Cloud computing, what is it? It is certainly the buzz word at the moment, so I am sure everyone has come across it in some form. Very basically (hopefully) cloud computing is the process of taking a software application that would normally reside on a local server or PC and placing it on a hosted platform, typically in a data centre and then accessing it via the internet.
There are a number of benefits that this can offer, namely that you do not need to manage any local hardware as this is all taken care of in the cloud. No more storage, cooling, electricity and security overheads to worry about.
You also gain the benefit of being able to access your application from anywhere, any time as long as you have an internet connection. Remote working is becoming the norm and this is really what is driving the need to work using cloud based technologies.
Another term that you may have come across which is closely related to cloud computing is Software as a Service or SaaS. Where a software application essentially becomes commoditised, in this scenario you do not own the application but merely pay to use it.
The example that I would use to demonstrate is in the sense of an email filtering service. Previously the only option organisations had to filter their email was to install a piece of software onto their email server or place a hardware device in front of the email server to provide the filtering function.
Today you can subscribe to a service that will filter your email on the cloud and only deliver clean email to the server freeing up hard drive space, network bandwidth and reducing administration. You can now take this a step further and place your whole email system into the cloud.
A recent study by IT market analyst IDC showed that cloud computing technologies are currently being adopted at more than six times the rate of traditional IT offerings. The report also claimed that cloud computing will move from being a technology used by early adopters to a part of the mainstream throughout the course of 2010.
ihotdesk has a wealth of experience in delivering cloud based solutions, from our inception some 11 years ago we’ve hosted our infrastructure in the cloud. Using this approach has provided the agility to grow our business and provided our staff with the flexibility to work from anywhere.
We’d be happy to speak to you about the benefits and our experiences of cloud based computing.
Craig Coutts on Linkedin