Cloud Computing for Kids

Cloud Computing for Kids

In the past, businesses and institutions could purchase and maintain their computer services and resources. The IT department would be responsible for buying, maintaining, and managing the company’s computers, storage, and networks, which required a lot of space. The systems would also get outdated progressively while better ones emerged at lower prices. As on-premises infrastructure continued to become unsustainable, cloud computing was born.

Read on to learn more about cloud computing and how it works.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to accessing computing resources like servers, databases, storage, intelligence, networking, and analytics over the internet. Cloud computing comes in three key forms: public, private, and hybrid. Public cloud computing refers to web-based computing services that companies like Google and Amazon provide, while private cloud services are accessed using a secure internet connection. Hybrid cloud computing combines public and private cloud computing to give you the best of both worlds and offers more tailored IT solutions.

A distinctive characteristic of cloud computing is that it is provided and managed by someone else. Therefore, you are not responsible for computer resources such as licenses and software upgrades. You can only access cloud computing services on a subscription basis where you pay for the services whenever you need them, just like you would other utilities. The pay-as-you-go method eliminates the need for acquiring your own computer resources, especially when you have unpredictable needs.

Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing services come in three main types, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. While they all have their unique differences based on what they offer, the three service models can also interact and form one comprehensive cloud computing model.

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is the most common cloud computing model. It offers the fundamental cloud computing infrastructure, including storage drives, servers, processing, networks, and operating systems. Businesses can, therefore, scale their services as they deem fit, depending on their needs. It also makes it unnecessary to have hardware in the office. IaaS is available in private, public, or hybrid infrastructure and is ideal for small businesses that need to find cost-effective solutions.

  1. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Unlike IaaS, PaaS offers both fundamental hardware as well as a software framework. However, it supports the fast and seamless development of applications so that companies can run them on their own. It is ideal for companies where developers work on multiple projects at once and is also scalable. For example, you can develop an eCommerce platform that runs entirely on the provider’s servers.

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Here, the consumer uses web applications that already run on the provider’s cloud.  You can access the applications through a browser or program interface. However, the consumer does not control the underlying infrastructure or applications except for specific application settings. SaaS is ideal for applications that require a lot of mobile or web access and is great for CRM. A great example of SaaS is Google Documents. – Read more

Misconceptions About Web Hosting That Need To Be Dispelled

In times gone by, the world of web hosting was one that was regarded as being mysterious and difficult to navigate, unless you had been provided with the necessary training. This has led to many people, especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy, to be somewhat sceptical of the importance of enlisting the help of a high-quality hosting provider. Unfortunately, it is this line of thinking which often leads to sub-par websites that, in turn, can irreparably damage a company’s reputation and branding.

In case you did not already know, we are catalyst2; formed in 2000, we have spent the last twenty-one years forging our path towards becoming one of the country’s most notorious and efficient web hosting businesses. The exposure that we have had within this rather niche industry has meant that we have the knowledge necessary to dispel the most popular misconceptions surrounding web hosting. If you would like to be privy to this, we suggest that you take a closer look at the list below.

‘All Firms Offering Web Hosting Are The Same’

If you believe that each-and-every one of the web hosting providers that you come across during your research have the same credentials, and are therefore capable of providing the same quality of service, we are here to inform you that you are sorely mistaken. This is a field that is incredibly saturated, yet each firm is entirely different in their approach to the services that they provide. If you are considering investing in this type of option, there are certain things that you need to look out for. These features can indicate whether or not they will be a good fit for your particular firm.

First-and-foremost, you should check to see if they actively publicise their server reliability and uptime. This, for those of you that weren’t aware, relates to the amount of time that their servers have remained active, without any faults or maintenance causing websites to be taken offline. If the percentage is languishing particularly low, you should take this to be a red flag, as it demonstrates that they are incapable of guaranteeing first-class performance levels regularly. As a point of reference, over the past fourteen years, catalyst2 has recorded a 99.997% uptime – this is nothing short of incredible.

A tell-tale sign of a company that takes its web hosting duties serious is the size of its catalogue of services. If you find a single available option, this indicates that they are either trying to specialise in a single area, or they simply lack the equipment and techniques necessary to evolve and grow. However, if you are presented with a vast array of services and packages, you can expect to be able to deal with total professionals that take their work incredibly seriously. Should you discover that you have the choice between, for instance, VPS servers and dedicated servers, as well as management contracts, you can be rest assured that you won’t be left with a feeling of disappointment.

‘VPS Servers Are No Different To Cloud Servers’

Those of you that have ventured into hosting in the past will be well-aware of the differences between cloud hosting, and that which involves virtual private servers. Unfortunately, the uninitiated amongst you may have heard rumours circulating which profess that these services are one and the same. Whilst there are certainly some similarities between the two, there are also numerous differences which allow them to stand apart as separate entities. Depending on the situation that you find yourself in, you may opt to go down one course of action or another.

In the case of virtual private servers, you are effectively sharing a single piece of hardware with various other websites. However, there is software installed which keeps these segregated – the benefit of this is that you are able to subsequently use bespoke programmes on your site, without having to worry about the effect that it will have on other users. Most people regard this to be a cost-effective alternative to a dedicated server, as you are able to split the maintenance costs.

As you may have already deduced, the cloud hosting option revolves around a service which is totally based online. Over the past few years, cloud-based services have seen their popularity soar, and it is not difficult to see why. These are often regarded to be of the highest quality in terms of reliability, simply due to the fact that they do not rely on a single piece of hardware. Being spread across numerous units means that downtime will be a thing of the past, were you to decide to utilise this particular service. Hopefully, you can see that though these services display some of the same traits, there are huge contrasts. Before you make a firm commitment in one direction or another, we suggest that you delve a little deeper beneath the service, and complete an in-depth comparison. – Read more

Can cloud services take your board meeting to new heights?

Can cloud services take your board meeting to new heights?

Mobile-friendly, Zoom-integrated portals can improve security, efficiency and convenience of virtual, hybrid or in-person gatherings

Board management software may not be top of mind for chief executives and their IT departments, what with virtual meeting platforms and association management systems to worry about.

But products are available to take your virtual or hybrid board meetings from simple Zoom affairs to integrated document-sharing, minute-keeping, messaging and vote-recording experiences using secure portals. Many of those advantages apply to in-person meetings, too.

“It’s a tool that could be helpful, especially going forward when it seems like there’s going to be more and more hybrid meetings,” said Duane Capuano, a senior consultant at board consulting firm Tecker International. “Tools like board management software will help make those meetings run much more smoothly.”

Such services are not new, but they are niche products that have not been a high priority when associations have considered enterprise software needs, he said.

The value of such software goes beyond virtual and hybrid meetings, although they include integrated teleconferencing functions. By creating a secure portal where documents are stored in the cloud, printing and mailing costs are reduced, and these documents—collectively known as “board books”—are delivered to board members more quickly, whether they are attending in person or not. Board books might run 150 pages, and the portals provide a way to review the materials on a computer or tablet or smartphone without carrying around a bundle that could end up being misplaced. That would present liability and confidentiality issues.

“It would help the board members in terms of being easy to work with,” Capuano said. “This would definitely make prepping for the meetings a lot easier, in that all the information’s in one place. It’s easier to exchange information and data with fellow board members or with executive staff.”

Full-suite solutions

Among the better-known cloud-based products is OnBoard, from Passageways, which provides both the nonprofit and corporate market with a full suite of services. Others include Diligent Boards, from Diligent, and Boardvantage, from Nasdaq, the stock exchange operator. Boardable, from Boardable, is another, though with less functionality and a lower price point. It was created with smaller nonprofits in mind. Among the functions Boardable does not include is the ability to annotate shared documents. It does integrate with Zoom and has a mobile app.

“OnBoard saves us significant time and money,” said Henry Stoever, CEO of the $14 million-revenue Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. “For example, in pre-portal days, teams spent significant time and money to create and mail printed and bound board books.”

Stoever has experience with board-meeting software going back 15 years, including using some of the most established products.

“One of the features I find really helpful is the ability to conduct analytics on what board members are accepting or declining, their availability to participate in board and committee meetings,” he said.

Executives can see “who has downloaded different materials from the portal. One of the key elements for any board meeting or committee meeting is to ensure that the board members read and review the material prior to the meeting,” Stoever said. “So it gives the board chair insights as to who has done what. And it enables each individual board member to evaluate other board members and the board as a whole, and for committee members to evaluate their own committee’s performance. All of those features are needed to help the board gain efficiencies as they conduct their business.” – Read more

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