In a recent post, I discussed how Amazon is now making music storage and streaming available in the Cloud. You may be thinking, that’s great, but do they also plan on selling extra-long headphones?
Amazon’s new music service is just one example of cloud computing. The music isn’t literally up in the air. Although, that could provide endless amusement. Imagine if weather systems had their own soundtracks. A particularly strong nor’easter could rattle out a Metallica montage, while a spring shower might induce a Coldplay tribute. Just a thought.
In reality, the workings of Amazon’s Cloud aren’t that nebulous at all. The music files are actually stored on thousands of servers located in the company’s massive data center. Not quite as striking as music from the sky, but the technology is still worth looking into.
Simply speaking, cloud computing is a buzz word for the storage and implementation of applications and resources through an internet-accessible data center. Rather than house your software applications, files, music and data on your desktop, you can utilize a database geographically isolated from your computer. Because the information is transmitted over the internet, the data center can be located virtually anywhere in the world, and you would be able to access your information with the same efficiency as if it was right in your office.
Why use cloud computing?
The benefits of using cloud computing range from economic to space-saving to sustainability. Users no longer have to waste space in their own machines to store files, photos and software programs. You also don’t have to invest in multiple servers to house all of your personal or professional data. And fewer machines means less energy required to power them, so you can add cloud computing to your list of green initiatives, both monetary and environmental.
While cloud computing encompasses a host of services, there are two particular components that can directly improve your business’s operations:
Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)
IaaS allows users to outsource physical machines and materials used to support their operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. A Managed Service Provider is responsible for housing, managing and maintaining this equipment, taking pressure off your IT budget and freeing up space where servers were previously stored. The Amazon Cloud Drive is an example of IaaS, offering a physical location to store users’ files.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS, the cheekier of the two, is a software distribution model in which a Managed Service Provider hosts applications that users can access over an internet or network connection. By utilizing SaaS, you can choose to run applications as needed. The protection and management of software is also secure in the hands of the service provider, eliminating the stressful responsibility of data protection. SaaS standardizes applications, providing all users with the same version of software and making collaboration among your employees easier. The Amazon Cloud Player is an example of SaaS, streaming music directly to compatible devices regardless of location.
I hope this gave you a good idea of what cloud computing is and how it can enhance your company’s network. Check back with Network Blogsource for more news about developments in cloud computing and other tech innovations. Personally, I’m waiting on celestial speakers to enter the mix.