It appears that just about any technology you use in your personal life touts some aspect of “cloud”. From Google Drive and DropBox to iCloud and OneDrive, companies are allowing users to wizard away their data to these services that magically don’t exist within their personal devices. One may assume that cloud services are simply storage solutions where you can move things into the safekeeping of a company. But of course, this is just the tip of the cloud iceberg. At Hentsu the cloud is our business so we’ve written a few tips to help clear up some of the confusion regarding what else a “cloud” service can be.
- Grid Computing: Fancy speeding up number crunching and relieving your poor hardware from stressful workloads? Then move your work off to a grid computing service! These clusters of computers share a workload between themselves, freeing up your machine’s capacity. Services such as Google’s BigQuery and DataLab allow for large sets of data to be processed and analysed with all the power Google can muster, in a cost-effective manner. Provisioning compute clusters in the cloud has far less set up time and upfront costs compared to their in-office counterparts.
- Software as a Service (SaaS). Need some software now? You may not need to download it! Some companies offer fully functional software from within browsers or via remote connection. Office365 and similar services allow users to create Office documents from their web browser or phone without downloading anything to their machines. These documents are even backed up online and easily sharable with URL links, allowing multiple people to edit the same document at once. SaaS isn’t limited to documents, anything from monitoring tools to communication can be provided as a cloud based service. Better still, the software provider will take care of all maintenance and updates.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Companies and individuals don’t always have the right hardware they need to operate as desired. Hardware also represents a big upfront expense and a maintenance burden. How about you let someone else take care of all that? Whereas SaaS allows you to make use of software not on your machine, IaaS lets you make use of infrastructure you don’t physically have. Companies such as Amazon and Microsoft have created professional grade virtual networking environments where you can deploy virtual machines and large data stores without the overhead of maintaining a datacentre.
So yes, the cloud can be where you store and share your photos, but it can be so much more. Here at Hentsu we specialise in cloud technologies and have a wealth of experience helping organisations move their operations from traditional platforms to the cloud. If you think your business may benefit from any aspect of the cloud then feel free to get in touch, we can ensure you end up with the services right for you.