Cloud Computing Condensed
It seems like everyone is throwing around the term “cloud computing” these days—but what does it really mean? Where did it come from? Who uses it, and for what?
Where did cloud computing come from?
While it seems to have become all the rage in the past few years, cloud computing is, in fact, not a particularly new idea. It first came about in the 1960s, in vague discussions of a future possibility of the organization of data in some sort of public way.
If you feel like the idea has come out of nowhere all of a sudden, however, you’re not entirely wrong. It was not until 2007 that the phrase “cloud computing” really took off.
What is cloud computing used for?
Today, 58% of IT professionals use cloud computing in some capacity (and the number is growing at a faster and faster rate). This statistic includes those who are testing, evaluating and researching the cloud, as well as those who have employed it in one of the many ways it can be put to use.
The three most popular of these uses are:
Data storage: Storing data in the cloud not only means that it can be accessed from anywhere but also that the data is now safe from physical harm such as a computer crash.
Infrastructure: A company can save an incredible amount of money if they do not have to develop their own infrastructure. This could make the difference between whether or not a business is able to take off.
Email: Moving a business’s email server to the cloud can save time and resources that would be much better spent on other things. People don’t often realize how expensive and time consuming it can be to host one’s own email server.
Why do businesses employ cloud computing?
IT professionals find that the cloud is most valuable because of the flexibility and scalability that it provides. In other words, cloud computing allows businesses to be better equipped to deal with change and growth than they would be if they were using their own computing system.
In addition, a switch to cloud computing will reduce a company’s costs—especially, as mentioned before, because it allows them to spend less on developing their own infrastructure.
Finally, IT professionals found that cloud computing is more time efficient. When using the cloud, they are able to more quickly implement new technology and applications. And saving time means saving even more money.
Different approaches to cloud computing
There are essentially three different approaches to cloud computing. The first is a private cloud, in which a company uses its own data center. The company using a private cloud receives all the benefits of cloud computing without having to turn control of its data over to an outside source. 49% percent of businesses currently using cloud computing operate on a private cloud.
Meanwhile, 28% of businesses that use cloud computing are currently using a public cloud, which means that all of their data is stored, and applications run, over the Internet.
33% of businesses take a middle path and use a hybrid cloud, in which they run their applications both in their own data center and over the Internet.