What Is “The Cloud”?
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing resources as a service. This term generally makes reference to a three tiered architectural computing model or cloud stack that is inclusive of SaaS (software as a service), PaaS (platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) delivery that may be obtained from a variety of cloud solution providers or hosted internally via a private cloud. Cloud computing may also include the delivery of other types of IT assets as a service; including: storage as a service, databases as a service, security as a service and backend as a service offerings. This article contains answers to several frequently asked questions about cloud computing in the section provided below.
Question: What are the benefits of cloud computing?
Answer: The adoption of cloud computing by organizations has increased exponentially in recent years, due to the efficiency and cost saving benefits that this computing model promises to deliver, which is especially appealing to organizations with limited IT staff and/or limited IT budgets. Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) in particular, can also substantially benefit from the cloud computing model for the delivery of software applications as a service, which offers many operational and administrative cost saving advantages over the traditional model of on premise software delivery for software providers.
Question: What are the drawbacks of cloud computing?
Answer: There are very few disadvantages that apply to cloud computing, with one key exception: the risk of low quality service delivery from a cloud provider. Choosing the wrong cloud computing service provider can be extremely detrimental for any organization, as their reliance on cloud SaaS, PaaS and/or IaaS solutions from a single vendor may place all of the responsibility for IT service delivery within their business on the shoulders of a third party. Likewise, any enterprise that is considering the use of cloud computing services needs to ensure that they have properly assessed the scalability, availability and flexibility of the cloud solutions they plan to adopt and they also need to investigate the reliability of the cloud solution provider(s) that their organization plans to engage.
Question: How will I know which cloud computing solution fits my business needs?
Answer: As with on-premise computing solutions, any business that is considering moving to cloud computing needs to have a feasibility assessment completed for their organization to ensure the selection of the proper solution that meets the goals of their organization. Considerations such as which cloud computing model to use (public, private or hybrid) is one of the outcomes of a cloud feasibility assessment. In addition, a cloud feasibility assessment can also provide insight into cloud migration requirements, which will shed light on which cloud solutions your business should consider for implementation.