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Cloud computing part 1 - What is cloud computing?

In this series of blog posts, I intend to explain about Cloud computing, its uses and the benefits to businesses like yours.

If you haven't heard of cloud computing by now then you soon will as it is a very interesting development within the IT industry. It is likely to change the way that we use our computers and software in the future and appears to be on it's way to the main stream very soon.

To put its simply, Cloud computing is the concept that most of your computing resources (server, software, storage etc) will reside in the "Cloud" rather than in your office and you will connect to and use them when needed. The Cloud is basically the web and all the resources your require will be located centrally within a data centre somewhere in the world.

Rather than the need to buy costly servers and software, hold them within your office and keep them maintained, all of these services are outsourced to another company and your users access them over the web. You would simply subscribe to a service on the internet and pay on a monthly basis based on the number of users you have.

A good example of this is Salesforce.com which is a CRM software that is based entirely on the web. Your users can access this data from anywhere in the world through a web browser and all data is taken care of for you. There is no need to keep the software updated, that data is backed up on a regular basis and there are no upfront hardware costs to host it.

Its not just specialised software that will reside on the Cloud. Microsoft recently announced that they plan to offer a free web based version of it's Office software so users will find themselves working on the web for day-to-day tasks such as word processing and desktop publishing.

What does this mean for the future?

Users will be sat in front of 'Thin' clients which will be nothing more than a box with an operating system and a screen. They will then connect to the cloud with a username and password and they will be presented with all the programmes they need based on their profile. If they need access to another application, there will be no need to buy another piece of software and install it on their computer. An administrator will simply grant permission for that user to access the program and they will have instant access. This is also known as "Software as a service".

Files will be saved to a central server which is similar to the way many work now, except the server and files will be available anywhere in the world as they will reside on the Cloud.

It will even be possible to have your desktop, programs, emails and files on any computer at any location in the world provided it has an internet connection, all delivered through a web browser. The possibilities really are endless.

In the next post, I'll look at the benefits of cloud computing to your business.
Posted: Tuesday 14 July 2009 17:22:39 by Global Administrator with 0 comments
Categories: IT Support
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