Cloud computing, often referred to as ‘the cloud’, is the accessibility of computing services hosted over the Internet as a way to drive innovation and resource flexibility. Cloud computing has a faster, more efficient, and cost-effective alternative to on-premise and legacy systems. Simply put, cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. These resources can be networks, servers, storage, applications, or services.
The cloud computing model promotes efficient collaboration and availability and consists of the following.
The characteristics are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Service models correspond to hybrid cloud, private cloud, public cloud, community cloud based on differences in ownership, and peer-to-peer hybrid clouds.
Deployment models include private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud.
Together, these characteristics and models make up what we now call cloud computing. More recently, some vendors have started referring to IaaS as platforms but from an industry perspective, we believe that definition has some negative connotations. Many people think of cloud computing only in terms of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which provides virtual machines hosted on someone else’s computer systems. Although IaaS is one way that customers utilize technology delivered through the cloud, many organizations deploy private clouds to save money and increase efficiency by managing their own hardware internally.
5 benefits of cloud computing
1. Lower Costs
When your business uses cloud computing, you don’t have to invest in expensive hardware and software. You can use Microsoft Azure as your provider and pay only for what you need when you need it. There are no storage costs, no deployment costs, and management is fully automated. If there’s any hardware maintenance required, Microsoft takes care of it for you at no additional cost.
2. Eliminating Software Licensing Fees
Another benefit of using Azure Cloud services is that companies save money on software licensing fees. Since Azure relies on Web-based technologies, users only need to subscribe to an internet connection in order to use it.
3. Access Anywhere, Anytime
Businesses using Azure will be able to access their data or applications anytime they wish from anywhere across the globe—even if their employees aren’t all working from the same location.
4. Greater IT Flexibility
The beauty of cloud computing is that businesses have more flexibility with their IT departments since Azure doesn’t require heavy investments upfront. This means businesses won’t get locked into contracts or software licenses; instead, they can expand and contract as needed, which makes scaling easier.
5. Secure Data Management
Many businesses face security issues due to sensitive data being stored locally on desktops and network servers. Storing data remotely via Azure offers greater protection against viruses and malware attacks, better disaster recovery options (such as firewalls), and encrypted authentication methods. If a company’s data is backed up in multiple locations, it’s less likely to suffer from a single-point-of-failure event.
Azure cloud services and cloud computing
While you can take advantage of Azure to deploy and host your own applications, it’s also used as a service offering to enable cloud computing, using virtualized resources in a shared environment (the cloud) that can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection. Even though some of these resources may be hosted on local devices, they’ll still require an Internet connection if they’re located on a server farm offsite. This offers numerous benefits over traditional physical hosting options; most notably, it allows businesses to scale up or down at will without having to invest in additional hardware—you pay only for what you need when you need it. This leads to significantly reduced costs while simultaneously improving performance.
With Azure cloud services, businesses can deploy applications using one of two models including virtual machines and web apps. With a virtual machine (VM), you create an instance that’s an exact copy of a server running something like Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (or similar) but hosted in a remote data center instead of on-site.
You don’t have to worry about load balancing or any other technical issues because that’s all managed by Microsoft.
This allows access to just about everything you could normally do with a local server including installing software and other customization tasks. For example, if you wanted to set up a simple website as part of your business plan, you could use VMs to host your website and server-side applications.
Web apps are more lightweight than VMs—with no scalability beyond the bandwidth they consume, which makes them perfect for serving small files like HTML pages. Unlike VMs though, they give users nothing more than basic read/write capabilities, forcing them to store their files elsewhere. Using cloud services, you could pay per hour (or some other period) rather than buying access at an upfront cost. The costs incurred could depend on which services you’re using and how heavily loaded they are at any given time; in general, though, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to buying dedicated hardware.
The tradeoff is that your data would be stored somewhere else rather than being hosted locally; with today’s high-speed Internet connections, however, most people will find that an acceptable tradeoff. Now that you have a better idea of what cloud computing entails, take some time to research various providers before making a commitment to one specific provider such as Microsoft Azure.
With millions of customers and over 200 services, Microsoft Azure can power just about any cloud solution. From Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to BaaS (Backend as a Service), you can utilize all that Microsoft has to offer when building your next big idea. Whatever your skill level, whether you’re new to computing or a seasoned veteran, there’s something for everyone in Azure. There are quickstart guides available to take you through deploying infrastructure in minutes; covering everything from virtual machines to storage solutions. A little planning can go a long way towards helping your company get ahead.
Taking advantage of cloud computing with Azure can help your business operate more efficiently and develop on your own terms. An Azure subscription gives organizations access to rich developer tools, like remote desktop virtualization and cloud-based web hosting. As well as support for business-class applications like Microsoft’s Office products.
If you’re not 100% sure, working with an experienced partner is a great way to get started. And giving you access to sufficient training, tutorials, best practices, and educational content. If you still haven’t made the move to the cloud, you don’t want to be left behind. Let’s talk about what you’d like to build with Azure today.