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In just a handful of decades, technology has advanced more quickly than almost any other discipline in the world. It started with computers big enough to fill an entire room, and has progressed to computers that can fit in our pockets, and connect with other computers wirelessly on the other side of the world, thanks to the internet. One of the defining technological advancements in recent years has been the Cloud.
The Cloud has found its way into nearly every business sector in the world – or else it has demonstrated that it would provide considerable benefits to the sectors that haven’t already adopted it on a wide scale. The Cloud is widely considered to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the realm of IT – there are many IT Support Services in London which recommend using the cloud. With the rising demand for large-capacity data storage, and globally-accessible infrastructure, Cloud has been a highly valuable solution – so much so, that it is a widely recognized term associated with the 2010s and 2020s.
What is the Cloud?
There are a few different terms that one should be aware of. To start with, Cloud computing refers to the development and utilization of computer technology that is stored on a server, or many servers, as opposed to being stored on a personal computer or similar device. When the technology is stored on servers, it makes it possible to provide both hardware and software resources over a network. In other words, you could be using software that is being streamed to your own PC from a server that is many miles away.
Cloud storage, on the other hand, refers to an approach of network-based data storage. In this context, ‘the Cloud’ is like a virtual pool where data can be stored. If you use the help from a Managed IT Support Services Provider, they can help you set this up. Cloud storage is achieved by using multiple servers, or even whole datacenters, that connect with one another over a network, and form the pools of storage – these servers are sometimes spread across multiple locations.
Usually, when we refer to a ‘Cloud’, it means a platform that is capable of both Cloud storage and Cloud computing. These come in a few different categories:
Private Cloud – a Cloud that is reserved for a single organisation or group – this infrastructure is owned by the users.
Public Cloud – a Cloud that can be used by multiple clients, usually as a paid service – the infrastructure is owned by a provider (examples include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform).
Hybrid Cloud – a combination of 2 or more Clouds – normally a mix of Private and Public Clouds. These model is designed to take advantage of the different strengths of each type of Cloud.
Unless an organisation has the time and money to invest in building their own infrastructure, the most cost effective way of using Cloud storage or Cloud computing is paying for the services offer by a Cloud Provider.
How does it help business?
The benefits of the Cloud are many and varied; it can save businesses both time and money in several ways.
To start with, a business may migrate their network infrastructure to a Public Cloud from a trusted provider, and never have to worry about upgrading their infrastructure hardware again – the top Cloud Providers (such as Microsoft and Google) invest billions of dollars into their own infrastructure in order to make their services as effective for their customers as possible, and as long as you are paying your subscription, you will have access to the service. Another great bonus is that Cloud storage and Cloud computing is very scalable – if you want to have more storage for your company, for example, you can simply pay a bit more and get that storage easily. This is also generally much more cost effective compared to buying your own hardware and building it yourself.
How will it develop in the future?
The Cloud is a constantly evolving technology that is becoming more sophisticated every year. Right now, it is possible to stored apps and other software in the Cloud, and access and use those apps remotely from your computer – a few years ago that was not possible; and even now that principle is being advanced with a new technology called containerization. Your IT Support Company will be able to advise you on the best cloud platforms to use.
There are a number of different advancements in Cloud technology that are happening right now; such as Edge computing, which is a re-imagining of Cloud computing that distributes the infrastructure between servers and endpoints, resulting in lower latency and better transfer speeds. Another fascinating development in the field of Cloud technology is the Internet of Things, which is essentially a network of smart devices that connect to each other and share data – with this technology you can create things like smart fridges, smart homes, and even smart factories.
The capabilities of the Cloud have revolutionized the world we live in and will continue to do so for a long time.