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What to Expect from Cloud Computing at a Budget

Cloud computing has proven to be very beneficial to a lot of people for commercial or personal uses. It helps one access files through the Internet while also having a reliable backup storage online. Of course, people can still use hardware for keeping files, but the convenience that online access to files you’ve synced in the cloud is something you can only enjoy when availing of cloud backup services.

what to expect from cloud computing There are free and paid cloud computing services available online. Usually, individuals who use free cloud computing are those who have personal files they want to save for safekeeping through online backup storage. Free cloud storage may offer anywhere from 5 GB up to 10 GB or even more free space depending on the terms of the cloud service provider you choose.

For businesses in particular though, free cloud storage may not quite cut it. Because of this, cashing out may be necessary for businesses so that they can enjoy some perks which cannot be experienced from free cloud storage. There are different cloud storage plans available from various cloud storage service providers, and these come with different features and different prices. However, what if you have only a certain amount of money to spend, and you have nothing more to allot for cloud storage? To give you an idea, here’s what to expect from cloud computing on a budget:

More storage space – This is definitely a perk when you finally decide to spend money on your cloud computing services. You should, however, remember that your additional cloud storage space will depend on how much you are paying. More money means more space, and if you need quite a lot of space, you might get disappointed when you only have a small amount of money to allot for cloud computing.

Relatively affordable monthly rates – Monthly rates for cloud storage services are relatively affordable, but you should be mindful of renewal rates and other hidden costs. The cloud service provider will definitely want you to keep upgrading, so be wary of offers and possible popups which may lead to you spending more on their services. Be prepared to wade through enticing emails asking you to upgrade or reminders for upgrades while using your paid cloud storage services.

Security details – Free cloud computing is usually secure although there are still risks when it comes to saving files online. With cloud computing that’s paid, you get some added levels of protection from your cloud which gives your files a bit more safeguarding from external threats. Of course, more expensive cloud storage packages can certainly come with tighter security features, but you can expect some additional security from paid cloud storage, even if it’s the most basic package.

Cloud computing at a budget may seem limited compared to more expensive packages, but it would give you a good preview of how more expensive packages would be from your cloud service provider. Have you tried availing cloud services at a budget? We’d like to hear about your experiences!

What are the Limitations in Cloud Computing Basics?

Technology has indeed come up with a lot of convenient solutions which help people keep up with the advancements in today’s society. Cloud computing for instance allows people to upload and download files to the cloud and access them later. It allows people to have a secure storage option which does not depend on hardware. Cloud computing basics are actually quite easy, and most internet users have already been using the cloud when they upload files online.

cloud computing basics It is true that the cloud gives its users a lot of benefits including but are not limited to: a great amount of online storage, real-time syncing, and ease of file upload and retrieval among others. However, despite the conveniences that the cloud computing basics can give to its many users, there are still limitations to this technology. It cannot be denied how useful the cloud is, but to avoid disappointments, knowing about its limitations can help its users. Being aware of these limitations may also help a person be more prepared when it comes to avoiding potential hassles which may result from the shortcomings of the cloud. Here are the top limitations of cloud computing and cloud backup services:

No network connection, no access

– This is the top limitation of using the cloud. You can only access whatever you store in the cloud when you are connected to the Internet. There are times when the files which have been previously synced can be accessed from your device, but uploading is definitely a problem when you do not have access to the Internet. The cloud works on the assumption that the user has reliable and usually fast internet connection. Without this, there is the inconvenience of not being able to access files.

Data security in public clouds

– When people use public clouds, they have no control over the security of the data that they upload. A public cloud can be used by any interested individual who has access to the internet, and this makes whatever information uploaded online susceptible to hacking and other risks when malicious third parties want to use photos and files for their personal gain.

Loss risks

– Cloud service providers usually have great backup systems, but should there ever be a mass breakdown of the systems, including their backup options, there is a risk of losing files permanently if they are stored solely on the cloud. This is why cloud backup should be used mainly as backup, not as permanent storage.

Application integration difficulties

– Not all providers of cloud services offer easy to integrate systems—some don’t even have this option. This may become hard for those who only know the cloud computing basics and not the nitty-gritty that comes with making applications work seamlessly with one another. Integration may be hard, and using hardware and other office peripherals such as printers may also be a hassle when the files are stored in the cloud.

Additional costs

– There are a lot of cloud service providers and they also offer free cloud services. However, if clients would like more security or perhaps more space, additional costs come in which may actually be surprising if you’re expecting really great deals for free.

Have you experienced any of these limitations from using the cloud? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

What are Cloud Computing Malls?

cloud computing mallsIn this day and age, it is rare to find someone who hasn’t heard of the cloud and as more and more people get in the cloud, developers are also clamoring to improve cloud technology. As it gets better and better, things that were previously just dreams are starting to show up and one of those is cloud computing malls. Now, do not feel too bad if you do not know much about these cloud computing malls as they are still somewhat new and are just on the early stages of development. However, this is where you get to know more about them and see what they are all about.

What are Cloud Computing Malls?

The idea of a cloud computing mall may bring all sorts of images like giant clouds or clusters of computers but it is really simpler than that. Below are some interesting facts about these malls that will give you a better idea as to what they are:

It is like an open cloud. These cloud malls are a lot like open clouds in the sense that they operate with open APIs and there is a developer community that works on the developing of the cloud environment or the cloud infrastructure. Another reason why it is so similar to an open cloud is there are people who have years and years of experience in running open-source projects and they are the ones responsible for the running of the cloud malls.

You will get access to data. Just like the cloud people will have every right and the ability to move and edit data on cloud malls as they wish, you will also have the ability to run all apps that you use across many different types of cloud environments because it is federated.

No IT. These cloud malls will not have any need for an IT administrator to manage and provision it. These malls will also have no need for new hardware to be installed before they are up and running.

How is it Different from the Cloud?

As mentioned earlier, it is very similar to the cloud but with some differences that set it apart. For instance, in cloud computing, users can gain access to large off-site cloud providers. However, the cloud mall is a lot like the ones offered by Amazon and Google cloud in the sense that anyone could buy computing power. Unlike Google and Amazon, which are close clouds, the mall is open to multiple vendors that deal with computer services, hardware, and software. All of them will have access to data about the mall such as what programs it is running along with any problem reports and performance failures.  So in a sense, it is like a mall where multiple parties converge and interact with each other to make it work.

What do you think of the cloud computing mall? Is it something that will gain widespread acceptance? Let us know what you think below!

How Cloud Computing Can Change Your Life

xloud computing The whole computing industry today has undergone a massive change. During the first days of computing, most companies normally purchase massive central systems and run underpowered terminals connected to them. Then along came the power of home personal computers that have increased its capacity overtime. And it hasn’t stopped there just yet. Today, the world is now geared towards having systems running on cloud operation that no longer require a substantial amount of local power while efficiently operating over the internet.

Cloud computing has made a significant impact in today’s tech industry. This system has the ability to analyze, access, store, and even share information that can transform your personal and business life. So what happens when this systems becomes the norm?

Fixing your stuff will be a lot easier. Because of cloud computing, expect to get informed easily especially when unexpected things at your home or office are about to happen. Say for instance, an app that is cloud-based can easily alert electric car drivers when they are running low on battery, thus, giving them ample time to drive themselves to charging stations sans the services of tow trucks. Or for people in the medical equipment field, a cloud-based application can help them maintain their equipments by feeding vital information to their field system engineers.

Computers will become more handy. People do not realize that by using search engines, they are actually accessing computer networks. But with the birth of cloud computing, this can make computing more invisible. You can conveniently interact with computers—hands-free! One observable example is the recent introduction of Kinect that allows you to avoid gaming consoles and instead require you to use movements and hand gestures that are systematically interpreted by an infrared detection system and a 3D camera. Because of cloud, expect to see a lot of this type of computer intuition in the coming days.

You can make smarter decisions. Cloud can turn mobile devices into supercomputers. You can easily access processing powers from cloud to virtually analyze practically any types of information you need. From live stock market data to tweets, weather projections to blog stories, all of these can be simulated in your personal device. Imagine how convenient it would be to easily gain unique and informative insights that can lead you to profitable stock choices.

Small Business can go global. Cloud computing has satisfied a lot of new markets today. This means those small to medium-sized companies can actually be at a great advantage by using cloud and get a better chance at the business world. Small businesses can go from being meager investments because of budget limitations to obtaining success at a global scale with a significant reduction of overhead costs. They’d be able to successfully penetrate the business world, thus giving them a great edge over slower competitors.

With all these advantages coming your way, don’t you think it’s about high time to start contemplating on enjoying the perks of cloud computing?

What did you think of today’s article? Feel free to share your comments below!

What Cloud Computing Providers Do

cloud computing providersCloud computing is a technology which allows users to share, retrieve, keep, and maintain chosen digital information online. It can be used by businesses—big and small, and even individual online users. But who is in charge of cloud computing services?

The simple answer to this question is cloud computing providers. These providers are the ones who offer both paid and free cloud computing services for any interested individual, and decide on the kind of services that they make available for those who are in need of it.

What Do Cloud Computing Providers Do?

Here are the main tasks that providers of cloud services do:

Server maintenance – The cloud is where you can store information which is important to you personally, or for your business. Although you cannot see the cloud, it is there—however remote it may be. The cloud service providers maintain the servers which allow you to store, access, and update information. They are the owners of the servers which make using the cloud possible.

Tech support – When you store a lot of digital information in the cloud and something unexpected happens such as not being able to access them or having missing files which you are sure you have previously uploaded, they also offer tech support to answer your queries. They have email correspondences or hotlines which you can call any time you need faster answers to your inquiries.

Determining rates and packages – They provide the servers to be used, therefore they also determine the rates and packages that they can offer to the public. Since there are a lot of cloud providers today, having a competitive rate helps ensure that they can still retain their client while being able to provide just the right services they need.

Setting limitations – The amount of space a client can use will also be determined by the service provider. At other times, even the file format can be restricted. Because they have control over which kinds of files they would like to store, it is important for interested users to read and fully understand the terms and conditions given by the service providers.

How Do They Earn?

Free cloud service providers may initially be free, but when clients see the need to upgrade, they will be asked for payments. This is a tactic done by some cloud service providers and perks that come with paid service include increased security and space, among others.

Sometimes, they also earn from advertisements which users will see whenever they log into their account. Although a lot of individual users opt for free cloud storage, businesses in particular are those which drive more revenue to cloud service providers especially because they need bigger storage space and additional security for selected files.

Choosing the right cloud service provider can mean the difference for you and your files. Make sure that when you find a service provider, you only have deals with reputable names that can give you the storage and quality services that you need.

Do you have any experiences with cloud computing providers that you would like to share? Sound off below!

What’s New with Cloud Computing?

cloud computing Cloud computing has seen some advancements in the recent years, and it is for the benefit of the people—both individuals and commercial users. Today, it continues to expand and improve at a fast rate with the hopes of addressing the needs of the individuals who use it. Providers of cloud services along with big names in the technological industry have been making positive changes to the cloud and here are some of the latest advancements in cloud computing that you may have missed:

The cloud-powered vending machine – A touchscreen vending machine developed by SAP Hana makes use of cloud software to give customers a more personalized experience. Inside the vending machine is a smart phone that does all the work with the cloud and sends feedback from every transaction a person makes. In turn, it is able to gather information to help meet the needs of the users of the vending machine.

Free cloud service for Amazon startups – Amazon is now helping smaller businesses to move their infrastructure to the cloud. They are allowing smaller businesses to have free access to the Amazon Web Services. This way, businesses are more accessible when it comes to computing resources which they can adjust based on the demand. However, they will also become more dependent to the Amazon Web Services.

Better encryption – Cloud computing, since it cannot be seen nor felt by the users, gives the people who use it peace of mind by imposing good security measures. The cloud now has encrypted files which make it impossible for other individuals to search contents even if the person searching is an authorized user. Because of such technology, businesses are able to parse their data without really compromising their security.

Access from different devices – There is an increased emphasis on being able to access files from different kinds of devices—not just office computers and laptops, but mobile phones, tablets, and just about any other device which can be connected to the Internet. Today, most cloud service providers have the option for users to use their services as they would be able to if they are using a PC but at cheaper and more convenient rates. This makes working with a mobile workforce possible and also makes updating and sharing files easier for the people involved as long as they have access to the Internet.

IBM’s $8-million investment on a Spanish cloud center – This technological giant is eager to be up to par with Google and Amazon when it comes to cloud services. IBM opened its 26thcloud center which is in Spain and it cost them $8 million. This implies that they are improving their cloud services and would have a more global reach to those who are in need of it. It also presents more competition for the leading providers which would mean a change in the current rates offered by the leading cloud providers.

Cloud computing has indeed seen recent advancements and because of this, it is becoming more accessible to people who would like to try it.

Who Uses Cloud Computing?

who uses cloud computingCloud computing sounds like a technical term which is why people think that this is something that only “experts” use. The truth is that cloud computing is basically storing, managing, and processing data through the use of the Internet, and just about anyone who has had experience in uploading or downloading files online has had a taste of what cloud computing is like.

On a more detailed aspect, however, who uses cloud computing? Here are some of the groups of people who use cloud computing along with what they use the cloud for:

Small business owners – Small business owners may save on storage space and have more efficient management of their stored information through cloud computing. Instead of having a storage room which will use up utilities and space, they can opt to go for cloud storage services instead and cut costs too.

Bigger businesses – Companies benefit from cloud storage by having another layer of disaster recovery measure for their important files. Big businesses usually have their own methods of storing their files, but they also use cloud computing to have extra security when it comes to their backups. Cloud storage for both small and big businesses also gives them access to the files they need even when they are no longer in the work area. For big businesses aiming their eyes on expansion, this makes it easy to share certain information to other potential partners by authorizing their access to the cloud. This way, information exchange can be easier for them as well.

Industries which deal with hundreds of client files – Healthcare, universities, schools, real estate and the likes can benefit from the cloud as well since they can have digital backups of hundreds or even thousands of files from different clients. There are cloud computing systems which can simultaneously update entries and easily pull up files for reference. This helps cut the time when it comes to reviewing client files which need to be accessed by the service provider.

Individual users – Even ordinary people can be users of cloud computing. May it be for easier file sharing or for personal storage of files online, individual users can benefit from the cloud by saving space on their hardware and have their files stored online instead. Saving and accessing files won’t be hard as long as one has access to the Internet, and the user can rest assured that the files will be safe in the cloud.

There are some differences on how the cloud is used, depending on who uses cloud computing. Despite these differences however, it is certain that this technology makes it possible to become more efficient when it comes to storage, management, and retrieval of files. May it be paid or free cloud storage, there are always people who will be using the cloud to have a safe place to store the digital information they need to keep safe.

Have you experienced using cloud computing? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below!

What are the Top Security Threats to Cloud Computing?

top security threats to cloud computing

Getting ready to jump on the cloud computing bandwagon? If that is the case, it helps if you get your facts straight and you know everything there is to know about cloud computing. After all, embracing the cloud is a big step so it helps if you know everything there is to know about it. For instance, most people already know the benefits of moving files to the cloud storage, but it also pays to know the not-so-great things about it. Below is a list of the top security threats to cloud computing that you need to take into consideration.

Data Breaches – Several months ago, there was news of a massive breach concerning Target which meant that millions of people had their personal and credit card information stolen. This was one of the biggest breaches in the processing and storage of data on the cloud. According to experts, the fact that Target stored their data on the cloud opened them up to attacks.  Data storage is one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing technology but one always has to be ready for data breaches and secure their accounts accordingly.

Loss of Data – Data loss happens as a result of an intrusive or malicious action. This happens when the disc drive goes on the blink without the owners having any backups and usually occurs when the owner of the encrypted files loses the key. This was what happened to people using the EC2 cloud service offered by Amazon when their system went through a “remirroring storm” back in 2011. There was nothing sinister about it but it was all due to human error. Of course, precautionary measures need to be taken as well because loss of data can also be due to a malicious attack.

Service Traffic or Account Hijacking – Hijacked accounts may seem to be too simple and elementary to be of any concern to cloud users but according to experts, it happens more often than people think.  The reason for this is something called “phishing,” which is the exploitation of software vulnerabilities as a way to carry out buffer overflow attacks, loss of passwords, etc. When your cloud account is hijacked, there is a strong possibility that a shady character is checking out all your transactions, changing your data, and even sending out damaging responses to customers. Some even use this tactic to drive customers to competitor sites.

APIs that Lack Security – Cloud service providers are at a crossroads because while they want to make the service available to as many people as possible, they also have to limit the damage these anonymous users can do to the system and the service. Their answer came in the form of API or application programming interface that defines how third-party users can use an application in conjunction to the cloud service. With API, users will have to verify their identities and while it works, there is still a long way to go for it to become fool-proof.

Do you understand how these threats could affect you? Have you experienced any of these threats? Share your experiences with cloud computing below!

What are the Top 5 Cloud Computing Benefits?

cloud computing benefitsIn just a few short years, cloud computing has evolved from a buzz-word into what is now known as the future of the internet. It has turned from an interesting topic to ponder into something that pervades the everyday functions of businesses and lives of people. With all the cloud computing benefits that people and businesses can take advantage of, it is no wonder that cloud computing has reached the popularity that it has today. Check out the top uses of cloud computing and cloud computing benefits below!

File sharing and storage – Emails may be useful in sending files but it is safe to say that everyone knows the pain of trying to send a large file via email. This is one of the most common cloud computing benefits—people can send massive files without having to wait for it to upload in their email messages. It doesn’t stop there, too. Once you share a file via the cloud, you are also assured that it is stored there until you delete it.

Cloud database – Web apps need databases. In the past, this was a massive undertaking for web developers. For one, they had to set up their own databases and do the maintenance. In fact, tuning and managing a database is so complex that it takes a database administrator with very specific skills to do these. Cloud database delivers a powerful and scalable database for developers and IT personnel. Everything is done as a service—from tuning and monitoring to database software.

CRM – The cloud has a lot of benefits for businesses and this is the reason why more and more companies are starting to use the cloud for their mission-critical apps. CRMs, or Customer Relationship Management systems, are apps dealing with sensitive data: revenue and customer information. CRMs that are cloud-based are easy for IT and sales teams to use and as long as reliable cloud service providers are used, they are also extremely secure.

Email – This is an example of a mission-critical app that is fairly standardized and mature and is ripe for the move to the cloud. For the past several years, CIOs have stated their dream to outsource emails. On a more personal note, most people have been dependent on cloud-based email services for years and years now. If you use Gmail, Yahoomail or Hotmail, you have been using the cloud.

PaaS used for web apps – PaaS, also known as Platform as a Service, burst into the scene back in 2011 and was admittedly overhyped like all other buzzwords.  However, when it comes to PaaS, there is real value in the concept.  Using PaaS allows developers to host their own apps and not have to worry about servers. They just need to upload their apps and watch them run.

There are so many other uses for the cloud but these are the cherries on top. Whatever you use the cloud for it is safe to say that it is still the future of the internet and is likely to evolve into something bigger, better, and with more benefits.

What are Some Common Cloud Computing Facts and Myths?

cloud computing factsThe cloud may no longer be the buzz word that it was several years ago but this doesn’t mean people no longer talk about it. Those in the know extol its virtues on a daily basis while those who do not know much about the cloud are stuck repeating myths and half-truths that they picked up from people who also do not know much about the cloud. If you are one of those people who do not know much about the cloud and shy away from it due to preconceived notions and half-truths, it is time to get cloud computing facts once and for all.

Cloud Computing Facts—Setting Myths Straight

It is too expensive! This is one of the reasons why so many people and businesses eschew the cloud. Most think that it will cost them gobs of money when that is just not true. Like a lot of business solutions in the technology marketplace, cloud computing services come with a wide price range. While some services are indeed pricy and will cost more than you can afford, you can always look for a service that fits your price range.  Whether you are starting a small business or expanding a multinational corporation, there is always a cloud computing service that will fit your needs and your budget. Besides, as more and more cloud providers enter the area, they will lower the prices to get consumers to patronize their business.

Security may be compromised. It is a good idea to take your data security seriously and it’s important for businesses to look for a service that will secure their sensitive data so it just makes sense why you would be concerned about this issue of data security on the cloud. Some half-truths and lies state that the cloud is not safe but nothing can be further from the truth because so many cloud service providers are world class and provide the highest levels of security for their clients. In fact, the security they offer you is as good as the kind you find on-site.  However, if you wish to be really sure, make sure you ask your cloud service supplier just what kind if security measures they have.

The cloud will put your IT manager out of job. It is easy to see why people would be protective over their jobs with their being so hard to come by and all. Now if you want to move to the cloud and your IT manager has issues with it, you can assure him that moving to the cloud won’t make him lose his job and there are many aspects of his duties that the company will still need even after making the move to the cloud.

It is only for big businesses. It’s true that more and more big businesses are moving to the cloud but this doesn’t mean they are the only ones with the right to do so. In fact, some cloud services are tailored to suit the needs of SMEs.

So there you have it—cloud computing facts to set the issue straight. Hopefully, you will feel more comfortable about using the cloud after reading the myths and facts above.