03Feb 2017



Cloud Computing Benefits for Larger Organisations

Cloud Computing by Scott Campbell

In these modern days of technology, the word cloud when used in such context has become synonymous with less than tech-savvy people to mean something along the lines of involving computers and the internet, they would likely guess. If prodded for more information than that regarding its definition, they would simply have to admit that they just really don’t know.

This really doesn’t need to be the case, though. Cloud computing is essentially the sharing of data information and computer hardware resources online. Any data that is transmitted out over the internet and then stored remotely on a hard drive inside a server for the purpose of retrieving later is a perfect example of cloud computing in action. Saving progress on a spreadsheet file to the hard drive in your notebook computer, on the contrary, is an example of computing offline and definitely not, cloud computing.

Considering that basic breakdown of cloud computing, you may be pondering now that surely I haven’t explained it completely or perhaps that my explanation seems too easy for such a term as cloud computing which often tends to create a fog-like cloud of confusion in most peoples’ minds when they come across it, pun most certainly intended. No, really, it’s true, rest assured, cloud computing is utilizing the internet with the purpose of sending and receiving data over whatever computing device you’ve powered on, properly got online, and initiated the transmit request with. It’s that simple.

In order to further clarify the topic, let’s consider some real-world examples. You’ve turned on your smartphone, connected to the free Wi-Fi available at the airport where your layover was scheduled and you’re awaiting your next departure, and meanwhile you’ve decided to watch the next episode of your favourite TV series on Netflix. Do that and you’ve just computed over the cloud. Going home after a long day at work of one too many meetings filled with bumper to bumper traffic slowdowns on the way to and fro and decide to boot up your personal desktop PC to hop online and frag away at the competition of other live players in your favourite shooter game? Yes well, in that previous example, you definitely are fitting the bill for a classic scenario of computing in the cloud.

You should understand fully that the confusion surrounding this subject is not at all warranted. Computing in the cloud is a subject that can be completely understood and realized by anyone with some intelligence coupled with a moderate amount of knowledge and experience with technology.

Cloud computing occurs all day and happens virtually everywhere. Given the large number of people with online access in these modern times, a large quantity of bigger organisations have seen the money-making potential that exists by providing their own cloud services which they sell and market to others. Still, even more businesses, both small and large alike, have decided to procure these cloud service solutions for their own benefits.

While technically playing a first-person shooter online with your computer for fun is computing in the cloud, unless you are strongly affiliated with game development, it isn’t a great example of how cloud computing relates to business in general. Nor is it a great example of a use of cloud computing that would likely conjure up any ideas or thoughts of exactly how implementing and procuring a cloud-based solutions service contract with an applicable provider might benefit your own large organisation. That said, I mentioned it to really hammer in the notion, figuratively speaking, of how broad an area really is that the term cloud computing covers and yet, also, even so, how simple a concept it is to grasp. There truly is no need to be intimidated by the topic. It is worth understanding. It is worth acknowledging the many different ways it may benefit a big business and definitely worthy of strong consideration as a valuable solution and service offering that really bolsters big businesses.

There exist many different cloud services that can be of varying degrees of benefit to larger-sized companies. At the core of cloud computing is the data that is transferred. All those 0’s and 1’s that make up the literal content of each and every data packet that is transmitted and processed in the cloud are what need to be taken into full consideration when determining what and how much of a specific type of cloud service offering you might consider procuring for your own company.

Providers of cloud solutions charge an amount for their services based on the amount of data that is to be stored and the amount of bandwidth that will be utilised over their network infrastructure by their clientele. Even though your company may have a large in-house IT footprint already, complete with a well planned and carried out system of connected infrastructure coupled with a team of talented and educated professionals perfectly capable of taking advantage of said infrastructure, your business can still benefit from a cloud computing solutions provider.

Amazon Web Services solutions are the top offerings available right now to big businesses. They are akin to cloud computing solutions as to what Yahoo! presently is to internet portal offerings. Yes, there are other big players but Yahoo! is Yahoo! and Amazon Web Services is well, Amazon Web Services.

One of the areas in which cloud computing can really help your business is by streamlining IT operations. Amazon Web Services offerings include services like creating and storing remotely complete data snapshots of all the data presently on the servers’ storage drives in use at your organisation for later purpose whenever it may be necessary. They offer an application discovery service that greatly aids systems integrators by collecting and compiling statistical information like what applications are presently in use, the data amounts associated with these applications that are being processed and transmitted in addition to across which mediums and even collects and analyses data pertaining to how different applications or its components are interdependent.

Amazon Web Services can even prove cost effective to your organisation. Their long-term data archiving solution called Amazon Glacier offers per month data storage starting at only $0.005 a gigabyte. Consider at the time of this writing that a pack of ten dual layer Blu-ray discs in quantity that each hold 50 gigabytes of data costs on average about $35.00. Ten of those dual layer discs is equivalent to 500 gigabytes of storage and at the cost of $35.00 total, you are spending what equates to $0.07 per gigabyte of storage using this means, which is fourteen(!) times the monthly storage cost with Amazon Glacier. True, while there does exist just a one-time cost with the optical discs as opposed to a per month pricing program for the cloud backup Amazon provides, you must also consider the labour time and costs associated with the amount of effort involved in restoring the backups stored on the optical discs. If the same data needed to be retrieved and an Amazon Web Services solution were already in place, the same process would be very simple and prove much faster with little to no downtime.

Netflix currently has over 93 million subscribers from over 190 countries across the globe. All of their movie and television show offerings that they make available to each of their subscribers online, no matter what method or device a subscriber may decide to use to view them is made entirely possible to Netflix by Amazon Web Services. Netflix uses Amazon Web Services as their cloud solutions provider of choice to deliver all of that media content to every one of their online subscribers, anywhere worldwide and at any time.

Amazon Web Services happens to be an excellent cloud solutions provider and is definitely worth heavily considering for your organisation’s needs. They presently have the broadest set of accreditations, certifications, and controls in place in the cloud services industry. This ensures complete compliance for your organisation when auditing time comes around. Many health organisations who utilise cloud services and must comply with strict regulations enforced upon their industry due to the sensitive information they must collect depend on Amazon Web Services as their cloud solutions provider of choice because of Amazon Web Services excellent reputation in regards to meeting compliance requirements.

Furthermore, Amazon Web Services cloud service offerings are scalable and will integrate seamlessly with the infrastructure your organisation already has in place. Whatever route you do decide to take, though, it’s important to understand cloud computing and even more so, to understand how it’s time to seriously consider joining the cloud. I mean crowd. Okay, you got me. I definitely meant cloud.