Cloud Platforms

Continent 8 Technologies advertised their Public Cloud IaaS platform in Gibraltar today so I thought why not explain a bit about it in simple non-geek terms. Here we go.

Remember the days when you got your first computer? Depending on your system which is still relevant even today, you would upload, access and even organise the software in a certain way. It all came with the MS-Dos computer in small plastic things called disks which took ages whirring away but eventually after much swapping you had a working computer, sort of. Commodore computers had some software already loaded up which made them popular as there was less preparation and more gaming happening. Then each year there was something new happening and we changed computers not because they didn’t work but because they got slow. Slow because all the stuff we crammed on their had to be filtered through to get to that one bit we needed. Then Apple had the “app” each stand alone so they could work without having to run through the mud of all the other unrelated software. That’s where we were.

Your desktop computer had all the software to make it work on the hard drive. Then from this point on everything you did on that computer had to be stored on it. Documents, spreadsheets, emails, you name it someone might need it … someday. Eventually the “back up” was invented to stop companies losing all their information on customers, etc etc if power went down or someone forgot to press “save” at the end of the day. Then a breakthrough. You could upload your data to somewhere else everynight which kept it safe and duplicated. This step started once the internet became more stable and cheaper. Data was stored elsewhere directly freeing space on the desktop computers and in turn keeping them quicker and the backup happening automatically overnight during the quieter hours, unless some fool turned the computer off before going home. Apple when they created the Icloud took it a step further and everything was automatically uploaded to the cloud, a mysterious space somewhere no one knew where. You still had a copy on your Mac but everything went up to the cloud, it was safe and all was good.

Your desktop computer had all the software to make it work on the hard drive. Then from this point on everything you did on that computer had to be stored on it. Documents, spreadsheets, emails, you name it someone might need it … someday. Eventually the “back up” was invented to stop companies losing all their information on customers, etc etc if power went down or someone forgot to press “save” at the end of the day. Then a breakthrough. You could upload your data to somewhere else everynight which kept it safe and duplicated. This step started once the internet became more stable and cheaper. Data was stored elsewhere directly freeing space on the desktop computers and in turn keeping them quicker and the backup happening automatically overnight during the quieter hours, unless some fool turned the computer off before going home. Apple when they created the icloud took it a step further and everything was automatically uploaded to the cloud, a mysterious space somewhere no one knew where. You still had a copy on your Mac but everything went up to the cloud, it was safe and all was good.

The next step. In the search for more computing speed the cloud was good but globally there are a lot of people and business has a lot of computers and they all need to keep their data safe. So the Cloud Platform arrived and is now spreading around the globe. There are many companies but the main three everyone knows. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform. There are others including IBM, Alibaba (China), Hewlett Packard, Dell, Cisco and others which is good for quality and cost reasons.

Why cloud computing? The easy answer is “flexibility and freedom” the list below can explain.

  • Accessible from anywhere — Applications and data are not tied to a device. They are accessible from anywhere, enabling real-time collaboration by remote teams.
  • Flexible and scalable — Cloud-based applications are infinitely customisable. It is easy to increase power, storage, and bandwidth as users’ needs change.
  • Cost-effective — Businesses only pay for what they use, usually on a per-month, per-seat basis. There is no hardware taking up space and using electricity 24/7.
  • Hassle-free updates — Web-based software is constantly updated. The vendor handles maintenance, backups, and troubleshooting.
  • Fast — Service is delivered on demand through a global network of secure data centres that are constantly upgraded for maximum efficiency and performance.
  • Secure — Information is not vulnerable to a flood, fire, natural disaster, or hardware failure in one location. Security protocols and infrastructure are constantly analysed and updated to address new threats.

Of course if you decide you want some of this before you make that decision you need to know what you want as a company. They say it makes things easier but as with all things computing the work is in the set up stage. For example there are different models offered depending on your requirements, on your budget and IT resources

Know The Difference Between IaaS, PaaS, And SaaS:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) delivers the hardware for cloud services, including servers, networking, and storage.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) gives you everything available with IaaS, plus the operating system and databases. 
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) offers the most support, providing your end users with everything except for their data.

You may not be aware but you are on the cloud all the time most of your phones operate up there and it is the reason that apple phones, iPads, macs and iMacs are so well connected they all get their information, your information, from your personal cloud which you set up when you buy an apple product. You don’t even care about the few pounds you give them each month store it and all your “selfies.”

WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram and Skype are all cloud based software all on your devices and all connected so you can use them from anywhere you log in. Devices these days are also connected across platforms. I have an android phone and store some stuff on my google drive. This app is also connected to my iPad and Mac so I can in fact cross platform my data if required and the software developers are realising that this is the way forward if they want to keep customers. We all want choices and Apple were getting kickback as were Google for forcing people to be dependant on their platform and not getting a choice. This is slowly changing and hopefully one day we all will be connected and they will all have operating systems that freely flow between each other. Yes I’m dreaming and hoping but currently they just want the money. Which is fair if they provide good service.

Hope this helps and thanks for reading.