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What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is simply described as utilizing software resources from the internet instead of locally on a workstation. A similar concept is a small business that has an application server on their local network. This application server houses enterprise software such as Microsoft office or a custom designed software for that business. All the employees access the software from their workstations but no software is installed on the workstations. All the software and licensing is stored on the server.

With Cloud computing, the server is not on the local network but on the internet. This is where it gets the name CLOUD from. The cloud is a representation of the internet where we do not know where the servers physically are. We could have a server sitting somewhere in California, while our employee’s in Florida are accessing the software or share files. We could also have one server or several servers in a cloud configuration.

The benefit of cloud computing is the reduced cost and maintenance of the software. Just like an application server on a local area network, the cloud application server software can be updated and maintained in one location. Companies utilizing the cloud services will not need to understand the complex technology behind cloud computing since the equipment is not on site. Most of the cloud servers are residing in vast data centers and have the ability to leverage the resources of several servers to provide fast application response and processing. Disaster recovery is greatly improved since the service can fail over to another server if on breaks down and needs repair. An effective cloud design will have redundant servers in not just one but multiple locations for maximum business continuity.

Companies can save on costs and support for installing application on multiple workstations. Business can make Tele-work more of a reality for their employees. You are no longer tied to the LAN for security. The cloud servers are as secure as an application server on a local network. Accessing the cloud services can be from a desktop, laptop or mobile device.

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