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What Exactly Is The Cloud?

We’ve all heard of the cloud, and we’ve probably all used it, but what exactly is it?

 

 

Essentially, The Cloud is a shortened term for Cloud Computing, it refers to internet servers located in global data centres acting as one huge hard drive for all your files, software and applications. By connecting to the cloud via the internet, we can access our uploaded data in a quick and easy way without having to manually back up our information and physically maintain our own hardware. This is one of the leading reasons organisations are taking the route of the cloud as it provides a lower cost to entry for many organisations. Currently 90% of companies use some form of cloud service, with revenue reaching $150 billion in the first half of 2019 alone. Alongside businesses relying heavily on the cloud to store their data, a staggering 3.6 billion regular internet users reportedly accessed the cloud in 2018.

So whenever you sign into Microsoft OneDrive, Google Docs, iCloud or DropBox – you’re accessing the cloud. All these platforms utilise a form of cloud service to store and save information and keep them uploaded via the internet. Similarly, the way you access Netflix to watch favourite series and films via the internet – Netflix is running on servers to provide you with the selection of media. So next time you put on your favourite series – remember you’re using the cloud!

 

But what is it in more detail?  Well, the cloud is broken down into several services, those being;

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – A third-party provider can use the web to deliver apps to users through the internet. This is then accessed by clients usually paying on a subscription basis to access the service. Users of a SaaS do not have to worry about installing, maintaining or upgrading.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – A vendor provides its users with access to servers, networking and storage. IaaS provide a subscription like, pay-as-you-go service allowing users to own their own platforms and apps underneath the infrastructure. IaaS provides user organisations the scalability and cost-effective route of using their service as and when it’s needed.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Service providers provide users the ability to develop and manage their own applications run using an underlying infrastructure. Within this users can focus on their own management without the hassle of maintenance as this lies within the providers duties.

 

 

The cloud provides scalability and is a cost-effective option thanks to its monthly subscription payment plan – allowing users to pay for what they need, when they need it. In comparison to an on-premise solution where everything is payed up front plus the additional cost to operate, maintain and manage your own servers and software. Many businesses and organisations benefit from the cloud due to it being a safe and secure system – with servers located in data centres with extremely high security. 

Currently, one of the leading IaaS cloud computing services is Microsoft Azure, with 90% of Fortune 500 businesses currently using the service. ‘The Microsoft Azure website provides a directory of hundreds of different services you can use, including full virtual machines, databases, file storage, backups, and services for mobile and web apps.’

 

With Azure providing leading cloud technology, here at Blacklight we solve business and software solutions using the cloud giant. Why not contact our team and see what we can do for you. Feel free to call us on +44 1924 640350 or email at sales@blacklightsoftware.com for more information on our service.

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