What Exactly is Cloud Computing?

by Cindy Guignard | August 22, 2013 10:51 am

Cloud computing is quickly becoming the go-to solution for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Simply put, cloud computing is the use of a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet instead of a local server to store, manage and/or process data. This approach uses the latest cutting-edge technology to offer Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and much more. These network-based services work as if the user has actual server hardware of their own, when in reality the services are provided by hardware and software running on one or more remote machines. These servers can be accessed from anywhere and are easily customized to fit the user’s needs.

Cloud computing has four basic characteristics:

Flexibility – The system is elastic and can easily be scaled up or scaled down as the user’s needs change.

Self-service provisioning and automatic deprovisioning – Users can quickly and easily add services they need and release services when they are finished with them.

Standardized Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) – Interfaces are designed to let the user easily link cloud services together and provide simple instructions for using two or more applications or data sources together.

Pay-as-you-go service – Services are metered and you are only billed for what you actually use.

Instead of installing a suite of software on each computer, cloud computing only requires you to load one application: the interface software, which can be as simple as an Internet browser. This interface application, or API, enables workers to log into a web-based service which hosts all of the programs each user needs. Users then have access to everything from e-mail and word processing to complex data analysis programs.

Dropbox and Facebook are two popular examples of cloud computing services. Web-based email services such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail also work on cloud computing. Rather than downloading and running a particular program on your own computer, you simply log in to these Internet accounts remotely – making the service easily accessible at any time, from any place. This easy access is one of the many factors that makes these services so popular.

If you are interested in moving to a cloud computing system, NXC can assist you. Contact us today to learn more.

Your NXC team

Source URL: http://blog.nxcgroup.com/2013/what-exactly-is-cloud-computing/