Cloud computing has proved to be efficient and useful for both IT companies and individual users. While most people think cloud service is designed exclusively to store information and documents, there are more cases of its application.
1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). IaaS is the choice of companies who store a lot of virtual information in the Net, using a pay-per-use scheme, which allows saving on investments. In some cases, PaaS are used for the same reasons: it gives the possibility to improve the speed of development, implementing applications on a ready-to-use platform, saving money.
2. Test and development. Cloud is a perfect variant for those who start elaborating a platform and need to test the development by running it. This is a very flexible solution: you may choose physical assets, configure all options, etc. Sometimes it may take longer time to develop a project this way, so many cloud storage providers offer ready environments for these or that needs, for instance, automated supplying of physical and virtualized resources.
3. Disaster recovery. No one can give a 100% warranty of data safety, but in case with cloud storage, providers have a disaster recovery (DR) solution that helps to restore data lost in the result of physical damage of server. Such service costs less than a conventional DR site with fixed assets and rigid procedures.
4. Private and hybrid cloud. Among all other things, cloud storage serves to deploy applications that are intended to be used in company’s environment. There are two cases when such a service may be of much use. Firstly, while development and test are usually limited in time, a hybrid cloud allows analyzing application workloads, which means you have the same comfort and freedom of an environment without investing money, which would be wasteful in case of test failure. Secondly, private and hybrid cloud may be expanded and used for as long as required, being especially useful during traffic peak periods, while hosting of a large infrastructure on a recurring basis is not of much use. If a company needs additional capacity of an environment, it may require it on a pay-as you-go basis.
5. Analytics of lots of data. Another benefit of cloud service is the ability to process huge quantities of structured and unstructured data. For example, retailers and business owners extract the information about buyers’ behavior and buying habits, which allows optimizing advertising and marketing for some certain parts of auditory. Social networks are also used to analyze people behavior and derive some important and useful information.
6. Backup services. Backing up of information has always been a very complicated and time-consuming task. Not so long ago cloud services suffered from the problems and failures arising during the connection between originating and backup site, or errors appearing due to the lack of backup medium. Today, with the help of drives, cloud services allow storing data in any location for as long as needed, and data security, availability and memory are not problems anymore.
7. File and content storage. This is what was mentioned in the beginning. Users may store various media files, images, documents, scripts and other types of content, managing it via web-interface. Clients may be sure about the speed, security, scalability and availability of their data. In this case, they have to pay for the storage space used.
At the moment, cloud technologies are at the height of their power, supplying lots of opportunities for all users around the world.