Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a type of internet-based computing whereby services, such as storage, servers, databases, networking, software and more is delivered through the Internet. Computing resources can also be shared as virtual resources.

Cloud computing is a platform that is outside of an organizations’ firewall on shared systems.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of cloud computing include:

  • Avoiding large upfront and long term costs – investment in physical data centres (expensive), ongoing costs of management and maintenance of such local systems (also expensive)
  • Access to efficient and high performance hardware – cloud service providers use powerful, regularly upgraded hardware, allowing fast performance and cost efficiency
  • Flexible scaling and pay-per-use – easy to increase or decrease resources being used to meet demand, only paying for what is used and nothing more
  • Ease of maintenance – avoids need for maintenance of physical systems, application updates can be distributed automatically and consistently
  • Company productivity – without need to focus time and labour on creating and maintaining infrastructure or data centres, employees are able to dedicate time to more important tasks 
  • Accessibility – available on demand through self-service, increases flexibility and reduces the extent of pre-planning required
  • Reliability – ability to store backups that are accessible on any device in the event of losing access to the main access device, providers can mirror data at multiple sites should one location fail 

Public: a public cloud is one where the infrastructure, hardware and software is owned and managed by a company (cloud service provider). Cloud services are provided over the public internet. This type of cloud deployment is less secure as data is stored more publicly.

Private: a private cloud is one where the company handles its own infrastructure, hardware and software and maintain it themselves. The cloud is hosted by the company’s intranet or its own network, and data is stored behind the company’s firewall. This type of cloud deployment provides more security.