What is Cloud Computing?

Red Dog Media Cloud Computing

For over a decade, cloud based services have been on the rise. With their easy accessibility and myriad of benefits, it’s no surprise they’re becoming more popular. At Red Dog Media, we recognize those perks and utilize cloud based solutions to create a more efficient and convenient workplace.

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of software, storage, compute power, and other IT resources that are accessed via the internet. Typically customers subscribe to cloud services under a monthly billing plan instead of purchasing software licenses or server infrastructure.

Cloud based services offer a large amount of benefits. It is cost effective as it eliminates the need to spend capital on the start up and management of hardware and software. Because cloud computing services are provided on demand, it allows for faster computing speeds, which allows businesses to have a lot of flexibility. As well, cloud computing is highly scalable. The right amount of IT resources, such as more or less computing power, bandwidth, or storage, are provided to the consumer when needed. Maintaining on-site datacenters can be a chore. Setting up hardware and patching software, among other IT maintenance, is time-consuming and pulls IT teams away from important work. Cloud services boost productivity by letting IT teams focus on achieving other business goals instead of focusing on mundane maintenance. Performance is also boosted with cloud computing. The systems are run on a worldwide network of secure datacenters that are updated regularly. This keeps the systems in peak performance and reduces network latency for applications. Cloud computing is very reliable because data can be copied at many redundant sites on the provider’s network. This makes data backup and disaster recovery easier and less expensive. Overall, cloud based services provide more benefits than not. This shows why it is becoming a popular option for many businesses.

Cloud based services are usually broken up into one of three different types: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is considered the most basic category of cloud computing services. The equipment used to support operations is outsourced. This equipment can include hardware, storage, servers, and networking components, and they are made accessible over a network. The IT infrastructure is rented from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Platform as a service (PaaS) is an on-demand cloud-based environment that provides services for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. This option is cost effective since it doesn’t require the customer to invest in or manage the underlying infrastructure. Some of the benefits are that it allows the user to “develop applications and get to market faster, deploy new web applications to the cloud in minutes, [and] reduce complexity with middleware as a service.”

Software as a service (SaaS) is a method for distributing software applications on demand over a network, typically the internet. It is typically on a subscription basis and cloud providers “host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching.”

Clouds are usually broken up into two categories, public and private.

Public clouds are owned and operated by companies that offer services to multiple customers through the internet. These services make it so the user does not have to buy hardware, software, or supporting infrastructure. Instead, it is owned and managed by the cloud provider.

Private clouds are systems that are operated solely for one organization. This system can be managed internally or by a third party, and the same goes for hosting the system. Private clouds offer more control of the resources while taking advantage of the cloud’s efficiencies. Some of the benefits of a private cloud are personalized sophisticated security, highly automated management of resource pools, and on-demand IT resources.

Most of us are using cloud computing without even realizing it. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all websites that utilize cloud computing for data storage. The same can be said for web-based email services. File-sharing sites like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box.net all rely on cloud storage to operate. Even movie and TV streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu use cloud technology.

At Red Dog Media, we use several cloud based services. Google Apps and Dropbox provide us with tools that aid with communication and file storage. For project management, we use Trello. Visual Studio Online is used in the software development process while Microsoft Azure,  Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace are used for computing and server storage. We are always on the lookout for new technology that will improve the work process at Red Dog Media. It’s easy to see why using cloud services is not only our preference, but the preference of many businesses around the globe.


If you liked this article, why not check out another on the Red Dog Media Blog:

How and Why Red Dog Media Uses Trello for a More Organized and Efficient Workplace

The Rise of Software Engineering

Autonomy: The Key to Employee Success

Virtual Reality; Real Results: AR and VR’s Role In the Future of Consumer Interaction