You may not realize it but we have been using cloud computing for over a decade!
Ever sent an email with an attachment to yourself from your home computer, and then signed in to your email at work to access the attachment?
That was cloud storage in 2005!
Ok, But What Is Cloud Computing Now?
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources through the internet with pay-to-use charges.
Instead of buying and maintaining computer products and services, you can pay to use a cloud computing service. It saves you the time, effort, and cost of doing it all by yourself!
The Three Major Cloud Service Models
Cloud computing services can be broken down into three models that stack on top of one another:
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Software services are offered under a platform.
Platform service is offered under infrastructure as a service.
Infrastructure: that's the foundation on which services are built.
Here is an example to illustrate how this system works using one of our favourite foods: pizza! As the vendor takes responsibility for more components, you do less.
Can you figure out which of these is part of the Google cloud service models?
Google Computer Engine
Google App Engine
All of these
But Why Choose The Cloud?
Why would you not want to have your own computers, servers, staffers, and offices to run a company? Cloud computing allows you to accomplish a lot more with a lot less!
1. It's on-demand, like Netflix!
Cloud services are on-demand, which means you can access the service anywhere and anytime. It isn't limited by space or size.
2. It's cheaper
You don't need to purchase computers, rent office space or hire staff. Various models of cloud services offer one or all of those options. This could mean huge savings as you only pay for what you want.
3. It's flexible
Since you only pay for what you want and what you want is accessible anywhere, you can increase or decrease the scope of your projects or the intensity of your work as needed.
Where Can I Access Cloud Computing?
There are many cloud computing services available to individual users, but the "big three" are:
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
The service you choose will depend on:
The scale of your business
Your business structure
How much of the work you want to outsource
Now that you know the basics of cloud computing, you are on your way to becoming a one-person operation!
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