TechFocus: The many benefits of Cloud computing
For those of you that are not particularly technologically savvy and would like a little better explanation of how Cloud computing works, other than just being told that “it's magic” by your resident propeller head, here is a little introduction that you may find useful.
Once upon a time every household or village had its own water well. Today, shared utility companies give us access to clean water by simply turning on the tap; Cloud computing works in a similar fashion. Just like water from the tap in your kitchen, Cloud computing services can be turned on or off quickly, providing reliable computing services anytime as needed. Similar to the water company, Cloud service providers like Link have a team of dedicated professionals making sure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isn't open, not only are you saving water and contributing to a greener environment, but you aren't paying for resources you don't currently need.
Not surprisingly, shared computing resources have been around for quite a while, but major advances in virtualisation, internet performance and ubiquity, security and IT business practices have led to the proliferation of what is being dubbed as new Cloud services. The primary foundation for Cloud-based applications is typically what is called Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). From that starting point there is no end to the possibilities, ranging from Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, Backup as a Service … to Kitchensink as a Service! All kidding aside, perhaps the most important feature of the Cloud is its tremendous flexibility and adaptability to satisfy every conceivable requirement, from the simplest individual user wanting to spin up a basic Windows operating environment for personal use to the highly demanding sophisticated multinational enterprise needing to run an entire global IT operation.
Cloud computing is changing the way business operates, rapidly becoming the preferred method to boost enterprise performance, productivity and interaction with customers, while avoiding the complexities and expenses of managing in-house IT hardware. With Link Cloud Services, you can create your own Virtual Data Centre environment with no costly barriers to entry and superior performance that automatically scales to meet the most demanding computing needs. The range of possibilities include our entry level public Cloud IaaS service, which includes compute, memory, and storage, that is totally automated through our website, and can be up and running in a matter of minutes, to our more “industrial strength” private Cloud services with highly secure dedicated access with numerous combinations of VMware options, backup, firewalls, load balancing, etc.
The benefits are extensive, including the following most obvious ones:
1. Achieve economies of scale — increase volume output or productivity with fewer people. Your cost per unit, project or product plummets.
2. Reduce spending on technology infrastructure. Maintain easy access to your information with minimal upfront spending. Pay as you go based on demand.
3. Globalise your workforce inexpensively. People worldwide can access the cloud, provided they have an internet connection.
4. Streamline processes. Get more work done in less time with less people.
5. Reduce capital costs. There's no need to spend big money on hardware, software or licensing fees.
6. Improve accessibility. Anytime, anywhere, making your life so much easier!
7. Less personnel training is needed. It takes fewer people to do more work on a Cloud, with a minimal learning curve on hardware and software issues.
8. Minimise licensing new software. Stretch and grow without the need to buy expensive software licenses or programs.
9. Improve flexibility. You can change direction without serious “people” or “financial” issues jeopardised.
The bottom line is Cloud Computing lets you shift resources away from data centre investments and operations and move them to innovative new projects. Specifically, you can have your scarce IT and engineering resources focus on projects that grow your business rather than running mundane IT infrastructure. In this scenario, you can have your cake and eat it too!
Edgar F Dill is vice president of sales and marketing at LinkBermuda. He can be contacted at Edgar.Dill@LinkBermuda.com or (441) 497-7107