The concept is easy, though the execution is another story. In simple terms, you are using the internet to connect to a provider’s database or programming. You rent these services on a pay per use or subscription basis, and can access them at any time.
And, if you are dealing with a good provider, that should be about what you see. But you should know what is going on behind the scenes, especially if you are going to be using a cloud server for business and personal reasons. You are sharing what you are doing and your information with this service and that is not a step that should be taken lightly.
The hosting service has the ability to offer programs, storage, database services and other applications from their servers. You are simply logging into those systems so that you can use them from an internet connection. If you are using an illustrating software suite, for instance, instead of having the program on the computer, the program is on their computer and you are simply accessing it. Work is saved both locally and on the cloud, at least in most instances.
The database and data storage are set up the same way. One of the big advantages of doing it like this is mobile accessibility. This gives a company a way to make layers of information available to separate parts of the company or to people that are out of the office. If an important file is completed while the project specialist is on the plane, he still has instant access to the file when it is needed – no need to email it or get someone at the company to do something with it, it is simply there for who needs it.
The payment method is also going to depend on exactly what you are doing with the cloud; if it is just a storage and accessibility method, then a subscription service is going to be the norm. If, on the other hand you need access to specific programs, like the illustration program above, it may be better to rent the program on a per use basis, since once you are done with the current project or task it may be months or longer before you need that program again.
Most providers are like Macquarie Telecom; they provide scalable layers of service and ability depending on your exact needs. Utility programs like database programs, spreadsheets and other specialty software that are needed on a more regular basis can be folded into a subscription service.
That adaptability and scalability is one of the things that make cloud computing so powerful, and there are different permutations of the cloud that are specifically geared towards different business needs. The one described here is known as SaaS, or Software as a Service. There is also Platform as a Service, Network as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and more. IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service is one of the most basic uses of the cloud, and can include simpler software, storage and analysis features and more.
Depending on exactly what you need, the cloud service providers will be able to offer you a custom suite of services if one of their packages does not fit your needs. This should give you a basic understanding of how these services are put together and how they operate. This information should help you as you talk to a professional to see whether these services can be of use to you.
For a variety of cloud services, Macquarie Telecom has multiple solutions to suit your specific needs.