Getting Started With The Cloud
So yes cloud computing, cloud services and cloud-based solutions are becoming common vernacular in the IT world, but a lot of people still don’t entirely know what they mean. In simple definitions, a cloud is a physical server that’s being used either as a file storage space, or as a virtual network house that contains virtual machines, virtual switches and basically a whole virtual environment altogether. Common cloud storage spaces that are used today would include Google Drive and Dropbox, although Google does have a Google Apps program where users access office software over the internet without installing any of it on their own machines and that too is a cloud-based platform, and now Adobe and Microsoft also run their office suites over the cloud too.
Hosting The Cloud
Companies are starting to outsource server space and usage to other companies who need it. In the past, whenever a company needed to grow its network infrastructure, they would often end up having to buy more physical servers, more desktop workstations, and more routers and switches to be able to accommodate demands for more space and resources. But now with cloud computing out there, a company can simply rent a cloud from another company and have their operating systems and applications hosted in that cloud and make for easy access to them. This benefits both companies because for the hosting company, instead of having to scale back operations try to get rid of machines that are being used less, they can lease them out to other companies for a fee and capitalize on them, and the other company will be paying less than they would by buying more physical machines.
Building A Cloud Server
You probably have heard of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Rackspace as the most common cloud-hosting companies out there, but you could build a cloud server yourself if you have a machine that’s available to do so. You’d simply make sure that your network address translation devices are pointing to this machine so that client computers can access it, as well as devices from outside the local area network if you are planning to make it remotely available. Then once you’re all setup, you install the cloud server platform on the hosting server just like you would an operating system, and once that’s done your client machines will be accessing the server with client software to manage the virtual machines or applications that will be running on that server.