Cloud Computing Services is a relatively new term in the IT field. The cloud is only a metaphor for a service which transfers data using the internet as a medium. Initially, to use Cloud Computing Services was an expensive proposition which meant that only very large corporations could afford this service. Once competition in the Cloud Computing Services field intensified, the prices kept dropping while the efficiency of the service and the number of services that were offered kept increasing. Today, even a small business can afford to use Cloud Computing Services.
Some of the core characteristics of a cloud are:
Uses the internet to transfer data
The cloud, as a term, came about because that was the way it was depicted in representational diagrams. Cloud Computing Services does not have anything to do with clouds but is an internet based system. The clouds servers host the clients data at a location far removed. The location of the cloud servers could be in a different country or even in a different continent. The same disaster striking the User’s production center and the cloud at the same time is statistically improbable..
The data is secure
Cloud Service Providers pay utmost attention to data security. They use the latest encryption technology, along with secure identification and authentication procedures, to ensure only authorized Users get access. In fact, the security provided by the cloud is usually better than that of the User’s internal security protocols. Security while using Cloud Computing Services is a major issue since a User is ultimately responsible for the client’s data. All security procedures should be specified in the contract for cloud services, with transparency of dealings a key aspect of the contract.
User requirements can be scaled up
Unlike having to provide redundancies or a duplicate off-site production center to replicate physical assets for emergencies, the cloud, being a virtual server, has immense spare capacity. If the User needs additional services in a hurry, the current services can easily be scaled up to match requirements. The advantage to the User is that though the service is available on demand, they need to pay for it when they actually use it. This brings down the cost of cloud computing tremendously.
It is cost effective service
Due to the multiplicity of cloud service providers in the market, prices have hit rock bottom and IT Managers can get a very good deal. The User does not need to maintain any hardware or at least duplicate the hardware. He can use the virtual desktop provided by the cloud. By doing so, the User reduces his capital investment, depreciation and the need to upgrade equipment at regular intervals. The service provider will keep upgrading equipment and services since there is intense competition.
The cloud has made a major advancement in the IT field and most businesses have jumped into the Cloud Computing Services bandwagon. However, the track record of the Cloud Service Provider should be thoroughly checked, to ensure they have the best infrastructure which is protected by a high level of security.