Cloud computing, and cloud hosting in particular, is perhaps one of the biggest developments in the technology sector since the invention of the Internet in the latter part of the 20th Century.
Many analysts predict that within 10 years, 80% of all computing, storage, and e-commerce done worldwide may take place in the cloud.
The term has often been misused or misunderstood, partly because it has been around for so long.
What does cloud actually mean?
Essentially, cloud computing refers to the virtualisation of server infrastructure – sharing one server as it were several – producing huge costs savings along with further gains in flexibility and software development turnaround times.
What types of clouds are there?
There are many variations of the term cloud including public and private clouds, hybrid clouds, and community clouds.
To really understand at a basic level what the cloud means to a consumer or a business it’s worthwhile using your laptop as a metaphor.Your laptop is composed of the following layers:
- Hardware (e.g. Dell)
- Operating System (e.g. Windows)
- Software programs (e.g. CRM)
All of the above consume space, storage and memory. Just suppose you could one-by-one offshore each layer to a remote web hosting company and merely use your laptop as a ‘terminal’ through which to access each of the elements above?
This is the promise of the cloud.
For instance, when you access a remote CRM system like Salesforce.com you are accessing the cloud through something called Software-as-a-Service.
If you are a developer who builds and deploys web applications for the Google Apps store you are using the cloud in a way known as Platform-as-a-Service.
For those wishing more granular access to the physical infrastructure of a remote server requires another type of cloud access called Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
Virtual Internet, the first provider in the UK to roll out Public and Private cloud solutions on both VMWare and Xen cloud, offers all of the above and more. Each customised SLA is backed by 24/7 trademarked VI-tal support manned by the best cloud engineers in the business.
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