What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is IT infrastructure that is on-demand, over the internet, and with pay-as-you-go pricing. There are a number of storage, database, computing power, and server solutions available through the cloud. As for worst-case scenarios, certain services will provide redundancies and backups in anticipation of outages so organizations can continue to maintain application availability and prevent the loss of important data. The biggest hurdle usually is making the transition to the cloud and importing all the data that the organization has already stored as opposed to starting natively in the cloud. However, cloud services are usually aware of this and will offer services to ease that transition, mostly negating the need to worry.
Ease of Deployment
Along with being incredibly accessible from multiple devices, operating from the cloud is incredibly fast. IT can procure new resources much sooner than it normally would have in an on-site environment, cutting down the time it takes for users to deploy web applications. Unhindered by the limitations of physical hardware, developers have more leniencey to test architecture design. Changes within the cloud are constantly logged and monitored to ensure that applications are not only functioning optimally but also constantly updated.
Size and Cost
Services and applications must strike a balance between how many assets and server spaces are available while also aiming to mitigate costs. Cloud computing makes it possible to meet both goals by scaling up or down depending on the more immediate needs of the application and customers. To better support stable performance, users of the cloud can also upgrade processors, memory, and storage easily. Though the act of upgrading sounds like it would be an expensive endeavor, users can keep costs low with the way the cloud will only charge users for what resources they expend at any given time. Finally, with everything in the cloud, costs dedicated to maintaining on-premises hardware and servers are removed and offloaded to the cloud service.
Safety and Security
A constant concern for any company in the present is security and the potential for data to be compromised, stolen, held hostage, or lost during incidents such as power outages. The cloud is a good way to keep data safe and backed up in case physical devices are damaged and destroyed with all the data they carry. In the event that cloud data centers also experience damage or malfunctions, the cloud is designed with redundancies built in to ensure that web applications are constantly up and running with the data they use still intact. The cloud also provides a suite of monitoring tools for users to check in on their cloud, encryption tools, and change permissions for who has access.
Finding What’s Right
This can get tricky as there are plenty of different offerings on the market and each service does have some positives and negatives that will work depending on the organization and what sort of cloud expertise the cloud organization has.
While it should not be the only deciding factor, it should still be worth considering. If the potential benefits don’t have a high enough ROI, then by default the option should be written off. Most cloud services do offer calculators for determining what the potential monthly bill will look like using certain services, making it easier to plan ahead before making an investment.
Features on Offer
Certain tools are better suited for tasks than others. For example, AWS has a significant portion of services available that are more dedicated to specific needs, situations, and applications. If the tools provided aren’t exactly what is needed, then the tools should be flexible enough to be adjusted to accomplish those tasks, either through the options that users can make to what components the services use to how their applications are built around it.
Reputation and Security
On the cloud, there will be a great amount of data exchanged between users and customers. With cybercrime as prevalent as it is now, it’s especially important that the cloud providers be well-known for handling critical information carefully and securely. Due to the importance of such a matter, this should be something that needs time to evaluate.
What the End Goal is
All of these points tie together in one way or another. Some cloud providers will be better for launching some web apps over others. It’s important to examine the case studies provided by the cloud service before truly dedicating the resources to it.
This may come across as a conflict of interest, so take this with a grain of salt. If the cloud service being evaluated isn’t Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure, then it’s really not worth considering. The three tech titans are leagues ahead of everyone else to an extent where they have established a greater market presence and have had more time to further refine their services. And at the current rate at which the three continue to grow compared to their opposition, it’s not going to change.
Our Own Expertise
Here at AllCode, we are currently working closely with AWS and have a number of specialists on our team. If you are looking for a platform to build your web application on, we can help and give our own expertise on the matter.
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I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.