Aug 27, 2020

Cloud Computing

Part 1: Value

Written by Nathan Johnston, Chief Technology Officer

Cloud computing is almost a household word these days; however, sometimes, it is good to review the benefits that cloud computing offers.

Cloud computing makes up one component of an organization’s technology footprint. You may have servers on-site, desktops at the office, and laptops in the field and at home. To take advantage of cloud computing, you don’t need to go all-in right away, or ever, to gain significant benefits. You may choose to enter the cloud gradually, implementing only new systems, or you may go more quickly by taking a lift and shift approach to moving existing infrastructure.

Most cloud computing providers offer a consumption-based model for billing. This means that you will have no upfront infrastructure costs and can pay for additional resources only when they are needed, even for a single hour, then stop that cost when the resource is no longer needed.

When your application needs more resources to meet a seasonal or even an unexpected increase in demand, your application can automatically or manually scale up to meet the increased load, then scale down when the load subsides. These changes can be made in minutes, not days or weeks.

When you use services like databases or other application hosting services that are maintained by the cloud vendor, you no longer need to manage software patches, hardware setup and maintenance, upgrades, and other IT tasks.

Services hosted by the cloud vendor often are automatically clustered and offer fault tolerance and high availability right away with little action required by your IT staff. Additional reliability is often a checkbox away while allowing for complex high availability configurations for advanced applications.

If your application needs are global, configuring services around the globe is often as easy as it is close to home. With advanced traffic management and content replication services, you can bring your application to regions around the world. This allows you to provide fast response times and accommodate data-residency and compliance requirements without leaving your home office.

Cloud providers offer a wide range of policies, technology, controls, and expertise that may exceed what your organization can support or afford. The physical security provided by cloud vendors is world-class, and only a few organizations in the world can support this level of protection.

Cloud computing makes your business more efficient, cost-effective, scalable, elastic, up to date, reliable, and secure. Over the next several weeks, I will be exploring how organizations can take advantage of some of these benefits.

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