If present trends are any indication, cloud computing will continue to play an important role in the future of both data storage and providing computing services to individual users and businesses alike. A cloud is basically a network of computers that are accessed through the internet.
Cloud computing companies manage all of the hardware and allow users to access their storage and applications through the internet for an affordable fee. This model of computing through pooled resources offers businesses scalable resources without the cost of maintenance, hardware upgrades, and other costs associated with relying on internal hardware.
At a glance, cloud computing negates the need for a large, complex, and expensive internal infrastructure for businesses that depend on computers for data storage, communication, and other tasks. At the single user level, it offers unprecedented access to data storage and daily-use applications .
One current discussion related to cloud computing is whether one should access a public or a private cloud.
Many companies are offering their services through a public cloud because they have recognized the growing trend among users of using the internet for all of their daily computing needs. A computing cloud means that a user will have access to all of their files that are stored on the cloud from wherever in the world they have an internet connection, as well as any software and web applications that are supported by the cloud.
This minimizes the need for bulky and expensive home storage devices, and allows the user to take advantage of the cost savings offered through access to the cloud.
A key advantage of using a public cloud is that users can easily scale storage to meet growing or diminishing needs. If, for example, a clients needs double the amount of storage, they simply contact the cloud provider, pay the adjusted fee, and instantly have access to the additional space.
A simple phone call can now accomplish what would once require upgrading a complex technological infrastructure. The data storage is also very secure, especially in comparison to tape and other outmoded storage methods, and is regularly maintained by IT professionals.
A private computing cloud is essentially an emulation of the public cloud model, but within a private, restricted setting. Unlike public clouds, private clouds are not necessarily managed by a third party, and therefore depends upon a business’s own network infrastructure. Updating the private cloud’s capacity requires adding a new server and other upgrades to the network hardware.
While setting up a private cloud gives one more control over implementation, it has the distinct disadvantage of having no third party support or management; in some cases, businesses choose to employ both a public and private cloud.
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