A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

In simple terms, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence – over the Internet, or “the cloud”. Cloud computing offers faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. Typically you only pay for the cloud services you use, which helps to lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.

Types of Cloud Computing

Public Cloud

Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud services provider, which deliver computing resources, like servers and storage, over the Internet. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider.

Private Cloud

A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site data center. Some companies also pay third-party services providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology the allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimize your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a big shift from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources. Here are some common reasons businesses are turning to cloud computing services:

Cost

Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site data centers – the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, and the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It adds up fast.

Scale

The benefits of cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically. That means delivering the right amount of IT resources – for example, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth – right when they’re needed, and from the right geographic location.

Performance

The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centers, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate data center, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.

Speed

Most cloud computing services are provided self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.

Productivity

On-site data centers typically require a lot of “racking and stacking” – hardware setup, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.

Reliability

Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.

You’re probably using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realize it. If you use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games, or store pictures and other files, it’s likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes.

The first cloud computing services are barely a decade old, but already a variety of organizations – from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to nonprofits – are embracing the technology for all sorts of reasons.

Learn what’s possible today with cloud services from a cloud provider. Contact Plow Networks.

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About Plow Networks

Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, Plow Networks is a Total Service Provider (TSP) with several distinct business practices that, when consumed together, offer our clients a unique, best-in-class experience. We give organizations peace of mind, valuable time back and the economies of scale that come with having one technology partner that is focused on exceeding their expectations with every engagement.

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Plow Networks
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