Getting Started in Cloud Computing

January 21, 2011 No Comments

Recent developments in Web hosting are pushing the industry into new directions.  Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and virtualized services are becoming a dominant force in the market, heightening the shift towards cloud computing.  Cloud servers, virtual applications, Web-based software, communication tools – all of these areas are currently getting revamped in an effort to bring as many hosted solutions into the cloud as possible.

 Businesses have the opportunity to become ’digital’ with the cloud. Using cloud applications for managing documents, file and data storage, and communication and collaboration makes it easy to join the trend as the tools necessary for such a move can now be found on the Web, accessible from anywhere providing an internet connection. 

Depending on what an end-user is looking for from a Web host provider, there are various cloud solutions available.  1&1 for example has taken the new trend in stride by implementing an ongoing cloud strategy into their product line.  MailXchange, 1&1’s virtual e-mail software, and Online Office, a Web-based document suite and collaboration tool, are some of the most recent cloud applications the company has developed thus far. 

The strong push for Web hosts to develop virtualized storage channels has also had some influence from the major shift towards cloud, where the concept of ‘virtual space’ has become prime real estate in the hosting industry.   It lets users build their environment in the cloud to exactly fit their needs, with the ability to scale elements like disk space up or down as needed. Entering this nebulous space introduces an opportunity for users to incorporate online storage for data and media into their hosted space. Dynamic cloud servers also supply potential users with flexible data storage options that employ scalability, greater capacity, and a usage-based payment model. 

Using a cloud server for managing information offers great flexibility to increase or decrease the server’s memory and storage capacity at any time.  Such scalability is not only attractive for its practicality; it also reduces IT costs.  Users only pay for what they use and not for what is available to them.  It is a simple idea that has made cloud storage solutions all the more attractive, especially in this current economy.

Most importantly, consider what needs must be met and acquire the most suitable solutions to do the job. While utilizing the cloud can bring with it many benefits, it is important to use the web-based tools that best suit a user and their requirements. Those who need a high capacity for data management would be wise to consider the cloud but, for example, entities such as a small business do not usually have the same requirements that the cloud is often used for.

by Lauren Whitson, Spokesperson, 1&1 Internet, Inc


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