Cloud computing is all the rage, offering small, medium or large businesses a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extending IT’s existing capabilities. Most Cloud services fall into two basic categories.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
This type of cloud computing delivers a single application through the browser to thousands of customers using a multitenant architecture. On the customer side, it means no upfront investment in servers or software licensing; on the provider side, with just one app to maintain, costs are low compared to conventional hosting. SaaS is offered in the form of enterprise applications, HR apps and has even worked its way up the food chain to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
This form of cloud computing offers storage and virtual servers that IT can access on demand. Some enterprise adopters mainly use utility computing for supplemental, non-mission-critical needs, but all have the option to replace parts of their datacenters with this growing service. Utility Computing can also be used to help IT create virtual datacenters from commodity servers, enabling IT to stitch together memory, I/O, storage, and computational capacity as a virtualized resource pool available over the network.
How consumers are actually using the cloud:
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