What is the Cloud, Anyway? – The Simple Explanation

Earlier this week I sent out an email asking for your input on what you considered important on Cloud services. I received several replies back asking me what cloud services really are. I wanted to take this time to put together what I consider to be a simple explanation of Cloud services. In addition, I have also included a video that will go a bit further in explaining while still keeping it basic.

-What are cloud services?

-What are examples of cloud services?

-Where is the cloud? Private and public.

-What are the primary benefits of cloud services?

What are Cloud Services?

Typically cloud services do not require the end-user to know about the physical server location or configuration of the service. An easy way to help describe cloud services would be to compare it to the electrical power grid; you don’t need to know the technical side of it all…. you just plug in your device to a power outlet and it just works! On network diagrams, the internet is represented by a picture of a cloud. The cloud is actually nothing new. The idea has been around for decades. The primary reason why it did not become popular back then was because of technology restrictions…. like the internet speed. Now days everyone has broadband so this is no longer an issue.

What are examples of cloud services?

Cloud services are services that require little to no software to install and no configurations for the end-user. Usually you access these services by a web browser. Some very popular cloud services are Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail, and there is also Facebook. These cloud services can be used for personal or business use.

Where is the cloud? Private and Public.

As stated previously, the cloud and the internet can be considered the same thing. When you access Gmail you are connecting through the internet to Google’s servers that have been setup to provide and host all the Gmail services. Most cloud services are actual servers located in safe and secure buildings that companies have made publicly available for people to access through the internet. These cloud services would be considered public cloud services. But not all cloud services are available to the public. There are also private clouds. This is typically only accessed by internal company employees.

What Are the Primary Benefits of Cloud Serices?

Because cloud services typically do not require buying physical servers or purchasing, installing and configuring software, these are usually the first benefits you will notice. This can be a huge time and money saver for businesses. Another benefit of cloud services is that they can grow with your business; you only pay for what you use. Start small and as you grow your services can grow with you…. usually automatically! Your cloud can even grow and shrink to fit your business. There is also no equipment and infrastructure to invest in, maintain and fix when there are problems. These, along with many other benefits, can make it easy and affordable for businesses to use cloud services.

For a more detailed explanation of cloud services, watch the below short video. It aims at explaining cloud services in an easy to understand visual way.

If you need IT support for your small business, please contact us at 406-414-0532.

Does your business need cloud services? See what cloud services we have to offer.