Information Technology in general and hosting solutions in particular evolve at an extremely brisk pace and keep throwing up newer concepts with cutting edge solutions becoming even more sharper. To keep abreast of the competition around, online businesses are ready to embrace these solutions more than ever before. One common aspect in a majority of these concepts and thoughts is almost always cloud computing.
With an expansive array of features, a cloud solution is more often than not like a one stop solution to a majority of your storage and hosting needs. Starting with a regular off the shelf virtual hosting plan to advanced multi security storage options and built in disaster recovery triggers, cloud services have got an impacting presence in all the verticals one looks at. While everyone is talking and claiming to be an “expert”, how many of us actually know and understand what a cloud is? Not very many! So here’s a brief run down on what a cloud is all about.
Interestingly enough – the terms “Cloud Computing” and “Cloud Hosting” come with different definitions. If you look up the internet, cloud hosting is defined as “Hosting services that are provided to customers via multiple connected servers that comprise a cloud, as opposed to being provided by a single server or virtual server”. Whereas cloud computing is explained as “the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer”. By definition, both terms are very similar and yet have a big difference in the way they are put to use. Cloud Computing is almost always for private use while cloud hosting is a public enterprise where any individual can buy a virtual server from a hosting provider’s cloud environment.
Let us look at some of the more popular cloud solutions and their definitions in general.
* Public Cloud – As explained above, this is generally offered by hosting providers who allow their cloud environment to be used by anyone who wants and has the ability to buy or rent storage space, memory, processing power and bandwidth as a package. This is generally considered to be a form of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
* Community Cloud – A cloud environment which is used by a specific community or a group of like-minded communities is termed as “community cloud”. Such community or multiple communities together are majorly involved in developing or creating soft wares, applications, new operating systems, CMS’, CRM’s etc. and because these developers use a cloud as a platform to build, a community cloud becomes a form of PaaS (Platform as a Service).
* Private Cloud – More and more organizations are gearing themselves up with a cloud environment closeted and restricted to be used within their realms only. While this cloud is available and can be used by anybody with the organization, it is blocked out for use for the outside world. This helps companies save cost on bare-metal boxes and equips them with scalability.
* Hybrid Cloud – A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and has others provided externally. Hybrid cloud benefits are easily quantifiable – for instance, businesses can see an average reduction in overall IT costs of around 17% by creating a network between their on premise components and the cloud. Moreover, major compliance concerns can be overcome and quelled by combining dedicated and cloud resources.
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