Are You Still Confused about Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Today, cloud computing is everywhere. It's being used in many types of applications and data infrastructures while running our online world. As technology advances, so does cloud capabilities. The future is in the cloud!
This article looks at what cloud computing is and what the stats suggest lies ahead for the future of cloud for enterprise-level companies. We’ll also dive into the many benefits of cloud and why it may make sense to look at investing in a cloud-based IT eco-system.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet. This can include networking, storage, servers, databases, software, artificial intelligence platforms, as well as other digital applications.
Currently, there are three main types of cloud environments:
1) Public cloud — A public cloud is owned and operated by a third part-party service provider. Like many service providers, they sell cloud services through their own cloud infrastructure.
2) Private cloud — A private cloud is operated exclusively by an organization. It can be set up using an organization's in-house data center.
3) Hybrid cloud — This is the best of both worlds. A Hybrid cloud is utilizing both private and public cloud infrastructures and allows for greater flexibility and scalability.
On top of that, there are many types of cloud services available which are detailed below. You may have also heard of them as the "stack" as referenced in cloud computing circles.
Software as a Service (Saas) — This type of cloud service is as the name suggests. This service provides Internet-based software applications usually accessed by a web browser or mobile device. Saas is usually a paid subscription model.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) — PaaS is a cloud designed for development, testing, deployment, and software management. It works well for dev teams who need to quickly create web or mobile apps without having to deal with managing a large server environment and other server requirements related to development.
Serverless Computing — As this is somewhat similar to PaaS, this cloud takes out the time required to manage server environments. It's capable of handling set up, capacity planning, and server management. These types of cloud services are highly scalable and only use resources when a request is made to the cloud.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — This is the most basic type of cloud service available. With an IaaS set up, you are renting an IT environment from a cloud provider (usually on a pay-as-you-go basis). This can include servers, operating systems, networks, etc.
As mentioned above, not all clouds are the same, and there isn't a one size fits all solution. To determine what type of cloud best suits an organization, it comes down to understanding their online environment.
Before we move on, let's look at some eye-opening stats about cloud computing and where it's predicted to go in the future.
According to the "Future of Cloud Computing" report released by Google, the latest stats show that in 2018 the global spending on public cloud computing reached 160 billion dollars. That number is expected to grow to 277 billion dollars by 2020. What's also interesting is that by 2024, it's expected that over 90 percent of enterprise business will be invested in complex multi-cloud environments.
Costs — A cloud-based server is cost efficient and makes sense financially in most cases. Because an IT infrastructure can be run over the internet, this replaces the need for big in-house data servers and managing the staff to run those servers. Also, with cloud servers having a 'utility' based payment model, organizations only pay for what they use. Other cost-savings would include electricity and cooling from running massive server rooms.
Security — First and foremost, the main priority of cloud computing is security. Cloud providers are able to monitor online security more efficiently than a conventional system. In fact, RapidScale claims that 94 percent of organizations who have switched to cloud computing reported an improvement in security. 91 percent said the cloud was able to meet government compliance requirements. This gives peace of mind to organizations who don't want to be constantly micromanaging their online security.
Performance — Being internet based, it's easy to upgrade and update cloud servers with a click of a button and deploy those upgrades to the entire network at one time. This keeps things consistently running the most up to date technologies and resources at the same time.
Speed — The speed at which an organization is able to make changes or configurations to it's IT environment will give them a competitive advantage. The cloud makes it easy to configure computing resources with a click of a button deploying changes almost instantly and at scale.
Productivity — With local on-site servers and data centers there are a lot of resources consumed by the day to day tasks of keeping the server up and running. Using the cloud allows organizations to thin out their IT team as it requires less maintenance than before. With fewer variables, more time can be spent on focusing on other priorities.
Scale — Growth is now easier than ever. Using the cloud gives an organization the ability to scale up or down their computing resources to fit their business objectives. This could be adding more storage or bandwidth while decreasing computing power all with a single mouse click. Business changes fast, and the cloud allows organizations the flexibility to adapt to market needs.
Reliability — With so many complexities involved in business these days, the need for reliability is crucial. Tapping into the cloud allows an organization to store data in multiple data centers instead of a single local server. If the local server goes down what do you do? Disaster recovery is a cinch as data can easily be stored on multiple servers around the world. If one goes down, you still have everything intact.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to cloud computing. To stay on top of innovation and strive to be one step ahead of the competition, a cloud environment makes sense.
Change is never easy and the cost of migrating from a traditional server to the cloud will no doubt be an investment. However, looking towards the future, this investment will pay for itself.
As technology becomes more complicated and IT environments more complex, having systems in place that allow for more passive management will allocate more resources to the organization's ultimate goal.