Cloud computing is definitely what’s hot, but it’s not just a trend. In the information age everybody needs to store data and using a virtual space makes nothing but good sense.
Cloud computing gives you the ability to store data without having to own the hardware. It also gives you access to those files through the Internet, meaning that you can retrieve them anytime, anywhere. You can share them, edit and store them without ever needing your hard drive.
That’s because they’re stored on someone else’s. You are outsourcing storage and computing software and paying for them as a service rather than a product. Cloud computing offers Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), all through the cloud.
Cloud computing companies offer you the service which you can often get free with a limited amount of space. For greater capacity or business needs you can pay for the service on a per-use basis, just as a utility. You can potentially get top quality service and storage at a small fraction of the cost of setting it up on site.
In the recent years cloud computing has really taken off, causing loads of start-ups and smaller companies to pop up offering cloud services. The vast majority of users, however opt to use bigger cloud computing providers which they may already be using for other services.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular cloud computing companies and what they have to offer.
Known as a real pioneer in cloud computing, Amazon has offered its customers cloud computing services since 2006. It began by using the technology for its own use and for its customers to take advantage of its other products and services. Providing the technology as a service to the customer for personal use was a logical next move.
Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offers online computing capacity whereas the Simple Storage Service (S3) provides storage capacity on demand to meet the growing and fluctuating needs of the user.
Amazon is still one of the biggest names in cloud computing, despite the fact that there have been questions about their reliability in the past. Amazon’s customers find it convenient to add the service on to the other services they use from the company.
GoGrid has made a name for itself in the cloud storage and compute market by offering storage and the virtual servers (Windows and Linux) being deployed quickly onto the cloud. GoGrid is one of Amazon’s main competitors.
No one has to explain to you that Google has a habit of being on the cutting edge of user gratification. If there’s a way to make life easier for the customer, they’re anxious to find it. And they have, repeatedly. They have been offering various cloud computing services for years from Google Docs, and the ability to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations and share them.
Google also has Google Apps, which is a set of online office tools such as email, website creation, calendar, and word processing: all the basics for office productivity.
The Google App Engine is a PaaS which allows the user to create and host applications on Google’s infrastructure. As a matter of fact, the App Engine offers a viable alternative to PaaS from other services and is popular among developers.
AT&T; offers cloud computing as a natural addition to the telcom services they already provide. With all the infrastructure already in place, they are able to offer the application hosting service Synaptic Hosting with access to virtual storage and servers as well as networking and security functions.
So far we’ve touched on a few of the major and well known cloud computing companies, but there are a wide array of newer companies specializing in cloud computing, too. Some of these have made great headway in the field and have a very promising future.
Some startups just from within the last year or two include the likes of Domo, with their goal being to help business executives to get information when they want it and how they want it.
Social Dynamax allows businesses and workers in contact centers to organize and respond to messages and other communication from users. It opens a way for them monitor and analyze relative communications put up on facebook, Twitter and other sites.
OneOps is a cloud provider that offers you a way to manage all of your apps centrally, regardless of their different attributes. This would be done in the same way that infrastructure services are available in the cloud.
These are just some of the many cloud computing providers large and small. Each have their pros and cons or their specific usage. There is a whole world of cloud computing companies and one or more of them is sure to offer exactly what any client is looking for.