What is Cloud Computing? Part 2

The following USA Today article takes a shot at defining Cloud computing:

This article primarily focuses on applications in the cloud. The author notes that in 2018 Oracle purchased Netsuite for a rather hefty sum of $9.3 billion.  NetSuite is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software package that runs in the Cloud. I’d rather not comment on what ERP software does because that is a pretty broad subject and that isn’t my bailiwick. Suffice it to say that Oracle bought Netsuite because it is a “cloud-based” application, which means that you connect to the Internet and run the program in a web-browser-like interface.  The article seems to imply that Oracle made the acquisition as part of their strategy to bolster their Cloud computing portfolio. I certainly wouldn’t argue the point.

But then the article tries to “define” cloud computing for the “uninitiated” reader. And this is where things get a little “wonky”. The author states,

“…cloud computing is the ability to do tasks over the Internet as opposed to having all the hardware and software on the machine that you or your colleagues are working on.”

Huh? Does this mean that you only need some of the hardware and software on the machine that you and your colleagues are working on? If so, which parts are required locally? If not, then how do you access the Cloud?

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What is Cloud Computing? Part 1

What is cloud computing? If you perform an Internet search, you will get a multitude of results, many from large companies like Microsoft, IBM and Amazon. Those companies offer tutorials and whitepapers that generally associate cloud computing with concepts like data storage, application hosting and server virtualization. With respect to applications and servers, the suggestion is that the cloud can be used for all of a user’s “compute” needs. These descriptions are entirely appropriate and, for large companies with specific needs, the cloud offers all of these capabilities and more. But what about small and medium sized businesses (SMBs)—companies with 10 to 500 employees? What does cloud computing offer those organizations? Over the next several months, I will create a series of posts in which I will explore this question and, hopefully, clarify the true power of cloud computing for SMBs. I will cover topics like data backup, fault tolerance, high-availability and disaster recovery—all of which become ubiquitously available when a cloud computing solution incorporating Desktop Virtualization is deployed.

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