In this modern computing world with a multitude of various trends and innovations, we sometimes find ourselves lost in between new technologies, terminologies and words. Why do we tend to make things more difficult than they have to be? That was my thought when I started planning a set of blog posts describing new computing trends in a simple way.
Even though it is popular today, cloud computing is still a mystery for a lot of computer users. We hear about it here and there, but what is it? Why is it good for me personally or for my business?
Here is a quick analogy to simplify the concept of cloud:
Imagine a coffee plantation in Columbia that makes one of the best coffees in the world. The Columbian market is too small for this growing business, and the management team decides to penetrate markets in other countries. In order to do so, they have to hire various types of transportation to deal with customs, manage shipping, etc. This, however, means that the coffee plantation has to learn how to ship, manage transport, and transfer coffee through customs. If they get their own airplanes, they will be responsible for the salaries and maintenance – even during winter months, when there is no coffee to ship and airplanes are idle.
Instead of getting their own shipping department, coffee planters may contract the shipping company, as it has various different vehicles and professional personnel that can be leveraged only when needed. Moreover, the shipping company is an expert in the shipping business, and the coffee plantation can leave this to the experts to manage and devote the time to coffee planting and business growth.
So what does coffee have to do with cloud computing? In the same fashion, rather than managing their software, platform or hardware infrastructure on-site and on their own, companies may offload their computing requirements to a cloud service provider.
Based on what exactly is being offloaded to the service provider, cloud services can be divided into several service models. The three most popular are:
1. Software as a Service: Leverage a provider’s software application over the Internet.
2. Platform as a Service: Use a provider’s computing platform to develop and run your own software programs.
3. Infrastructure as a Service: Leverage a provider’s network, storage and other computing resources.
Acronis offers one of most popular forms of the Infrastructure as a Service model, cloud storage, where you can use hardware storage provided by Acronis to store your backups. A key advantage is cost savings in hardware and storage costs that can be beneficial for any type of user, be it home, medium-sized business or enterprise.