What do you think of when you hear the word ‘cloud’? Do you have a clear understanding of exactly what your company would receive if they invested in cloud computing services? If not, this video is just what you need. Steve Knutson, Marco Chief Technology Officer, breaks down the cloud in simple, understandable concepts. When you are finished viewing, you’ll be equipped with the basics of cloud computing:
- Options available
- Infrastructure configurations
- Benefits and cost differences
- How to choose the right solution for your business
A Look Back in Time
The cloud has actually been around for a long time. Historically, the “cloud” was mainframes and dumb terminals. Mainframes originated in the 1940s and, according to Techopedia, “were primarily used by large organizations for mission-critical applications requiring high volumes of data processing.” Dumb terminals provided the keyboard and screen input during the days of mainframes.
Fast forward to today. We see the same architecture with powerful servers, centralized, delivering applications to decentralize end user devices – just like the old dumb terminals.
A Service, Not a Product
The cloud is really the delivery of computing as a service, rather than a product. Shared resources and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility, kind of like the electricity grid, except delivered over a network – typically the Internet or dedicated lines.
There are really 3 different types of cloud: public, private and hybrid.
For the public cloud, the cloud provider usually owns the hardware and is responsible for the maintenance and uptime. Most often the equipment is off-site, at the cloud provider’s location. It can reduce complexity and lead times for implementation because you don’t have to procure hardware or set it up. Usually the public cloud is paid for with operational funds (op. ex.), rather than capital expenditures (cap. ex.).
The private cloud, commonly known as the internal or enterprise cloud, is usually deployed over an internal network and located on premise or co-located (“co-lo”) at a commercial data center. Your company usually owns the equipment in this case. It’s managed by corporate staff, or by a third party provider. Private clouds can be paid for as a capital expense, or with operational funds. Private clouds usually have the best performance and are the easiest to secure.
The hybrid cloud combines the power of both the public and the private cloud. Usually a hybrid cloud is needed when not all applications can be put into the public cloud. Integration can be expensive, but the payoffs in the long run are generally worth it.
Choosing Which Type of Cloud Computing is Best
With all of these options, knowing which is right for your business needs can become confusing. Partnering with an experienced cloud services provider can help you determine your current and future needs and a cloud that fits them.