to make a web project come true.
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