What is cloud computing
By now you will have read or heard about Cloud computing and how it is changing the way people interact with their computers, laptops, tablets, phones and other devices.
You may be wondering whether you should be moving to Cloud computing, what advantages it will offer you or how you will make the transition. You may have already searched for information to help you and been left bewildered by all the new terminology and their definitions – SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Elastic computing…
We are now seeing rapid changes in all areas of technology and these changes are bringing enormous potential benefits to the way we use and access computer resources, whether for work, leisure or entertainment.
What will cloud computing offer me
In reality, Cloud computing will simplify the way you live and work – in actual fact it is probably already simplifying your life whether you are aware of it or not. Despite this, Cloud computing is at risk of getting bogged down in concept definitions, tech-speak and buzzwords which many are finding overwhelming and in many cases is creating barriers to adoption of new technologies.
Cloud computing is not new and the way that Cloud computing is delivering services to us is also not new. Many of you will have been using Cloud services for many years without thinking of it as a different concept. Webmail is the most obvious example. Almost everyone has used a form of webmail at some point. Before webmail, you needed a mail client running locally on your PC to access your mail from your mail providers’ server. Webmail freed you by delivering a mail client through your web browser and, more importantly, on any device without having to install additional software.
If Cloud computing has been available as a usable concept for so long, why are we being bombarded with it now. Why has it taken so long to become mainstream?
We are now seeing a convergence of rapidly advancing technologies which, when combined, provides us with all the parts required to operate Cloud services which are as fast and efficient as the hardware and software that you previously used locally. These advancements in technology include
- faster internet connectivity
- wider availability of fast internet connectivity through mobile networks
- increases in processing power allowing centralised processing
- lower power consumption leading to increased battery life
- processing power available in smaller packages
- high capacity storage
Not so long ago, you probably had a single device, such as a PC or laptop, which connected to the internet. Now count how many devices you have that are connected:
- Laptop or PC
- DVD/Blueray player
- Sound system
- Games console
It is now no longer clearly defined which device you use for each function. You can play very sophisticated games on your tablet, stream radio through your TV, watch TV in high definition on your laptop, create a spreadsheet on your games console or process your company accounts using your smartphone.
Cloud computing in summary
Cloud computing is about choice. It is the choice to use whatever device we want, whenever we want, wherever we want, whether for business or personal use.
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