The cloud is a term for accessing resources on the internet.
To deploy a typical application requires web servers, database servers, file storage and email servers together with specialist staff to configure and maintain them.
Instead of purchasing, configuring, deploying, and maintaining your own servers in-house you can use the resources of cloud providers.
There are many cloud providers the most popular being
- Amazon web services
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud
Typical providers offer a vast number of services which can include
- virtual servers
- SQL and No SQL database services
- serverless applications and functions
- continuous-integration and build services
- identity and security services
- media services
Some of the benefits of using cloud services include
- minimal upfront costs and specialist personnel to maintain hardware
- apps can be quickly deployed with reduced time to market
- on-demand scaling
- minimize cost of maintaining/upgrading infrastructure
- automatic software updates
- pay as you go pricing options
- accessible to your mobile workforce whenever an internet connection is available
- security monitoring
- data replication to anywhere in the world
- high reliability and availability
- backup and restore options
When considering moving your in-house services to the cloud considerations include
- service downtime can occur due to outages and similar. What is the providers service standard
- how responsive is cloud providers technical support
- are special considerations required for storing sensitive data
- will good internet connectivity always be available
- what are the limits on bandwidth and what is the penalty if exceeded.