Cloud Computing and Cloud Solutions

With nearly all of our data on a virtual platform in today’s markets, the general population is too often found asking the questions: what is cloud computing? How can virtualization benefit my business? What are the different cloud solutions available, and how do I decide between cloud solutions for my company?

At the most basic level, cloud computing allows you to complete all of your normal computer tasks without having to invest in or manage your own servers and full-featured, expensive desktop machines.

Traditionally, companies have their own servers in their own offices, and employees use full-blown desktop machines loaded with software and data. With cloud computing, end users access software and data stored remotely at a datacenter, such as Earthnet, through a web browser on a lightweight desktop machine or a mobile app.

Said another way: instead of buying, managing, and maintaining your own hardware, you are buying a service which manages and maintains your hardware for you. There are a variety of cloud solutions available, and each one caters to different business needs.

Types of Cloud Solutions

Public Cloud Solutions

Public cloud solutions are based on the standard cloud computing model in which a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a pay-per-usage model.

Community Cloud Solutions

Community cloud solutions share infrastructure between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns (security, compliance, jurisdiction, etc.), whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. The costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud (but more than a private cloud), so only some of the cost savings potential of cloud computing are realized.

Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Hybrid cloud solutions are a composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together to offer the benefits of multiple deployment models. It also can be defined as multiple cloud systems that are connected in a way that allows programs and data to be moved easily from one deployment system to another.

Private Cloud Solutions

Private cloud solutions are operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party, and hosted internally or externally.

These cloud solutions have attracted criticism because users still have to buy, build, and manage them; thus, they do not benefit from less hands-on management, essentially lacking the economic model that makes cloud computing such an intriguing concept in the first place.

Earthnet offers private cloud solutions without the listed drawbacks. Contact us to learn more.

Key Advantages of Cloud Computing Over Traditional Infrastructure

Beyond the obvious upfront cost savings, cloud computing gives you far more flexibility, efficiency, and scalability while offering equal or superior performance, availability, and security.

  • Because you do not have to load software on to every machine, you can use lightweight, less expensive terminals and get applications up and running much faster.
  • Due to the factors listed in the point above, cloud services are much easier to manage and require far less support and maintenance.
  • Instead of having to buy new servers when you grow, cloud services can be scaled up or down with the push of a button.
  • Permanently eliminate the issue of hardware obsolescence.

Issues to Consider When Selecting Cloud Solutions

When choosing a cloud service provider, you should consider the following issues:

  • What level of privacy and security do you need?
  • How do you want to your bill to be calculated? With Amazon, for example, your cost of computing is liquid. Liquid billing means you don’t know the final cost until the billing period is over. With Earthnet, on the other hand, your billing is fixed and there are never any surprises.
  • Do you have compliance requirements such as HIPAA, PCI, or Sarbanes Oxley?
  • Are there any legal issues regarding intellectual property or confidentiality that dictate your selection?
  • Does your vendor expose APIs that are well documented and allow for interoperability and portability should you need to change providers?

As a concept, cloud computing is relatively straightforward. Choosing and implementing the right cloud solution for your specific needs can be a little more complex.

Contact Earthnet to have an educational conversation that will clarify exactly what you need, how to implement cloud computing at your company, and how much it will cost.