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Cloud Computing

Posted by on in Tech tips and thoughts
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Cloud computing is a term that has taken the IT world by storm, particularly on the marketing and advertising side. Every major software provider is offering some form of cloud computing experience. But what exactly is cloud computing?

In its simplest form, cloud computing is using a combination of resources from an external source over the internet to supplement or completely replace your IT infrastructure. This ranges from software services to physical hardware and can be utilised by both businesses and home users.

You can essentially bundle cloud computing into three major categories, which can be viewed as the 'layers' that form the majority of cloud computing.

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
At the 'base' you have Infrastructure as a service, or the physical resources, including servers, data storage and interfaces. This has some huge advantages over conventional infrastructure such as easy, fast scaling to use exactly how much is required and only paying for that. E.g. Having access to 1 Terabyte of storage and upgrading to 1.5 Terabytes, which is cheaper and more efficient than the alternative non-cloud solution of having to get 2 Terabytes of storage.

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
As the name hints, this 'layer' offers a Platform, which is basically an operating system to be used as a development environment to create and run custom or managed software solutions. As such there is not as much freedom with resources as IaaS, as you are limited by the vendors capabilities. An example of PaaS is the Google App Engine

3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Finally, at the “top layer,” is software applications developed for use over the internet. This is the aspect of cloud computing most common users would be familiar with and most likely use on a daily basis. This includes services such as Google Apps (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs), storage services like Dropbox and many other internet based software. Usually this is reasonably priced, however certain myths exist that put people off, which I will further explore in another post.

This is only a broad categorisation of what makes up cloud computing, and there are many other aspects that the cloud encapsulates, however these categories are the most widely used amongst businesses and home users.
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I finished school in 2012 and went straight to work with Genisyst. I am still learning the ropes of the business and the technical side of everything we have to offer, but at the same time, I am researching new and innovative products and systems we can implement with our own.