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What is cloud computing (SaaS)



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What is cloud computing

You've probably heard the term cloud computing but never really understood what it means...after all, what do clouds have to do with IT?

One way to think about the cloud, is to treat it as another word for online.

SO storing you data on the clous, is another way of saying you store your data online.

As an example, think of email.

In the past, if you had an email account, in the past your email was downloaded and stored on your computer. If you lost your computer, you lost your email.

Now however, things have gotten easier. With web based emails like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, your Email sits on their servers, and you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection. In other words your email is on the 'cloud'.

So things like Gmail and Yahoo email, could be thought of as email on the cloud.

It's the same for storing photos, in the past you'd store photos on your computer, and if you lost your computer---you'd lose your photos.

Now, we have things like Flickr that allow you store your photos online--or in other words store your photos on the cloud.

Email and photo storage are just examples of the many things we do online these days, we have accounting software, video editing software and even word processing software all operated online.

With things like Google Docs and Office 365, we've even moved word processing and excel spreadsheets online, so that you create, edit, and save all your documents on the 'cloud'. The only software you need installed on your computer would be a web browser, and that's it.

There are good reasons to do this. first, companies like flickr, Microsoft and Google, are far better at keeping and archiving data then you. So it's far less likely that you'll lose your photos or documents due to a hard-disk crash or a stolen laptop.

Second, you don't have to worry about updates, since the software sits on the cloud. The cloud providers usually take care of the software for you, updates and all.

Lastly is price. Unlike traditional software that you install on your computer, cloud offerings have a different pricing model. So instead of forking out Rm500 for a copy of Microsoft office you just pay Rm29 a month for Microsoft Office, sure in the long run this may work out to be more, but you can always cancel a subscription after a month, or two months, but you can't cancel a CD you bought from Microsoft. Plus the added benefits of being able to view your documents anywhere in the world, on any machine, and not having to worry about updating the software means a lot of people and especially companies prefer the cloud computing model.

This is the simplest form of cloud computing that offers the entire software as a service or more commonly known as SaaS.Which is the predominant type of cloud computing.

Now just like software, this is offered as a service rather than a one time deal. SO you can buy a lot of computing power for a couple weeks, days or even hours, and return it after you're done.

It's easy to see why IaaS is so popular with IT folks, and we'll cover that in future videos.

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