Cloud Computing in Everyday Life

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I recently received an email from my Auto Manufacturer containing a report about my car’s ‘health’. I initially thought it was just a typical service email, or maybe it was some covert email to try and sell me a new car, product, or other offering from a local dealer. As a matter of fact, it was neither.

It was in fact, the result of me configuring the system in my car to use my phone for hands free operations like calling and music streaming. One of the options I must have set was for the car to report information back to the manufacturer about the car every month or so. This information includes mileage, oil life, and most likely other ‘information’ about the car’s health. Among other functionality in my life, my car is now talking to the ‘Cloud’.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing whether we like it or not is here to stay in one form or another. Everyday life activities such as Banking, Email, Media Streaming, and Ecommerce all use the Cloud. On the Business side, Applications, Infrastructure, Storage, and Sales/CRM all have their presence out in the Cloud. Cloud computing is essentially the offering of an application or service that is offered over numerous devices, or locations. This offering can be provided over three different types of Cloud Computing. They are Private, Hybrid, and Public Cloud. Private would be based solely on the vendor’s facility, while Hybrid would augment this location with some public facilities. Public Cloud would be provided totally on the outside by a vendor like Amazon, or Microsoft. Some of these services have acronyms that may or may not fully explain their purpose.  Below are some of the most popular with a brief description.

SaaS – Software as a ServiceCloud Computing

We’ve all be using SaaS for quite a while now. As a matter of fact, most people don’t even realize that they are unwittingly using the ‘Cloud’ for day-to-day activities. SaaS could be classified as any web based software, or hosted software like webmail. Webmail, like Hotmail (now Outlook.com) goes back at least 20 years. Apple iCloud, Gmail, Dropbox, Salesforce could all be classified as SaaS. From a support aspect, if the application is web based, there is usually no extra software that needs to be installed on a local device. Sometimes there may be a client portion installed on a mobile device to help make the application more ‘usable’ on that specific device’s footprint, but support should be minimal.

PaaS – Platform as a Service

Think web & database. PaaS could best be described as taking your own software/service, which could include both web sites & your database backend and placing them in a ‘logical’ central location up in the Cloud. This could be for production sites, or even for development work. Now, this central location does not have to be in one physical location, but like other Cloud services could be spread across multiple physical locations that are serviced by a Cloud provider. Heroku, Amazon’s AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and Microsoft Azure Cloud services are some examples of PaaS providers.

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Think of IaaS as your remote datacenter. IaaS could even be thought of as an extension of PaaS. Companies like Rackspace, Amazon, and Microsoft can provide compute, network, and storage to help your company do business. This ability can be all encompassing, or on an as needed basis to supplement your existing infrastructure. This can include virtual machines via Hyper-V, VMware, or other virtualization technologies, as well as, Block, and File storage. Cost savings can be achieved, as the cost of local data center expansion and improvement are not needed, because resources will now be offloaded to a cloud provider.

BaaS – Backup as a Service

The preservation of critical data on our local devices should always be at the upmost priority. Whether it be family pictures, videos, financial, or other personal data, there should always be a backup available. Yes, you can always attach a thumb drive, or external hard drive for backup, but these devices are usually local to the device being backed up. If there is a ‘disaster’ that is local, all that data is at risk as well. This is much more difficult especially when using a mobile/portable device like your phone or tablet. While there are many consumer versions of these types of services, many companies like Crashplan, Carbonite, Backblaze, and Mozy, also offer business level services. On the flip side, there are just ‘Business’ level providers like Veritas that will work with other Cloud storage providers. Some of these services even offer connectivity to mobile devices. No Tape Drives needed.

DRaaS – Disaster Recovery as a Service

Not to be confused with BaaS, DRaaS will not only provide for backup of sensitive data, but for business continuity as well. This being that besides recovery of data from the cloud, businesses can actually bring up their production or development environment in the Cloud if there is a local disaster. This DR location could be at the DR Service’s own location, or even in one of the prominent Cloud storage areas like Azure, AWS, or Google.

Demystify the Cloud

Need further experience and knowledge with Cloud Computing? CCSI leverages technology to inspire innovation, promote growth, drive efficiency, and accelerate our clients’ success. Learn about cloud solutions and how they can help with risk mitigation. Discuss how cloud solutions like DRaaS can turn back time against a ransomware attack. Contact CCSI today.