Introduction to Cloud Computing for Networks - dummies

Introduction to Cloud Computing for Networks

By Doug Lowe

The basic idea behind cloud computing is to outsource one or more of your networked computing resources to the Internet. “The cloud” represents a new way of handling common computer tasks. Following are a few examples of how the cloud way differs from the traditional way:

  • E-mail services

    • Traditional: Provide e-mail services is to install Microsoft Exchange on a local server computer. Then your clients can connect use Microsoft Outlook to connect to the Exchange server to send and receive e-mail.

    • Cloud: Contract with an Internet-based e-mail provider, such as Google Mail (Gmail). Cloud-based e-mail services typically charge a low monthly per-user fee, so the amount you pay for your e-mail service depends solely on the number of e-mail users you have.

  • Disk storage

    • Traditional: Set up a local file server computer with a large amount of shared disk space.

    • Cloud: Sign up for an Internet file storage service and then store your data on the Internet. Cloud-based file storage typically charges a small monthly per-gigabyte fee, so you pay only for the storage you use. The disk capacity of cloud-based storage is essentially unlimited.

  • Accounting services

    • Traditional: Purchase expensive accounting software and install it on a local server computer.

    • Cloud: Sign up for a web-based accounting service. Then all your accounting data is saved and managed on the provider’s servers, not on yours.