A Basic Understanding of Cloud Computing
Sometimes I feel that we have to go back to the beginning in order to understand where we are now. Below are a few basic questions that clients often ask us here at AEC Cloud. Questions that often times take us aback in their simplicity, but are critical in understanding what the “cloud” is and how it is such a part of our lives we take it for granted.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is so common in our lives that you probably aren’t even aware that you are using it. Currently it is estimated that over 95% of people are now using cloud services such as social networks, streaming music, streaming video or online banking.
Cloud Computing is a set of hardware and software that work to deliver the end user these online services. Users have access to files and applications from any type of device such as a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Any device that can access the internet.
You already know the big names in the field. Gmail, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, just to name a few. These applications and files can be accessed from any device that is connected to the internet. The actual application and files are on a cloud hosted server and “viewed” by your end device of choice.
How is computing from the Cloud different from computing from my local PC’s hard drive?
Computing from the cloud is different in that the files and applications are not physically located on your computer or device that you are currently using. Instead those files and applications are stored on servers hosted outside of your office or home. Those servers can also spread your data across different locations and servers, allowing for a wide array of storage protection and business continuity.
In other words, with cloud computing, your files are copied across many different servers and safe from natural disasters or hardware failure.
What are public and private Clouds?
Public Clouds are just what they sound like. They are cloud networks that are open to the public. Gmail is a good example of a public cloud. Gmail is an application and data storage system that is open to the public. Each user has an account within the wider public cloud application.
Private Clouds are more or less the opposite. They are protected applications and data typically behind a range of protection barriers or firewalls. These applications and data sets are not open to the public and are typically used by corporations to house sensitive data.
What are some common Cloud services and companies?
As noted above, there are many many cloud hosted services that you are already using in your day to day life. Gmail for your personal email; Dropbox for file storage and sharing; Spotify to stream your favorite music channel; Netflix to view a movie on your laptop or television at home.
All of these are services that allow you the end user to access data and applications through any device that has an internet connection. For business, these services offer a huge advantage in that they do not have to design, develop and host their own application and store those files. This greatly reduces IT costs and allows for more flexibility in testing different applications that works best for the business or project at hand.
Do I need Cloud computing?
The simple answer is that you are already using cloud computing. Maybe a better question is, can you live without Netflix, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.?
Now apply this to your business model and you can see why cloud computing continues to grow exponentially, year over year. The instant access to developed applications and files from any device, from anywhere allows businesses to be competitive at a very low cost.
It is just to cost prohibitive to setup your own cloud computing center given the costs of hardware, storage, servers and networking hardware. And it does not make sense in the end since much of this would just sit idle and go to waste. Instead with cloud computing, you can pay for only what you use.
Are my files safe in the Cloud?
The short answer is yes, your files are very very safe in the cloud. The possibility to create duplicate data sets and store those across different geographical locations, ensures that data will never be lost. Business continuity is basically guaranteed as the data and applications can be quickly brought back online in a matter of hours, instead of weeks or months needed with locally stored files.
Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years
AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.
Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.
Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 15 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.
- Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
- Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.