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What Is Cloud Computing?


In computing lingo, the cloud is simply another word for the public internet. Drawing diagrams of large-scale computer networks, planners and system administrators often use a fluffy cloud to represent the internet, either outside the corporate networks, or as a link between far-flung systems. It looks something like this:

  • Cloud Servers

  • Hyperscalers


  • Public Cloud

  • Hybrid Cloud

  • Private Cloud

  • Cloud Storage

  • Cloud Backup

  • Office 365

The term caught on in the mid-2000s, when Amazon launched the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) at the core of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) product. A decade later, AWS and EC2 are still the services to beat in the general cloud-computing market, with Microsoft's Azure Cloud trailing far behind, and a smattering of even-smaller players on the far horizon.

So what do these services do? Glad you asked.

Cloud computing actually comes in many different, but related, flavors.

  • Infrastructure as a service (often shortened to IaaS) refers to running complete systems in a central location (or dispersed across many cloud-connected data centers). Clients can connect to these full Windows, Linux, or Unix installations to run whatever applications and data bases they need. The service provider manages the bare-metal hardware or virtual computing platforms, leaving clients free to focus on the programs they need to run.

  • Platform as a service (PaaS) takes the cloud systems another step further away from the client, offering a managed computing platform where programs and apps can be installed, and then accessed over the internet. Here, it's up to the service provider to take care of the operating system and other support software. Clients use fully baked application programming interfaces (or APIs), and often don't know or care whether the underlying system is running Windows or Linux.

  • Software as a service (SaaS) goes even further. In this model, the service provider already installed and configured the application. Clients connect to (and often pay for) that fully managed installation. It could be a central database, a complete customer relationship platform, an inventory system, or a blogging framework, just to name a few popular examples. Whatever you or your company needs, there's probably a SaaS solution to the problem.

Is the Cloud right for your business? 
Which systems in your business belong in the Cloud and which do not? 
Which providers should you invest in and how do you make the transition? 
These are all questions that Manhattan Business Systems can help your IT and financial teams determine and take your business to the next level quickly and securely.

According to Forbes magazine 83% of enterprise computing will be cloud based by 2020, with 66% of senior IT professionals claiming security is their prime motivation for migrating. Many organizations also do not have staff qualified to either migrate nor maintain cloud-based systems. A recent survey reveals that 41% of digital tasks will be run on public cloud platforms by 2020 with 20% on private cloud systems and another 22% running on hybrid platforms. In-house computing and digital equipment will shrink from 37% today to around 27%.

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