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Clouds, Farms, Spheres, & (PaaS) | Cloud Computing Part 1

No, we’re not talking about an Easter Egg hunt on a farm in the country. We’re talking about the lifeblood of your business. If these terms are unfamiliar to you and you are responsible for your company’s IT infrastructure and services, you had better get help quick.

could computing environment diagram

Sample of a cloud computing environment.

Cloud services are a big buzz in the IT community these days, but many business owners ask, “what does it mean?” and “do i really need it?, will I benefit from it” and finally “how much does it cost?”. First of all, the IT marketing smarties love to take real geekie ideas like distributed network architecture and divergent storage area networks and change them into marketing buzz words like (Cloud Computing) and (Cloud Storage). It’s easier for consumers to swallow and that’s fine because it does not diminish the actual benefit to businesses, nor does it weaken the powerful technology that drives these packaged services.

There are actually many different kinds of cloud services from many different brands, providers, and technology platforms, which are all implemented in a variety of ways and utilize different types of hardware, with varying degrees of security, flexibility, scalability, compatibility and well…. you get the point. It’s complicated and difficult to disseminate the good from the bad. And more importantly what is the right solution for your business. We’ll cover a few technology types in this article as well as some of the pros and cons. However, we will refrain from making any specific brand name recommendations as to preserve the purity of this blog series;-)

Just a quick definition for cloud computing before we get started. Cloud computing is in its most basic terms, a method for joining together workstations, software, servers, and data over a distributed network for the purpose of software convenience, data resiliency, and hardware independence. (Cloud computing is most often referred to as a software service delivered via remote, from a cloud service provider i.e. hosted service) This is my definition and other definitions may vary depending on the vendor, or technology consultant. Also bear in mind that many Cloud Computing vendors, may or may not live up to this definition through their various “Cloud” products and services. Simply because a provider utilized the “Cloud” name, does not make it a true Cloud product.

Without getting too technical I think it’s important to mention some sub-cloud computing marketing buzz words that represent actual technical ideas and are an integral part of today’s cloud computing environment. Again, the most important take away is whether or not any cloud computing service is the right choice for your organization and which one will work best for your company. This article attempts to assist business owners, IT managers, and IT technicians in that endeavor.

Coming in the next Post……..

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Platform as a service (PaaS)

Software as a service (SaaS)

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