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5 Basics Of Cloud Computing And How It Can Help You

June 29, 2011 Finance

“Cloud computing” is a broad term used to describe technology resources that are located on a vendor’s property and purchased on an on-demand basis accessed via the internet. The technology resources include the hardware infrastructure of servers, storage, networks, firewalls, load balancers and other hardware. To utilize the “cloud” users only need a secure internet connection.

Analyst firm Gartner specifies five attributes that constitute a true “cloud platform”.

  • It’s a turnkey service.  Your company is completely insulated from the operation of the application and its supporting infrastructure.  You do not have to be involved with any of the technological complexity, the users just use it.
  • Its capacity is “elastic”.  The vendor can scale capacity up or down as necessary to meet your company’s changing needs.
  • It runs in a shared environment.  The vendor runs the application in a multi-tenant environment to achieve economies of scale and flexibility to allocate capacity to the company that needs it at any given time.
  • Company only pays for what use.  The company’s utilization of the service is tracked so you pay for actual utilization, rather than for some peek capacity requirement that is an estimate and may never be reached. Metrics tracked are number of active users, total hours of use, CPU cycles consumed, etc.
  •  It uses standard Internet protocols.  This means that it requires minimal or no changes to current computing environment. All users need to get started is a browser, an Internet connection, and appropriate authorization to use the service.

A “cloud computing platform” can be used as a part of a company’s overall approach to their IT structure. For example a company can utilize cloud for basic Microsoft Office applications, e-mail and document storage, while the ERP system is still on the internal servers. This alone would take the workload of distributing and upgrading these applications from the internal work force and hardware requirements. Think about it.

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