What Is The Cloud?

The "cloud" simply refers to a network of servers. It is the space in which information, software, applications, and services are housed and accessed. More importantly, cloud computing is the term used to describe the delivery of these products and services over a network or the Internet. When users employ cloud technology, they are usually accessing a remote network in order to perform a task more efficiently. However, cloud computing can take on a large number of structures and styles.

Cloud computing and cloud technology have existed since the development of the Internet, but have become increasingly important over time. Cloud computing is still evolving, but it has already become a critical component in billions of daily operations. WHOA is leading the way as this technology evolves, employing our expertise and understanding of it to help all types of businesses.

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Why Use Cloud Computing?

Cloud technology allows both organizations and individuals to be more efficient. It enables faster, easier, and more cost-effective computing, all within a secure and customizable environment. Large organizations are able to develop services to fit the specific needs of their employees, members, and customers. Small organizations and individuals are empowered by taking advantage of services and capabilities that would otherwise be beyond their means. Every business and individual stands to benefit from incorporating cloud computing into their regular operations.

Who Uses Cloud Computing?

Many different types of businesses, organizations, governments, and even individuals are now using cloud computing in their daily operations. The types of business that utilize this technology range from large international corporations with thousands of employees, all the way down to small local businesses. In fact, over half of all U.S. businesses now use cloud computing, with the number expected to grow in the coming years. Cloud computing is becoming more versatile and mainstream; any business can benefit from its capabilities. WHOA specializes in working with businesses of all types to identify the ways in which they can become more successful through this technology.

Other types of organizations and governments have followed suit, and are steadily transitioning to cloud computing. In the education sector, schools, universities, and professional organizations have recognized the value of cloud computing, and now routinely utilize its capabilities. National, state, and local governments have also discovered the advantages of cloud computing, and are shifting more and more of their operations to this technology.

Finally, individuals are taking advantage of cloud computing on a daily basis. Nearly all of the most common personal computing tasks now involve cloud technology, and individual users are constantly finding new ways to take advantage. Whether on a computer, cell phone, or another type of mobile device, everyone from a highly tech-savvy user to a beginner can exploit cloud technology and benefit.

Types Of Cloud Computing

There are three forms of cloud computing: public clouds (also referred to as enterprise clouds), private clouds, and hybrid clouds. Users are able to select the most appropriate type and fit it to their needs.

Public Clouds

A network that offers its services to the public is known as a public cloud. Public clouds typically exist at remote sites, where they can be accessed by subscribing organizations or individuals, but they may take on many different forms. Public clouds offer a high level of efficiency through the sharing of resources, while still providing users the benefits of customizability. In addition to larger businesses and organizations, small organizations and individuals can leverage the benefits of a public network to expand their capabilities and potential. The public cloud offerings of WHOA are comprehensive and customizable, allowing your organization to create the most appropriate model.

Private Clouds

A private cloud exists to serve a single organization or network, but may be structured in a variety of ways. Private clouds are often maintained on a private network, and offers their services for users in that network. These clouds may be managed internally within an organization, or hosted by third-parties, either internally or externally. Private clouds offer a very high level of security, and provide the utmost control and customizability. Though they may not be practical for all small organizations, they are extremely valuable to large organizations and corporations, which routinely employ their services. By leveraging our public cloud capabilities, WHOA can create a highly secure private cloud environment for organizations with ultra-sensitive information.

Hybrid Clouds

A third type of cloud integrates private and public clouds into a distinct network, which is known as a hybrid cloud. Hybrid clouds typically aim to combine the features and advantages of private and public clouds. They strive to offer a high level of customizability without burdensome complexity or costs. Organizations are empowered to devise the most efficient environment possible for their requirements. WHOA is fully prepared to work with organizations in need of hybrid cloud solutions, and we are well equipped to build an environment to your specifications.

Common Cloud Computing Services

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

This type of service delivers the advantages of the provider's computers to its users. Under the IaaS model, the cloud provider offers users remote access to its server, hardware, and storage capabilities. These resources are housed off-site, freeing users from the responsibilities associated with their storage and maintenance.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

The PaaS model of cloud computing involves offering the provider's computing platforms to users. Such platforms commonly include operating systems, databases, web servers, and a variety of applications. Users are not responsible for the complex integration of hardware and software within these platforms, and are able to collaborate on the networks, allowing for a scattered workforce.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

The most common cloud model accessed by individuals, SaaS offers users access to applications stored on a remote network. Users are permitted to take advantage of complex applications that would be impractical or impossible to run on a single computer. Everything from highly technical to basic interactive software may be rendered available on the individual level, giving users the ability to perform both complicated tasks and mainstream functions.

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)

The NaaS model is less commonly identified, but is a unique offering in that it delivers network services to its subscribers. These services are offered virtually and are frequently accessed via a monthly subscription or pay-for-use basis. Subscribers need not assemble their own network of computers, and can utilize the service as needed.

Advantages Of Cloud Computing

The benefits of cloud computing are plentiful. Businesses, organizations, and individuals of every type are able to take advantage of the technology in a number of ways. Among the most evident and common advantages offered by cloud computing are:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: The pooling of resources within a cloud enables users to perform tasks that would be impossible on their own. Furthermore, users are able to complete such tasks with relatively little investment or expenditure, instead relying upon the collective benefits that exist within the network.
  • Security and Privacy: Companies that offer cloud computing services rely heavily on their reputations to provide safe, secure, and private networks. Their ability to provide such networks is paramount, and motivates them to employ the best technology available, which is beyond the reach of many organizations.
  • Speed and Power: Access to a network of computers allows individual users to utilize its collective capability. Through these combined resources, information may be transmitted more quickly, and complex computations can be performed.
  • Scalability: Cloud computing providers allow their users to tailor the available services to individual purposes. Organizations and individuals can pick and choose which features fit their needs, and use them in the most appropriate and effective manner. Users are able to easily upscale or downscale their capabilities based on changing needs.
  • Flexibility: Public clouds are typically accessible from any location, allowing for quick and convenient access to their services. Likewise, private clouds are generally accessible from multiple outlets within an organization. Individuals are empowered to collaborate online, reducing costs and logistical complications.
  • Usability: Clouds are designed to be user-friendly and easy to use. As their services are provided to a number of different organization and individuals, they must maintain a high level of usability. Usually access can be gained quickly, without the need for complicated installation.
  • Better Software: Rather than constantly upgrading, installing, and researching software, users of cloud computing delegate this responsibility to the cloud service provider. In turn, they are granted access to the best, most up-to-date software and technology without the administrative costs or technical complications and risks.
  • Technical Support: If a computing problem develops, organizations are able to rely on the expertise and support provided by their cloud service. A quick resolution is handled by knowledgeable experts, while users are able to spend their time focusing on regular responsibilities.
  • Time-Saving: As clouds are created, maintained, and updated by the service provider, they save users from otherwise-significant time and cost considerations.
  • Space-Saving: By nature, the design of clouds saves space and storage costs by housing a network of computers and services at a remote location. Users need not maintain a large number of computers and the associated storage space, instead relying on the cloud provider to handle this responsibility.
  • Financial Planning: The costs of cloud computing are typically fixed or can be reasonably predicted. Subscribers often pay a monthly service fee, and are able to accurately predict this expenditure. The uncertainty, demands, and fear that may result from self-maintenance are virtually eliminated.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Through the shared use of a network, computing is done more efficiently and thereby uses less energy. Energy consumption and carbon emission may be cut by 30 percent or more through cloud computing.

As evidenced by the length and diversity of this list, cloud computing offers its users a plethora of advantages that would be otherwise unobtainable. In fact, it is impossible to recount all of the ways in which cloud computing empowers the organizations it serves, as every user is unique and can benefit accordingly. Almost every single business, organization, and individual is able to profit from the use of cloud computing in some way.

Common Uses Of Cloud Computing

The implications of cloud computing are vast, and given the rapid, ongoing development in this technology, its use will become more and more widespread. From the largest corporations to individual users, people are relying on cloud computing more than ever. Among the most common uses of cloud computing today are:

  • File storage and sharing
  • File backup and disaster recovery
  • Email services
  • Database management
  • Web site hosting
  • Software and platform applications usage
  • eCommerce
  • Advertising
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Testing and development
  • Popular media usage
  • Renting services
  • Short-term projects and periodic capacity-enhancement
  • Editing documents
  • Global collaboration

While this list highlights the most common uses of cloud computing, it does not entail all of the diverse ways in which this technology may be utilized.

Nearly every business, organization, government, and individual stands to benefit from cloud computing, and has the ability to translate this ever-developing technology into improved efficiency and success.

What Is The Role Of WHOA?

After considering the purposes and characteristics of cloud computing, think about the multitude of ways in which WHOA can help you to improve your business. We are experienced in working with organizations to build the right cloud environment for their needs, and we have the industry-leading technology and infrastructure to meet even the most complex demands.WHOA has positioned itself at the forefront of this exciting and developing technology through its world-class technology, carefully designed infrastructure, and personalized, customer-centric approach to business. Pairing the expertise and capabilities of WHOA with your business will unlock its full potential.