What Is the Cloud, and How Do I Get up There?


Published on June 5th, 2019

Cloud computing is a technology that has been around for several decades, but it has become a buzzword in the business world relatively recently. Businesses are moving to the cloud because it has certain advantages overbuilding and maintaining IT infrastructure on site.

Although cloud computing has been prevalent for many years now, the term is somewhat nebulous in meaning for many people. The “cloud” is a term that is meant to provide clients with a feeling that their data is taking advantage of the vast cyberspace that is the internet of today. In short, cloud computing simply means that one is accessing work platforms and data via the internet rather than software that is located on the machines in your own office space.

We all use cloud computing in some ways when we use common email platforms such as Gmail or document services like Dropbox. Most of the data that people interact with is stored in the cloud when using social media and other commonplace apps that send and receive images, video, and text. For businesses, cloud solutions offer advantages in cost and efficiency.

1. Different Types Of Cloud Solutions

Businesses have access to three different categories of cloud computing service packages. You can have all of your infrastructure hosted in a public cloud, or you could have a private cloud hosting service where your infrastructure is more isolated in a specific location that offers more security and customization. There is also a hybrid approach that is affordable and has some heightened security that hybrid packages would provide.

In all three of these cases, your computer resources are being accessed at a remote server or data center rather than on the hard drive of the computer that you are currently using. Typically, this access is carried out via a common internet browser that everyone is already familiar with when they use apps like Gmail.

2. How Does This Affect Businesses?

Cloud Management Software

There are many types of IT functionality that businesses need in order to function today. Cloud providers can serve all of these functions via an internet connection to their data centers. There are many types of business software that businesses need in order to process orders and track the supply chain.

When these applications are accessed via the internet rather than installed on local machines, it is referred to as Software as a Service or SaaS. When businesses create their own customized suite of applications it is referred to as Platform as a Service or PaaS.

This can even be taken a step further where businesses create their own custom infrastructure. In this case, a cloud solution for this would be called Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS. Some examples of this are infrastructures provided by companies like Amazon and Rackspace that give companies all the functionality that they need to conduct business.

Oracle, which is already a leading provider of database functionality, is also becoming one of the biggest players in the cloud computing space. Which has, in turn, created a new space for third-parties in choosing an Oracle consultant.

Given all of this vast functionality and the enormous size of the Internet, cloud computing is a huge business. In 2012, the cloud computing market grew to a size of over $100 billion. By 2020, this number is expected to exceed $500 billion.