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Cloud Computing for Beginners: What You Need to Know

Cloud computing has become a hot topic among both individual and professional communities in the last several years. In fact, most of us have used elements of the cloud at some point. Despite the pervasiveness of this technology, however, there are still many who do not fully understand what the cloud is and how they can use it.

Gaining an inside look at cloud computing is especially crucial for those in business, a field that requires agile IT systems to support growth and administration. If you are new to cloud computing, then there are a number of things that you will need to know to maximize its use at your company.

Here is a beginner’s guide to cloud computing for business:

 

What is the cloud?

The cloud does not refer to a physical piece of technology but rather a vast information technology (IT) environment that creates a network of servers. Through this network, you can provision any number of cloud services and IT resources. While some servers deliver the power to store data, others exist for the sole purpose of operating applications. Due to the nature of the cloud, you will be able to access your various services and information from any location across the globe. The larger cloud operates within the Internet, but specific networks typically operate under private ownership.

 

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What are the different types of cloud infrastructure?

Cloud services come in several different models, each of which can help you accommodate different business needs. Private cloud is one of the more popular models. Typically, you can choose to host this setup either on-premises or through a cloud provider. Both deployment models allow for the isolation of cloud services.

Public cloud is another common type of cloud infrastructure. Used primarily for business to consumer (B2C) operations, this model involves the use of provider-hosted cloud resources. Though you will share these resources with other cloud tenants, you will only have access to your own section of the public cloud.

If you are looking to take advantage of features from both the private and public cloud models at once, then you should consider implementing hybrid cloud infrastructure at your company. This is a model to consider if your business needs the cloud to meet a variety of needs. It’s important to note that many cloud consumers confuse the hybrid cloud with the multicloud, a model that allows you to take advantage of cloud services from multiple vendors at one time.

 

What variables play into the use of the cloud?

The cloud involves a number of variables that will influence the way that you use the cloud at your company. As such, you must take each one into consideration when selecting the right cloud services for you.

Your cloud platform will differ depending on the level of authority you wish to have over the solution and its contents. For example, if you are looking to implement firm access controls and other data management practices, then you should opt for a more private cloud model. System management is another variable that you should consider when deciding on a cloud solution. If you are unwilling or unable to maintain this responsibility onsite, then either a public or a hybrid structure would be ideal for your company’s needs.

The cloud services you choose will also depend on several other key considerations. Whether you are looking to use the cloud for software delivery, data storage, or website hosting, you must find a solution that will help you reach your goals.

However, security is, perhaps, the most important variable that will influence your use of the cloud. To protect your data, providers will sometimes encrypt the information that you wish to migrate to the cloud. For more stringent data protection, you should consider implementing a private cloud model at your company.

 

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What cloud resources are available?

Every new business endeavor comes with its own unique challenges. To overcome any cloud roadblocks that may come your way, you can connect with a number of important resources. In-house IT staff is the first resource that you should go to with questions regarding the cloud. With your team’s help, you will be able to align cloud use with business needs, oversee the migration process, and manage the system after implementation.

A managed service provider (MSP) is another resource that you can turn to if your IT professionals are not familiar with how to manage your cloud infrastructure. This entity will not only maintain your cloud, but it will also handle all manner of security and system update needs on your behalf.

For additional information about the cloud and its latest developments, you can turn to online resources such as technology websites. Through outlets like InfoWorld and CloudTweaks, you can access any cloud-related topic that will enhance your use of this platform at your company.

 

Are there any disadvantages of cloud use?

When developing an understanding of the cloud, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the potential drawbacks of cloud use. For businesses that store data and applications within a cloud, maintaining a reliable connection to the Internet is crucial. Should your company’s Internet experience an outage for any reason, you may be left without the information that you need to complete your work.

You may also find drawbacks with your cloud provider itself. Not only must this entity be capable of meeting your various business needs, but they must also deliver secure, reputable service. To overcome these various challenges, you should work with trustworthy vendors and draw up clear service level agreements before eliciting any services.