Cloud Computing

“Computing on the cloud” or “cloud computing” is the use of applications that are hosted on the internet rather than internal servers. The application or service is hosted by a third-party resource and accessed via the organization’s internet connection.

Examples of Cloud Services

cloud - learning

Applications

  • QuickBooks
  • Office365
  • Google Apps
Backup

  • CrashPlan
  • iDrive
  • Zmanda
File Storage

  • Shared Documents
  • DropBox
  • SkyDrive
Email

  • Hosted Exchange
  • POP3
Collaboration

  • SharePoint
  • CloudShare
  • SalesForce.com
AdvantagesCost

  • Cost of entry with cloud computing is significantly less than investing in on-site infrastructure.

Uptime

  • Services are hosted by a third-party provider with an infrastructure that can typically offer greater uptime than an internal infrastructure.

Scalability

  • Cloud-based applications can quickly and easily scale as the organization grows.

Backups

  • Data is stored and backed up by the provider simplifying complex disaster recovery plans.

Portability

  • Applications and services can be accessed from any location with an internet connection.
DisadvantagesInternet Reliance

  • If the internet connection fails, all services in the cloud are unavailable.

Performance

  • Performance of cloud services is dependent on the speed of the internet connection. A slow and unstable internet connection will cause slow and unstable access to services.

High Recurring Cost

  • Cloud services are usually paid for monthly based on the number of users; therefore over time cloud services can exceed the cost of on-site infrastructure as the number of users grow.

Limited Customization

  • Since cloud services serve many organizations at the same time, customizing the application to particular business needs may be impossible or very costly.