It’s common knowledge that if you are looking into spending money on anything that’s considered an investment, or comes with a high price tag, you should be aware of, and knowledgeable about what they are actually purchasing. This may sound obvious but there are many products and services that have terminology associated with them that seem impressive, yet few people actually knows that the words really mean. Take for example the cloud: It’s not uncommon to hear terms bandied about by experts and for customers to be bowled over by the language without any real understanding. However, knowing a bit more about the terminology should make you better able able to make informed decisions.
To start you off with a greater understanding of the cloud, here is an overview of six common cloud related terms:
1. Cloud computing
This term, often used interchangeably with ‘the cloud’, can be a hard concept to nail down, especially since there are numerous definitions of what it is out there. The most common explanation is that it is the practice of connecting to remote servers, (usually not located in your company, building, or even town), usually over the Internet, to access programs, store or even process data. The key point to be aware of here is that when using the cloud, the system is not ordinarily hosted on your computer or servers.
If you have ever stored or uploaded files to an online storage site like Google Drive, Box or DropBox, you have utilized the cloud.
As in reality, cloudburst can mean something either positive or negative. If it is used in a positive manner this means: The movement of a private system or program, usually hosted and run within an organization’s systems or servers, to a public service, in order to accommodate increased demand. This is usually a short term solutions, whereby once demand decreases the system will revert back to being private. Not many small businesses utilize this possibility, but if you work with an IT partner, there is a chance this may happen.
The negative meaning of a cloudburst is to define a failure of a cloud system due to its inability to handle demand. Some examples of this would be a favorite retail site crashing under holiday demand.
This is the act of bringing multiple cloud systems together in one environment. An example of this, on a business level, is using one cloud based solution for company email, another for customer facing systems and yet another for support. To many, cloudstorming is as simple as utilizing more than one different cloud system to do your multi-faceted job.
4. Private cloud
A cloud system is usually used exclusively within a company. Currently, most private clouds are utilized by large companies and data centers. However, with advancements in technology, there are servers that enable many small businesses to host an internal cloud, e.g., a company storage solution that accessed over the Internet.
This type of cloud is also commonly known as an ‘internal cloud’.
5. Public cloud
An external cloud system can be used by any person or company, as well as anyone in the general public. It can usually be accessed from anywhere, through a browser or app installed on a mobile device or computer. An example of this type of cloud includes the numerous cloud storage services like DropBox and SugarSync.
6. Cloud portability/portable
This means that a service or function can be moved to or from the cloud. This also is used to indicate that a system and data can be moved from one cloud to another, regardless of the type.
There are some pretty confusing terms associated with the cloud, so if you are feeling overwhelmed by all the terms flying around, contact us today. We can sit down with you and take the time to explain the services in terms that you can understand.