A Guide to Cloud Computing Solutions
Cloud computing is more than a buzzword.
Many companies are increasingly turning to “the cloud” to meet their business’ data needs. This is because cloud computing platforms often eliminate the need for massive on-site IT infrastructure and allow businesses to scale their operations.
While cloud computing solutions are not the right answer for every business, understanding them and how other businesses leverage cloud computing is important. Keep reading for a guide to understanding cloud computing, its benefits, types, and service delivery models.
What is the “Cloud” Anyway?
The term “cloud computing” dates to the early days of the user-friendly internet. The term comes from the network design that virtually connects hardware systems and software applications.
Simply put, the cloud is a platform in which applications, servers, databases, software, and other IT are shared over a network. Cloud services allow end-users to access data, software, and other tools through convenient mediums like web browsers or mobile apps. This means that cloud solutions can help support data storage needs and remote work environments.
Cloud computing has benefits in certain situations, can optimize performance, and decrease IT operations costs. This is especially important for companies working with limited resources.
Businesses that can afford an in-house IT server must maintain and monitor it to keep everything running smoothly. This is why working with an experienced IT-managed services firm is helpful, even for larger organizations
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is a process of “moving” an organization’s services, databases, applications, IT resources, and other digital assets to a cloud platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft’s Azure.
Migration can take place either partially or wholly; it can also entail moving from one cloud to another. Cloud transformation is crucial in today’s digital landscape because of all the benefits of cloud computing and the low cost of migration.
Types of Cloud Computing
There are three main types of cloud computing. They are private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud.
Also referred to as an enterprise, corporate, or internal cloud, a private cloud offers computing services via a dedicated network. This type of cloud is only accessible to individuals working within a particular organization. A private cloud offers all the benefits of a public cloud with added control and security.
Internal firewalls are put in place to protect sensitive data and prevent third-party providers from accessing the network. That said, a private cloud means the company is responsible for managing and maintaining all its data centers. This is where a managed IT service provider like IT Insights can help.
In a public cloud, third-party providers offer computing services, for example, Google Cloud. In contrast with a private cloud, computing services in a public cloud are available to anyone. Individuals who want to use these services can find them for free or purchase them on demand. Usually, this type of cloud allows pay-per-usage based on data storage, bandwidth, or CPU cycles.
Public clouds are a great cost-effective alternative to private clouds. This can be especially useful for companies seeking to save on managing and maintaining an in-house infrastructure. Moreover, public clouds also offer scalable and dynamic capacity, making it easier for companies to scale according to their needs.
A hybrid cloud combines the features and environments of both public and private clouds. Companies opt for this model because it allows them to scale their in-house infrastructure and supplement it with the public cloud to manage data overflow better. This type of cloud computing enables businesses to adjust capacity based on traffic and service demands.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
CLOUD COMPUTING SOFTWARE CAN BE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE.
Cloud providers operate based on a pay-per-usage model, meaning organizations only pay for the resources they use. So instead of directing their IT teams’ efforts toward provisioning data centers, they can focus on more important work tasks.
In some cases, cloud solutions are more expensive than traditional IT systems. Though, this should be weighed against the enhanced features and benefits.
Cloud computing gives companies greater flexibility to scale resources as needed. Having the option to tweak IT resources Like computing power, storage, and bandwidth exactly when needed is a significant benefit.
The alternative is far less enticing. Companies need additional servers, CPUs, and memory to scale on-premises data centers, not to mention maintain these systems.
CLOUD COMPUTING OUTSOURCES MAINTENANCE.
Cloud computing solutions offer businesses more flexibility to focus on their core business operations. A cloud service provider can solve emerging issues almost instantly. This flexibility makes a substantial difference in terms of company efficiency.
IT CAN ADDRESS SECURITY NEEDS.
Security concerns are often raised when a company considers adopting a cloud-computing solution. Since their data isn’t kept onsite, this means it can be accessed remotely. So what’s to stop cybercriminals from getting their hands on that organization’s data?
While these concerns are valid, a cloud provider’s number one responsibility is monitoring security. Top cloud service providers offer built-in encryption options and various other tools that are not available with an on-site data center. In fact, 94% of businesses claim improved security after switching to cloud computing solutions.
CLOUD SOLUTIONS HAVE SUSTAINABILITY BENEFITS.
Powering a data center uses a lot of electricity and water. That being said, opting for cloud-based solutions can be more environmentally friendly than an individual company setting up its own data center. This reduces the on-premises energy waste attributed to power and cooling and a smaller carbon footprint.
Common Cloud Solutions
There are several common cloud solutions that businesses turn to when looking to migrate. Which application or applications are implemented vary depending on the organization’s needs. Here are a few that IT Insights often implements for it’s clients.
MICROSOFT CLOUD SOLUTIONS
The Microsoft Cloud is a popular choice for many IT Insights clients as it uses a comprehensive model. Its features include enhanced security, improved business applications, as well as data and artificial intelligence platforms.
DATTO MSP CLOUD SOLUTIONS
Datto is a platform that is made specifically for organizations that utilize MSPs to meet their IT needs. It is a hybrid platform that allows data and application security on a local server, end-user computer, or off-site server.
INDUSTRY SPECIFIC CLOUD SOLUTIONS
Different industries often have differing needs. As a result, some cloud solution providers offer platforms tailored to that industry. For example, IT Insights regularly implements Yardi for real estate industry clients and Opendental for dentistry practices.
Types of Cloud Computing Delivery Service Models
Cloud computing delivery services can be divided into three distinct categories: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Each model provides varying services.
SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SaaS)
This model provides users instant access to many applications on the cloud. It’s one of the most popular cloud computing platforms because it’s lightweight, requires no software updates, and no software licensing. Organizations can easily install the software through the cloud-hosting service and internally determine access permissions for multiple users.
Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Adobe Creative are common software-as-a-service cloud solutions many organizations leverage. Because SaaS cloud service runs on a monthly or annual subscription, it is very cost-efficient as compared to buying new software every time there is an upgrade version available.
INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service was designed with companies migrating to the cloud in mind. This model delivers networking, storage, and servers tailored to the company’s requirements.
It offers great flexibility, reliability, and significant cost savings.
Not only does IaaS enable companies to access relevant services on demand, but it also allows them to scale their infrastructure based on business demands. Moreover, the company only pays for the data center real estate they use. However, businesses still have direct control over assets and resources like applications, operating systems, security components, and user access profiles.
PLATFORM AS A SERVICE (PaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud delivery model that delivers hardware and software solutions via the web. This allows companies to develop, deploy, and operate cloud-based software without investing in and building on-site IT infrastructure. With this PaaS. organizations also have access to a comprehensive software platform with operating systems, middleware, and more.
Not only does PaaS facilitate application creation and management, but it offers tremendous benefits like scalability, simplicity, and improved collaboration.
Cloud Computing Architecture
WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING ARCHITECTURE?
As we’ve mentioned in the cloud computing benefits section, there are many reasons why cloud computing solutions are so popular. But, proper cloud computing architecture is critical for optimal performance. Cloud computing architecture is the blueprint for how the systems work together.
Cloud computing architecture has a front end and a back end. The front end is what the client sees and uses. The service provider uses the back end to manage all the resources that are part of cloud computing solutions and services. This includes cloud monitoring tools, security mechanisms, virtual machines, servers, and more.
The Main Components of Cloud Architecture
The components described are a baseline for how to design a cloud architecture.
Clouds are rooted in the virtualization of networks, servers, and storage. Virtualizing these resources allows various applications to use them. As a result, companies benefit from the increased efficiency of their servers, data storage, and networking.
Cloud infrastructure consists of everything that makes a traditional data center: servers, routers, and switches. This infrastructure includes the software and hardware components necessary to support the cloud computing model.
Cloud management tools allow the service provider to monitor a cloud environment’s performance and capacity. IT teams can keep track of the assets and features included in their service and respond accordingly. This enables them to deploy new applications rapidly and implement disaster recovery solutions when needed.
Automation is a great way to reduce costs, streamline application processes, and alleviate IT workloads. Moreover, cloud architecture uses automation software to facilitate scaling system resources to accommodate power and market demands.
The demand for cloud computing is not subsiding. On the contrary, they are now a central feature of the digital landscape.
Whether large or small, organizations with cloud computing needs can reduce IT expenses, diversify their service offerings, and gain more customers by implementing pertinent cloud computing solutions. For many, cloud solutions provide scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency.
If you’d like to learn more or need help implementing cloud computing for your business, contact us.