In this blog, I wanted to summarize the Cloud environment. Simply put, the cloud is the internet. It is a pool of shared computing resources (server, storage, applications, etc.) that is provided on demand from a provider’s network, eliminating the need for on-site equipment, maintenance, and management of the computing resources.
First, I would like to provide a little history of how communications between the users and the servers evolved. The history of computing and network communication has changed over time. When Users started communicating with other computers, we had mainframe systems where the processing was done on the primary server, and the Users would connect to the network through terminals. The terminals did not store information or process any data; all the data was stored, and all the processing was done in a central mainframe. The terminals were connected to the mainframe server through local network connections or over slow phone lines. Over time, the terminals evolved into powerful computing instruments of their own and were able to share the computing responsibility. This created an environment which allowed us to evolve to a Client-Server Model. The Client-Server Model enabled us to share the computing power between the Users and the central server. The data was stored on the central server, but the processing of data was done on the User’s computer. This divided the processing power and time as well as it enhanced the computing power between several computers rather than one central server. The central server was installed, maintained, and updated by the organization. As things continued to evolve, the internet expanded its availability and the bandwidth for communications. This did not eliminate the Client-Server Model but did provide additional options. Having the internet and larger bandwidths allowed us to utilize hosted environments.
In the hosted environment, the processing is the same as in the Client-Server Model, but the server is maintained by an outside hosting firm and stored off-site. By having an outside company take care of the server(s), many of the maintenance costs could be removed. This is similar to leasing servers.
Finally, as things continued to evolve and bandwidth continued to grow, the Cloud became an additional option. The Cloud is a network of servers stored anywhere in the world, which can be accessed over the internet. It provides shared computer resources and data to the User’s computers and other devices, whether it is as complex as your ERP and CRM system or as simple as storing your files. The Cloud servers may be shared by several organizations over the Internet and maintained by a central provider. Here are just a few of the advantages of storing on the Cloud:
- Cost Savings – With Cloud computing, the organization is not required to purchase or maintain their servers. This is substantial capital saving in hardware, software, and overhead expenses.
- Reliability – The Cloud based environment tends to be more reliable than an in-house model. Many providers supply a Service Agreement which guarantees a high level of availability with redundancies allowing for minimal downtime. If a server fails, the application is easily transitioned to another server with minimal visibility to the users.
- Manageability – Since your organization is not responsible for maintaining its servers, it is much more manageable. The Cloud is supported by the Provider’s resources through central administration. They are the experts and are responsible for infrastructure updates, backups, and maintenance of the system.
- Current software and hardware – The provider takes care of the software and infrastructure updates. They keep these updated allowing the system to remain current and the users to make full use of the latest features available.
- Anywhere, anytime access – Since the environment is accessed via the Internet; the system can be accessed from any computer that is connected to the web.
Want to know more about the Cloud? Contact KTL Solutions at 301.360.0001 or email us at email@example.com.