Cloud computing has been considered as a revolution in IT as it presents a new generation of Web-based scalable services that can meet industry-specific requirements. Cloud computing is said to have responded to today’s business challenges to make it more economically feasible to streamline and automate business operations.
The cloud architecture provides Internet-based computing on a large scale – computers are linked together and connections established that can spread data-services across a virtual network. By utilizing cloud computing for their infrastructure needs, many users have the ability to share, edit, store and use servers, files, storage and applications over the Web.
Rather than having to setup and run local servers on-premises and needing to install applications as well as carry out periodic upgrades and maintenance, businesses of all sizes are making the transformation to the cloud to save time and money by letting a cloud service provider take care of their IT needs.
These days, more enterprises are finding that moving IT responsibility to third parties is an apt solution to have their data protected, secured and controlled within the cloud rather than on-site, which enables them to focus on their core business. As the cloud provides Web-delivery services that are simple and cost-efficient, the system will continue to grow and be the preferred means of having delivery of content that is available anywhere at any time.
Once a business has decided to make the move to the cloud, it needs to find the right cloud computing service provider that can deliver IT as a service over a robust, dependable, and secure network. Before committing to a provider, it needs to evaluate all options and know their reputation in the market: companies ought to see which one can deliver the services that best fit their IT environment and meet their specific needs.
It is important to know that not all service providers are alike: many, in fact, offer a wide range of different IT services and delivery. Nonetheless, there are some that stand out. For instance, Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM and Google Cloud are among the top service providers today. Each one owns and operates a worldwide network of datacenters that are reliable and viable. Moreover, they each harness the latest advances in cloud computing technologies.
What’s more, all offer fast, cost-effective and highly-reliable cloud-based services through a monthly subscription or as a pay-as-you-go model. They even guarantee at least 99.95% uptime availability, as written in their contracts-their service level agreement (SLA); penalties do apply if the service provider fails to meet that measure.
Next lists the six companies and their offerings; specific services are also mentioned.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)provides cloud-based services that are plentiful and affordable: from Web hosting, e-commerce and business applications, to email and messaging, content delivery, online storage and backup or file sharing services. Many SMBs have opted for AWS to meet their business’ ever changing needs.
Rackspace’s cloud infrastructure is all about making life easier to host websites, run applications, store data and protect important files. The service provider will help one plan, deploy and run their applications. It, instead, leaves it to the clients to maintain their own data and websites.
Microsoft offers Windows Azure cloud computing platform and infrastructure; in other words, it provides both platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions. With Azure, one has a wide range of cloud-based applications for business the means of Office 365, SharePoint Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Salesforce offers cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) services. It offers real-time communication and collaboration from anywhere, on any device. Users can benefit from their Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings: Sales Cloud and Services Cloud, as well as from their PaaS called Force.com.
IBM provides services for public, private and hybrid clouds. Their SmartCloud for Social Business is their public solution for cloud-based applications; whereas, the SmartCloud Enterprise is an IaaS to host clients’ websites and run enterprise-class applications.
Google’s cloud-based services, instead, are used by businesses today that require an infrastructure to host their websites and store their data so they can focus on running their business. Users build websites and apps with Google App Engine, store and manage data with Google Cloud Storage.