Photo by Kaushik Panchal on Unsplash

The Cloud. The floating storage device that retains all of your precious memories, passwords, data, and your entire internet life in some infinite, undefined space. Cloud computing: it’s somewhere, it’s just a lot of somwhere’s.

So what is the Cloud? Is it a cirrus? A stratus? A cumulus? Nope, it’s the internet. And a whole lot of other things.

No WiFi, No Cloud

So, what is the Cloud outside of this imaginary space where photos go, only to be retrieved by the click of a button or tap of the finger? In simple terms, it’s the means of storing and accessing data over the internet.

If you have access to the World Wide Web or a WiFi connection, Cloud computing can be done anytime, any where, any place, any time.

No WiFi, no Cloud.

Packs a lot of Punch

In more complex terms, Cloud computing is big business. Like the fluffy, white cotton candy structure it’s named after, the Cloud packs a lot of punch.

The Cloud is made up of three identifying elements: Infrastructure. Application. Platform. Infrastructure is the storage function. Application is the communication and content. Platform is the identity and the database.

The Cloud: Heavyweight Champion

Using a global network of remote servers and systems, the Cloud operates as a single ecosystem. Actively used for personal benefit and business matters, Cloud computing is everywhere.

As a result, your pocketbooks is heavier because you (or your business) doesn’t require high-end technology to store all of that heavy data. Your technological devices are able to do heavier and bigger lifting without all of that memory hanging it down. The Cloud, in its internet space station, is able to carry all of that weight for the device.

Reaping the Benefits

As a personal user, the Cloud transforms your every day life. From less memory required on your smartphone, to higher storage capacity for thousands of selfies on your camera roll, to the endless hours of entertainment for every road trip or plane ride, and so much more. Your phone, your television, your laptop, your memories, are all more equipped because of the Cloud.

The Cloud is also used as a hardware device through the Google Chromebook. In the Chromebook, the Cloud is the entire operating system. The downside to the Chromebook is the user cannot access their files or essentially their data, without access to the internet. However, as a result the Chromebook is relatively inexpensive and extremely lightweight making it a viable option for many users.

Cloud for Business

As a business use, companies often look to the Cloud to save valuable dollars and time. Businesses use the Cloud similar to personal users, but on a much larger basis.

There are three Cloud options for business: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

SaaS

The most popular and widely based option for the Cloud is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS is utilized when the business subscribes to an application that is accessed over the internet. This is when Managed IT Services comes into play. A third-party vendor oversees the applications for the business to relieve stress and provide ’round the clock support. SaaS is often used for email, client relationship management, folder storage, and so much more.

PaaS

Cloud Platform Services aka Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) is the second Cloud option. PaaS is a company created application managed by a developer but ran by a third-party vendor. PaaS is used to decrease code time while increasing productivity with a hybrid model.

IaaS

The last option for company-based Cloud services is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). In this form, the company rents the Cloud from another company (Google, Amazon, etc.) and over-sees the Cloud themselves. One may view IaaS as the most hands-on, self-service of all of the options. Companies that utilize IaaS most likely have an IT team ready and equipped to handle the applications and any related problems.

Managed IT Services

In many cases, a Managed IT Services firm manages the Cloud as a third-party vendor. Managing traffic, demand and user capability, the vendor works hard to keep the Cloud running smooth and accessible either on-site or remote. Ultimately, the server virtualization reduces the need for machines. And less machines, means less money spent on IT services for a company.

The Cloud: The Technology, the Myth, the Legend

The Cloud: the storage based nebula you never knew you needed.