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Head in the Cloud?

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cloud-based flexibility

The subject of Cloud computing is getting businesses excited but also somewhat perplexed. Let's demystify.

Cloud computing isn't something new. It's closely related to web hosting which as been around for, well, as long as the web. But whereas your web host is a place where the files comprising your website are stored ("hosted") and displayed, the "cloud" can store and display a lot more.

That's because Cloud-based servers are designed to do the processing (number-crunching) at their end. They're sleekly and efficiently designed and linked together in order to provide redundancy (in the unlikely event that a server fails). Parts of the same "cloud" may even be distributed around several physical "data centres" around the world.

The result of all this super-efficient tech is a stable, remote platform for computation and file storage. This means that the cloud server can run your operating system e.g. Windows, and all your software can run remotely on that server. You can also store your files there, where they will be safe and secure; and accessible from any computer anywhere.

Cloud computing is revolutionising the way businesses, large and tiny, think about I.T. provision. It's no longer necessary to spend a fortune on office file-servers, workstations, software and I.T. staff. A business can now simply "rent" Cloud-space with access to the operating systems, software and data storage it requires. It can access those resources with a broadband connection and simple laptops or cheap "thin-client" computers. This all means easier setup, more flexibility, fewer maintenance headaches and, above all, cheaper and more predictable running costs.

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