Cloud computing is a new method of computing. Operating within a public, or private cloud (also known as enterprise cloud) allows efficiency within the organization. Compared to traditional data management systems, a cloud reduces the cost, time and energy used. Before cloud computing was an option, an organization would have to buy equipment, find space within the office, provide cooling to the in-house hardware, and outsource IT support to install, secure and maintain the data management system. This is a large reason as to why companies and organizations have moved to a cloud computing method.
Cloud Computing is great for major data storage, collaboration application or average desktop use. It is also a great tool for back-up and data recovery. Hosting from a cloud allows for fast recovery from system failures or damaged hardware. This could prove to be useful if the main server were to fail. Running a virtual version of the main server would provide identical experience as the physical, failed server and takes minutes to do. This saves the organization costly downtime and IT support as the staff can do it themselves.
There are three specific options for Cloud Computing and they are:
- Public Clouds
- Enterprise Clouds
- Hybrid Clouds
Each of these cloud computing systems has their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, but because each different method addresses the disadvantages of another method, I would like to focus on the advantages of cloud computing as a whole.
Introduction to Key Features of Cloud Computing
As I have already mentioned, cloud computing is a great alternative to traditional data management systems. Here is an organized list of key features of cloud computing:
- Cost is reduced greatly from the lack of need for traditional IT support, and other key necessities needed for a traditional data system
- Device and location independence allows users to access the system from their current device using only a web browser. This independence is provided by the off-site location of the server, connected to from the Internet.
- Applications enable staff to share company resources and costs. This in turn allows for further work efficiency and system utilization.
- Typically speaking the reliability is improved if the cloud is well designed with multiple redundant sites. The more intricate the cloud, the more reliable the system. This will aid in the backup and data recovery processes.
- Security improves when data is centralized, such as in a private cloud. Or, while hosting on a public cloud, providers are able to apply resources to security issues that often customers cannot afford. This then in turn keeps security to be as good as or better than under traditional systems.
- Cloud computing applications are easier to maintain. As each device reads applications remotely, maintenance and changes to the application only need to be done to the original application at the physical location of the infrastructure.
These are only a few key features to simply highlight the advantages of cloud computing and merely an overview of the possibilities when using such method. As I have mentioned before, more specific types of clouds address the downfalls of the other clouds. If you are interested further in public, hybrid, or enterprise cloud hosting I encourage your research… for these are valuable tools for application for any organization to use.
This article was written by Sebastian Brown, a technology veteran and hosting expert. For all your hosting needs, check out Rackspace.com. Rackspace is a company that delivers enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes.