You’re probably using cloud computing services right now, even if you don’t realize it. If you use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games, or store pictures and other files, it’s likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes.
Cloud computing is a significant shift from the traditional way businesses think about information technology (IT) resources.
Following are some reasons why you should turn to cloud computing services:
- Scalable, elastic, and flexible
Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software. You no longer need to set up and run on-site datacenters with racks of servers. You no longer need round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, or the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. The cost adds up fast.
This consumption-based model brings with it many benefits, including:
- No upfront infrastructure costs.
- No need to purchase, manage, and maintain costly infrastructure that you may not use to its fullest.
- Pay for additional resources only when they’re needed.
- Stop paying for resources that are no longer needed.
The benefits of cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically. In cloud terms, that means delivering the right amount of IT resources—more or less computing power, storage, or bandwidth—right when they’re needed, and from the right geographic location.
The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacenters. The providers regularly upgrade to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This configuration offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies, and controls that strengthen your security posture overall. They protect your data, apps, and infrastructure from potential threats.
You have physical security—who can access the building, who can operate the server racks, and so on. You also have digital security—who can connect to your systems and data over the network.
Scalable, elastic, and flexible
Cloud providers offer cloud computing services self-service and on demand. You can provision vast amounts of computing resources in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks. Cloud computing gives your business flexibility and takes the pressure off capacity planning.
Cloud computing supports both vertical and horizontal scaling, depending on your needs:
- Vertical scaling, also known as scaling up, is the process of adding resources to increase the power of an existing server. Some examples of vertical scaling include adding more CPUs and adding more memory to support increased data collection.
- Horizontal scaling, also known as scaling out, is the process of adding more servers that function together as one unit. For example, you have more than one server processing incoming requests.
Scaling can be done manually or automatically based on specific triggers, such as CPU use or the number of requests and resources that can be allocated or de-allocated in minutes.
On-site datacenters often require a racking and stacking hardware setup, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks. Your IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.
Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.