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Four Ways to Look at Cloud Computing

Here are some ways we commonly look at cloud computing, not all of which are completely compatible with each other

Like other trends in technology, cloud computing is constantly being redefined and re-understood. The fact of the matter is that, while we have a general agreement on what cloud computing is, the term has come to mean many things to many people. The advent of cloud storage services and even Apple’s iCloud has only served to further muddy the waters, even in IT.

In the most basic sense, cloud computing refers to the use of an app or service that’s hosted in a non-traditional, non-server-based manner. In that sense, however, cloud computing is very broad, and perhaps that’s the right approach.

Here are some ways we commonly look at cloud computing, not all of which are completely compatible with one another:

  • Cloud computing as the way to solve past IT mistakes. For years, pundits have pushed cloud solutions as a way to get IT out of difficult situations. While that may be true, not all previous IT decisions that didn’t work out correctly did so because they didn’t use the cloud.
  • Cloud computing as data center outsourcing. There is a sense in which using cloud solutions allows an organization to outsource many of its data center functions. That being said, there are some basic IT services that will – and should – forever be housed internally. Add to that the fact that internal clouds are an option, and this definition makes less and less sense.
  • Cloud computing as virtualization. Virtualization has certainly made its impact on IT and the data center, just as cloud computing has done. Good cloud implementations will rely on virtualization technologies, but the two are not coterminous. There are some cloud solutions that shouldn’t run in a virtualized environment, and virtualization doesn’t automatically put something in the cloud.
  • Cloud computing as Internet based solutions. From the consumer perspective, cloud computing seems to be the use of specific services via the Internet. Certainly, you can make a case that online storage providers, or even implementations like QuickBooks Online are the only cloud solutions many consumers will ever see.

At its core, cloud computing is about the correct use of IT resources, about mitigating risk, and about providing users with the solutions they need when and where they need them.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.

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