What is Cloud Computing and the benefits?
Microsoft Azur describes that cloud computing is the delivery of computing services through servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and much more – over the Internet known as “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale.
There are different types of clouds:
Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers, who deliver their computing resources such as servers and storage over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.
A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organisation. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site data centre. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimise your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.
Cloud computing characteristics and benefits
Tech Cloud boasts there are several attractive benefits for businesses and end users. Five of the main benefits of cloud computing are:
· Self-service provisioning: End users can spin up compute resources for almost any type of workload on demand. This eliminates the traditional need for IT administrators to provision and manage compute resources.
· Elasticity: Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and scale down again as demands decrease. This eliminates the need for massive investments in local infrastructure, which may or may not remain active.
· Pay per use: Compute resources are measured at a granular level, enabling users to pay only for the resources and workloads they use.
· Workload resilience: Cloud service providers often implement redundant resources to ensure resilient storage and to keep users' important workloads running -- often across multiple global regions.
· Migration flexibility: Organizations can move certain workloads to or from the cloud -- or to different cloud platforms -- as desired or automatically for better cost savings or to use new services as they emerge.
TheBalanceSmallBusiness of course, indicate that there also are negatives to using the cloud. Security of data and loss of complete control over that data are serious concerns, for example. However, there are ways to protect your data to ensure it remains accessible and secure at all times. In most cases, the benefits far outweigh the risks for small business owners.
1. Data Backup
As a small business owner, you probably are already aware of the importance of backing up your data so you don't lose everything in the case of a systems failure or other disaster. The Cloud not only simplifies the process by allowing your data to automatically update as you work, but it also creates copies of your data off-site where it will be safe from any local natural disaster, theft, or malfunction.
2. Mobile Working
One of the great benefits of technology is the ability for small business owners to create fully functional mobile offices. The cloud fits in perfectly with this because it allows you to access and sync your data from wherever you are, allowing you to take your office with you on the road.
3. Information Sharing
Whether you have in-house staff or a team spread across a distance, the cloud makes sharing data effortless. Once you have your data backed up, sharing files can be as easy as sending a link, eliminating the cumbersome process of emailing large files.
4. File Storage
Many small businesses use images, audio, and video to enhance their marketing activities, and these files often take up a significant part of your hard drive space, which can be costly. The cloud allows you to shift the storage of large files off of your local system, saving local storage for the files you need to access every day.
5. Growth Planning
The cloud is scalable, so it allows small businesses to create a plan for growth that utilizes the benefits of the cloud without a significant up-front investment. You can start small and gradually increase your usage over time, paying only for the services and access you need. The cloud is also self-managed by the apps that provide the services, so you can eliminate or reduce the need for an in-house IT staff to manage your technology.
Small business owners who want to reduce costs without sacrificing their ability to do business and compete with larger companies are using the cloud. If you are ready to put the cloud to work for your business, you can start small so you can see the benefits without making major changes to your operations. Over time, you will discover new ways to use and benefit from the cloud.
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