One of the hottest topics in IT today is cloud computing, but does anyone really know what the term actually means? At its most basic level, cloud computing refers to using the Internet to access a remotely hosted software application in lieu of running it on in-house systems.
It’s important to note the distinction between public and private clouds: a public cloud is an external space for hosting, whereas the private cloud is hosted internally. The range of software that can be run from the cloud is limitless and spans from simple word processing tools to complex, customizable programs.
There are a lot of reasons why enterprise decision makers are switching their data storage and software applications from dedicated systems to the cloud. Because of the cloud’s shared infrastructure, system maintenance expenses are reduced, which results in less overhead. The cloud pools resources instead of dedicated servers, which provides for a better utilization of resources. And perhaps most importantly, companies can purchase exactly the amount of resources they need, allowing them to free up capital for business driving initiatives.
When considering cloud providers, you might consider Amazon EC2 cloud or Salesforce.com’s Database.com. We’ve had great experiences with both (see our Database.com video).
Understanding cloud computing basics is the first step to being able to capture the potential of this powerful tool. Questions? Thoughts? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.