Cloud computing is changing the way businesses view their entire information technology (IT) infrastructures.
Cloud computing is being adopted by big and small companies at a very rapid pace and its growth is projected to continue well into the next decade — and beyond.
Cloud computing stocks are a segment of the application software sector and they stand to have an increasingly important impact on people’s lives. They will also be one of the main beneficiaries of emerging technologies like Autonomous Vehicles (both cars and drones), Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G Networks, the internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain Security, and Robotics. That’s why investors looking to build long-term wealth should consider cloud computing stocks.
What is the cloud and how is it like the internet?
To better understand just what the cloud is, let’s compare it to the world wide web. After all, the cloud is a natural extension of the internet. The internet is a nebulous entity connected to your PC (smart phone, tablet, laptop, personal voice assistant, or whatever). You perform a query by typing a search phrase into a browser (or asking that obelisk on the coffee table a question) and presto, you get an answer. But, from where does that response originate? Let’s pull back the curtain and see how the cloud plays into this seemingly magical process.
Internet search results come from interconnected networks around the globe. So, in its simplest definition, the internet really is just a bunch of intentionally connected devices. This is where the cloud comes in. It too is simply a connection between a network and an end user. The difference is that the connection is just between the cloud provider and a client. Where the internet is a crowd, the cloud is just a pair. The mechanism used to make this connection and share information is still the internet.
The cloud is a service, not a thing
The cloud is essentially a bunch of huge private data centers that “lease” computer resources to clients. Some of those clients are businesses and some are regular folks like you and me. The resources included in the lease depend on what you’re trying to accomplish and are defined as services. They fall into one of three primary offerings:
- Infrastructure as a Service — IaaS
- Platform as a Service — PaaS
- Software as a Service — SaaS
The most complicated cloud offering is Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS. IaaS is the offsite outsourced delivery of all things computer related. In simplest terms, IaaS providers offer clients an entire IT department. The important feature is that it is delivered virtually over the internet. The IaaS provider replicates every aspect of the client’s network — its entire physical infrastructure. So, for example, if a given client’s IT infrastructure consists of hundreds of servers, they would all be located at the IaaS provider’s location. On the client end of the connection is a visual representation of how the network is configured and what it’s doing. So, what an IT professional sees on a desktop monitor is exactly what would be presented if all of that “infrastructure” was in the same office where he or she was sitting. – Read more