The term ‘cloud’ gets thrown around a lot in computing. We use it to describe operating systems, computing infrastructures, servers, service models, and storage. And just when you thought that wasn’t confusing enough, specific brands use ‘Cloud’ in their product names to describe different offerings. Products can be ‘cloud-based’, ‘hybrid clouds’, ‘public clouds’, or ‘private clouds’. It’s a diverse range of similar sounding yet vastly different options. So it’s no wonder business owners struggle to find the right cloud computing models for their company. To help out, we thought we’d lift the fog on cloud computing systems. So you know you’re equipped with the cloud computing model you need to operate effectively.
Cloud communications explained
While the cloud may seem an ethereal, hard-to-grasp concept, the truth is it’s still a computer network. It has real-life hardware and it takes up physical space for data storage, it’s just not taking up your space. Files are stored remotely in data centres but are available to access from any place at any time via a web browser.
Alongside the data storage solutions offered by cloud computing models, cloud communication services also facilitate unified communication between your employees via your network. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can also be used for voice and video communications and multimedia sessions. It’s like having your own version of Zoom where nobody gets kicked off when the call hits 40 minutes.
Private, public, and hybrid cloud computing models
More people than ever are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this, small businesses are increasingly adopting private cloud systems to enable employees to share and access files remotely and safely. Private clouds ensure everyone has access to the required information and, importantly, employees are working from the same documents. Private clouds are more customisable and secure, because you have complete control over the data centres in which they are stored.
Comparatively, public clouds are more cost-effective but don’t offer the same levels of security as private computing resources. They’re less customisable as control is relinquished to service providers, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. But every cloud has a silver lining. If you’re not tech-savvy, letting the tech giants handle the technical side of things can often be a weight off your shoulders.
Hybrid cloud models – surprise, surprise – combine the two. This allows you to switch between the public cloud and the private cloud, depending on the nature of your work.
Finding the right cloud service for your business
Once you’ve chosen your cloud type, you’ll need to consider which cloud service to adopt. We’ve created a handy guide to help you find the right cloud strategy, based on your circumstances and your user needs.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the most flexible and wide-ranging cloud service. Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Compute Engine all offer IaaS.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is slightly more specialised. It allows users to adapt and modify their cloud system and use development tools whenever they need to. Microsoft Azure, again, offers this service, as does Google, Apache Stratos, and many more. The most sophisticated and niche of the three cloud services is Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS applications are the go-to for cloud services. Fully-developed software solutions are available on a subscription basis. They are generally managed by providers such as Microsoft Office 365, Google, and Cisco WebEx, to name a few. Check out our brand battles to see which brand’s cloud service best suits you.
Avoid the hassle with cloud hosting
If all the above seems like a bit too much of a hassle, there is another option. Cloud hosting services, provided by Venom IT, can take the stress out of your company’s progression into cloud computing altogether. We use our technical know-how and our years of experience to facilitate a seamless transition to support, optimise, and safeguard your IT infrastructure. So you can get your head out of the clouds and get on with the real work.