The Cloud: What's in it for You?

♫ Hey, you, get off of my cloud

Don't hang around 'cause two's a crowd

On my cloud, baby♫ (The Rolling Stones)

Oh, the cloud baby! And on the one we are talking about, two is definitely not a crowd. Unless you have been living on a deserted island with no internet connection and no sign of technology what so ever, you definitely would have heard of the cloud at least once. I would even say you have probably used it.  The evolution of cloud computing over the past few years is potentially one of the major advances in the history of computing. But what is the cloud? Why did it gain popularity and how did it manage to become a major part of our lives and businesses in such a short time?

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The cloud refers to a centralized location on the internet that stores data, making it accessible anytime, anywhere, from any connected device. Cloud computing is computing on the internet.  So what does this mean? In the past, users would run the software and other programs from their physical computers or servers located in the same building. Cloud computing, on the other hand, allows users to access their software and programs through the internet. It has four models in terms of different access and security options.

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1. Private cloud:

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

2. Community cloud:

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

3. Public cloud:

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.

4. Hybrid cloud:

The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load-balancing between clouds).

 

How cloud computing works?

Cloud computing services typically fall into one of three categories:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): A subscription-based licensing of software that is centrally hosted.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): A computing platform for developing or hosting applications.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): an entire networking or computing infrastructure.

 

Why should you  Embrace the cloud?

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Digital transformation is happening everywhere. In today’s connected business world, everything happens much faster than it did just a few years ago. The last four years have seen considerable advances in both technology innovation and content quality within the virtual reality domain. These advances have helped create new solution verticals, bringing additional immersive experiences in the consumer and professional domains. As the demands on virtual reality systems increase, we reach a point where current solution designs can no longer continue to scale and new approaches are needed for the future, and that’s what the cloud is all about.  In the cloud, end-to-end processes are data-driven and enriched with operational data, which allows processes to function automatically and intelligently with minimal user input. This is possible due to real-time embedded analytics that support each step of the process. 

Cloud computing offers your business many benefits. It allows you to set up what is essentially a virtual office, to give you the flexibility of connecting to your business anywhere, any time. The cloud allows businesses to scale infinitely with demand. As XR applications grow in popularity, companies will need more storage space for both their applications and valuable data that customers share with them. You can basically say goodbye to most of the hardware you would usually buy to stay afloat, saving some major costs in this way. 

Added to this, the collaboration in a cloud environment gives your business the ability to communicate and share more easily outside of the traditional methods. If you are working on a project across different locations, you could use cloud computing to give employees and other parties access to the same files. It makes working in global teams very easy. It allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices. For example, you have the ability to access data from home, on holiday, or via the commute to and from work (provided you have an internet connection). If you need access to your data while you are off-site, you can connect to your virtual office, quickly and easily. 

While cloud computing brings great opportunity, it can also introduce some challenges. The most common disadvantages that continue to taint perceptions about cloud computing are security problems and inconsistent performance. The good news is that these challenges can be overcome with a cloud architecture built specifically for your workloads and through the efforts of a strong, reliable cloud service provider.

In conclusion, the future of cloud computing is bright and will provide benefits to both the host and the customer. It is destroying the bridge between huge companies and startups since accessing resources is made easier with the cloud. In other words cloud computing is here to stay!