Everyone on social media is talking about cloud computing. It brings great promise as an invaluable tool, but there is still some confusion about what exactly the cloud is and how it should be used.  That’s why we’re breaking down some of those frequently asked questions businesses often have when it comes to cloud computing. Here’s what you should know:

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is defined as a massively scalable style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ using Internet technologies to multiple external customers.  Clouds are essentially self-service interfaces that allow customers and businesses to acquire and store resources at anytime, anywhere. This approach to building IT services harnesses the power of virtualization technologies that can combine many servers into large computing pools as well as divide single servers into multiple virtual machines.    

What are the benefits of cloud computing?

The transition to cloud computing by businesses and organizations of all sizes has increased exponentially in recent years thanks to the efficiency and cost saving benefits that the cloud computing model is able to deliver.  It has become especially appealing to those with limited IT staff and/or limited IT budgets. Even independent software vendors can greatly benefit from the cloud computing model for the delivery of software applications as a service, as it offers many administrative and operational cost saving advantages compared to traditional models of on premise software delivery for providers.

How is cloud computing different from on-demand, grid, and utility computing?

By nature, cloud is “on-demand.”  It’s essentially a series of online business services that includes attributes previously associated with both utility and grid models.  Grid computing harnesses large collections of independent compute resources to perform large tasks. Utility computing is metered consumption of IT services.  The cloud brings the two together in a new virtual IT archetype.

What is a public cloud?

As the name suggests, a public cloud is a shared infrastructure that anyone can tap into with a network connection and a credit card.  They are easily accessible, multitenant virtualized foundations that are managed through a self-service portal.

What is a private cloud?

A private cloud mimics the same delivery models as public clouds, but it does so under private ownership and management, and with the added benefit of being protected by a firewall.  Private clouds are highly virtualized, as they string together huge quantities of IT infrastructure into one (or a few) easily managed logical resource pools. Most businesses are interested in private clouds because of their scalability and reliability when it comes to transferring all of their IT resources.  

What types of services are available through cloud computing?

Public cloud services break down into three broad categories, including software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service, and platform-as-a-service.  SaaS consists of software applications that are delivered via the internet. Infrastructure-as-a-service refers to the remotely accessible server and storage capacity.  Platform-as-a-service is a compute-and-software platform that allows developers to build and install web applications on hosted infrastructures.

How will I know how to choose the right cloud computing solution for my business?

Choosing the right cloud computing solution for your business will depend on your unique needs.  Just as you have done with on-premise computing solutions in the past, if you’re considering moving to cloud computing, you need to conduct an in-depth practical assessment of your organization’s needs and goals in order to ensure the selection of the most appropriate solution that meets your unique demands. You’ll want to consider things like whether or not you want to use a public or private solution, or perhaps a hybrid.  You’ll also want to consider what your cloud migration requirements look like. There are many different factors that will shed light on which cloud solutions will best suit your business.

When your business is ready to make the transition to cloud computing solutions, Realnets is your solution.   

We can help you assess which solution will best suit your business needs as well as provide all services to implement and manage your chosen platform once you’ve made the migration.