In this free guide on Cloud computing for dummies, you’re going to learn exactly what the Cloud is, how it’s used, why it’s used and also why businesses around the world rely on it to power their IT infrastructure and scale in size, as their need demands.
What is the Cloud (for Dummies)?
Prior to the invention of the internet (in the early days of personal computing) if there was data to be created, processed or otherwise provided it was done on your own business’ hardware and software. Or, in other words, the physical computing machines you owned and had on-site.
Cloud services (or Cloud computing) takes that exact same function and provides it as a service accessed over the internet, generally in a very fast, accessible way. In fact, it’s so fast and accessible you may have been using many web-based Cloud services already without even knowing it.
Examples of Cloud-Based Computing (for Dummies)
Now that you know what “the Cloud” is, let’s put some context around it by naming some popular examples of Cloud computing (some of which are likely open on your web browser right now).
A good example to start with is something like Google Docs. Instead of storing a newly-created document entirely on your computer’s hard drive, Google Docs instead provides and stores the new document on one of their many data center servers located somewhere out in the world.
How exactly does that work? It really doesn’t matter. Regular people like you and I leave answering questions like that to the computing masters. The important thing is that Cloud computing allows us to “outsource” our computing needs to companies like Google, or whomever, removing the burden of storage, maintenance and licensing from our devices while also providing a plethora of other useful functions.
What other useful functions you ask? Well, as a computing resource, the Cloud often allows for greater storage capacity, allowing for a near limitless amount of pictures, videos and other media to be created, stored and accessed. It also makes it much easier to share and manipulate data on the fly, just like with Google Docs’ ability to live-edit a document so that the changes will be seen by everyone with access to it.
But most importantly, the Cloud’s flexibility lets businesses make full use of this internet-connected wonder to accelerate their growth, keep up with rapidly changing demands of the marketplace and reduce their IT-related costs.
Uses within Enterprise (Cloud for Dummies)
Wondering how Cloud computing can affect and drive your business’ growth and operations? Put away that cloud for dummies pdf right now! Because here are the main points you need to be familiar with when it comes to deciding to move to the cloud:
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Have a lot of files and data that you need to store safely, efficiently and be able to access quickly? What about secure data backups or security systems monitoring data? Providing a safe, digital space for all of those needs is what IaaS is (often for a subscription-based fee). Popular examples include Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
2. Software as a Service (SaaS)
- This is when you run an application on a system other than your own. These are some of the most common types of Cloud computing services and include well-known apps like the previously mentioned Google Docs (including Google Sheets, Presentation and Drive) and also almost every web-based email service known to humankind.
3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- PaaS is when you develop and create applications with web-based tools for hosting on another company’s hardware and systems software. Examples of this kind of Cloud service include the Google App Engine or an e-commerce website you’ve created run off of a third-party server.
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The Benefits of Cloud Computing (for Dummies)
Choosing to move to the Cloud (especially a managed service for a business) carries with it a whole host of amazing benefits:
- Lower Ongoing and Infrastructure Costs
Any Cloud computing book or PDF will tell you that you stand to save a bundle by migrating your data assets to the cloud. The main reason why? Hosting and maintaining that infrastructure yourself is expensive! Capital assets ranging from servers to their housing facilities and all the electric power required to keep them cool represent some massive expenditures that you’re better off outsourcing.
- Disaster Recovery Support
If your on-site network is attacked by cyber assailants, wouldn’t it be great if all your files and sensitive data were backed up in an external location, free from the grubby little tech fingers of nefarious hackers?That’s exactly the advantage of Cloud computer services when you opt to move to the Cloud. Many managed Cloud services also offer lightning-quick restoration of all your data to the original source, meaning you won’t even lose any time or productivity.
What happens if your business experiences rapid growth, and you don’t have the data or software capacity to match? I’ll tell you what happens: the growth becomes stunted because your own data centers couldn’t keep up with the added volume.This is not a problem when you’ve got Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or, as any hybrid Cloud for dummies PDF will tell you, a reliable data storage service hosted off-premise, accessed over the internet and can grow right alongside your service levels and staff base.
- Full Management Under One SLA
This is especially true for any managed cloud-based computer service. Imagine a one-stop shop for all your Cloud service needs, where you’ve already got the convenience of the Cloud propelling your business along plus an experienced group of IT experts making sure it all runs smoothly.That way, you only pay for what you use, and only deal with one vendor and one invoice.
- Contributing to Environmental Wellness
If yours is a business that makes generous use of your own servers and data centers, what happens if more and more people like you switch to the same service all hosted on one, centralized server? Any tech expert or Cloud computing.PDF will tell you that it’s a lot like giving up your car to take public transit (except everyone gets to where they’re going even faster).All the energy it took to run your old systems can be tossed away because now, there’s a dedicated Cloud services company doing all the work for you. Meaning you reduced your company’s environmental footprint by a huge amount.
Security Issues in Cloud Computing (for Dummies)
While many pay-for-service cloud-based systems are safe as can be, there’s no such thing as an impenetrable system. That’s why security for Cloud services is such an important and well-established practice.
Here are some of the most common security threats any business using Cloud-based technology would be aware of:
- Data Privacy
It’s always been a top concern for business owners, but it’s even more important to keep up with the times as the world of cybersecurity keeps growing and becoming more complex.There are numerous data protection regulations put in place by the government, and failing to live up to these measures often leads to severe penalties. Having the right managed Cloud security service in place can help you make sure you’re never left being non-compliant.
No one thinks their system is vulnerable until its defenses are bypassed and information is stolen or corrupted. Of course, having a data backup in place always helps, but it’s a sobering thought to realize that, in 2019, 54% of all cybersecurity incidents targeted cloud-based environments. Dealing with the Cloud on an enterprise-level means understanding your cyber risk and ensuring the appropriate steps are taken to prevent and mitigate attacks.
- Data Leakage
While the Cloud certainly does make it easy and convenient to share files on a whim, that’s also a huge potential avenue for information falling into the wrong hands. Sharing public links or someone accidentally changing file access to “public” means that anyone would be able to view and distribute it.It’s important to make sure your staff is trained in the proper use of your Cloud-based system so that you avoid making these costly mistakes.
How to Migrate Your Data to a Cloud Computing Service (for Dummies)
Like for any other complicated endeavour, migrating data and applications to the Cloud requires nothing less than a careful and considered approach:
- Identify the performance metrics of your IT infrastructure
- Assess your existing IT environment
- Find the right Cloud service provider
- Consider a multi-Cloud strategy if needed
- Test applications selected for migration before going live
- Prepare and train your entire organization
- Perform the migration in steps, from the least complex tasks to the most
- Engage in performance testing to ensure applications have multi-user functionality
- Test the security of your encryption, access authorization and data integrity of all your newly moved apps
- Run functional tests to identify app speed and run-time errors and glitches
Transforming Your Business with Cloud Computing (for Dummies)
If you’re not yet integrated with Cloud-based computer services to bolster your business’ operations, what are you waiting for? Learn more about us today and see how, together, we can take your organization to new heights.