Filed Under:

A beginner’s guide to Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

The rise of remote working has led to significant, widespread use of cloud computing. You have most likely experienced the cloud in the workplace already. For example, if you can access company files remotely by logging into Google drive.


Why is it called The Cloud?

“The Cloud” is a common metaphor for the internet. Cloud computing services gained their namesake due to their secure virtual locations. As the precise location is unimportant to consumers, virtual storage was once referred to as “belonging in a cloud somewhere”. It has now become a widely accepted term.

Cloud computing refers to the instant delivery of computing resources via the internet. It avoids the need for businesses to purchase and maintain physical servers to store data.

Users can access the same files and applications from almost any device. For example, if your laptop breaks, you can log in elsewhere and access all your accounts, photos, videos and conversation history.

Cloud-based services offer flexible payment options, with the choice to expand your storage space if you need to.

How does cloud computing work?

Cloud computing utilises a technology known as virtualisation. This allows IT services traditionally bound to hardware to be provided virtually. The cloud is made possible using a collection of simulated virtual machines that operate the same way as a physical computer.

A company’s data and information is stored on these virtual servers and looked after by a cloud infrastructure provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. Users can access this information on any device with a secure internet connection.

Arc Systems are a Microsoft Gold cloud solution partner. We can host your systems in our private cloud, offer a hybrid cloud solution with Office 365 or deploy within the Microsoft Azure public cloud.


Who uses cloud computing?

Even if you haven’t invested in the cloud yourself, you can be almost certain that you have interacted with a platform that has. Businesses spanning multiple industries have migrated to the cloud environment.

Companies like Pinterest, Instagram, eBay and PayPal use the cloud to store and manage data created daily by their users. Cloud computing provides great elasticity, meaning companies can rely on it to expand as their customer network and demand increases over time. This means these businesses can handle heavy site traffic with zero downtime.

Helping industries across the globe

Advertising & Marketing
Banks & Investors
Media & Entertainment


Agile, Flexible, Global

Cloud computing service can be deployed in minutes. Enjoy the freedom of experimenting and transforming your business with the cloud. The benefits of the cloud include:

Speed – Your staff and clients can access files on demand. Open presentations in seconds and share live feedback with colleagues on the move.

Agility – Support and run applications remotely, save & store client data and send mass emails from any location. Your cloud infrastructure provider will seamlessly take care of any maintenance issues on your behalf.

Flexible Pricing – Unlike traditional hardware, you can increase storage in small increments & will only pay for the storage you’re using. You will avoid expensive physical repair and replacement costs and avert in-house IT staff costs.

Security – You can choose from a wide variety of security solutions to bolster your cloud infrastructure service. These purposeful products will prevent, detect and respond to any potential threats found on the server.

Disaster Recovery – By investing in a cloud computing system, your business will be able to recover critical data and systems after a breach. Cloud disaster recovery works by backing up the entire server to an offsite data centre. You can access securely in the event of a disaster.


Types of cloud computing

Private Cloud Services
If your business wishes to use a cloud resource exclusively, the private cloud (also known as an internal or corporate cloud) is the best solution. Private cloud services create a private internal network for approved users within the business is highly secure and uses firewalls to help keep sensitive data confidential and protected.

At Arc Systems, we can host your company’s systems in our secure private cloud. We will maintain the infrastructure on your behalf and keep everything running smoothly.

Advantages of a Private Cloud
Greater control – Businesses have more control over how their resources are managed and accessed as they choose precisely who will be given log in details.

Increased security – The private cloud’s private cloud’s best security feature is obscurity. It is improbable that people outside the business network will know it exists.

High performance – As your company will have exclusive independent access to all cloud services, overall speed and performance will increase.

Disadvantages of a Private Cloud
Higher cost – Maintenance fees are often higher than a public cloud, requiring skilled technicians to manage the on-site servers.

Limited scalability – As the private cloud is hosted internally, it can only be scaled according to the resources available to the business.

Public Cloud Services
Public clouds provide a shared platform used by multiple businesses across the globe via the internet. They are often a cheaper solution as your company will share the cloud with others. However, this does not affect speed or performance.

All of your employees can use the same application and services simultaneously, provided they have an internet connection. They operate on a pay-per-use basis. Public clouds are owned, maintained, and run by businesses, government agencies, or both.

Advantages of a Public Cloud
Lower Cost – As your resources will be shared with a more significant number of consumers.

Not tied to a specific location – Public clouds are location independent with no on-site servers required.

Quick, simple setup – Businesses and individuals may purchase public cloud services online that can be deployed immediately.

Unlimited scalability – A public cloud can expand with your business. You can increase the size of your storage space at an affordable monthly rate.

Disadvantages of a Public Cloud
Less secure – As resources are split between multiple businesses, there is a higher chance of a data breach.

Less customisable – As public clouds are designed for multiple users, you cannot create many bespoke changes.

Hybrid Cloud Services
This solution usually combines the public and private cloud environments. This involves the connection of at least one public cloud and one private cloud to manage computing workloads. It allows businesses to reap the benefits of multiple cloud computing vendors to create a cost-effective solution.

Advantages of a Hybrid Cloud
Agility – Enjoy the benefits of the public cloud, with the customisation ability of the private cloud.

Deployment – The hybrid cloud connects both public and private cloud services; this makes data transfers faster. It is optimised for the specific needs of your business.

Flexibility – Avoid choosing between public or private and gain the benefits of both. For example, you could store personal, sensitive data in the private cloud and standard information on the public cloud.

Reliability – If a public server fails, the business can rely on its internal private cloud infrastructure until the problem is resolved.

Disadvantages of a Hybrid Cloud
Lack of control – To implement changes, this must be done by a technician via the private cloud and adapted for the public cloud. The end-user has no control over this.

Cloud compatibility – Occasionally, the public infrastructure can be unreliable due to reduced internet connection; this can affect the performance of the hybrid cloud environment.


Cloud Services

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is the most basic cloud service. This is when a business rents its required storage from a cloud provider. They can then start building new applications using this online space and can update it at any time, anywhere. We provide the space; you bring the tools.

Benefits of IaaS
Reduce company IT expenditure – Escape the set up and maintenance fees that come with managing a physical data centre. Pay in monthly installments and gradually increase your storage space as your business grows.

Create and release apps faster – By using the cloud, the required underlying infrastructure can be set up in hours, ready for you to get started.

Expand scale and enhance IT performance – IaaS will support your ability to grow into a global business. You will be able to keep up with increased demand and ensure your IT platform runs at optimum speed for every user around the world.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This service provides everything a company needs to develop their own unique applications. Renting these tools instead of owning them, can save valuable time and money. This online platform can be accessed on most devices using the internet.

Benefits of PaaS
Avoid software licencing fees – gain access to sophisticated tools at affordable prices. You remain in control of your applications and the cloud provider will look after your infrastructure and develoment tools.

Reduce coding time – achieve specialised effects with built in, pre-coded components without hiring more staff.

Handle the entire application lifecycle – receive support across every stage of web application creation in one bespoke platform.

Software as a Service (SaaS)
This service involves connecting users to cloud-based apps via the internet, like Microsoft Office 365. Your business will rent an app for customer/employee use. Users just need to log in on a web browser to use your application, for example, Slack or MailChimp. Both hardware and software will be managed by your service provider.

Benefits of SaaS
Mobilise your workforce – Your team will be able to use the app in any location as long as they have internet access. Your cloud provider will ensure your app is optimised for every type of device from desktops to tablets and mobile.

Analyse app data, anytime, anywhere – All data relating to your application will be stored in the cloud. Information can be accessed, edited and restored if a device breaks.

Automatic scaling – SaaS services will automatically increase or decrease storage space according to the need of your business application. You can rely on your cloud provider to keep your application performance high, no matter the demand.


Most Common Uses

Deliver software in real-time
Make the latest software updates available across the world in minutes.

Build & test innovative applications
Access high-tech, cloud-native tools to develop, deploy and update applications designed for the web and mobile.

Large scale storage space
Your online space will be personalised. Take as much or as little as you need. Your company files will be accessible quickly and easily from any device.

Back up & Data Recovery
Protect what’s important. The cloud infrastructure will create a copy of your server and back it up on a regular basis. In the event of a disaster, your data can be recovered with minimal disruption to your business.

Stream music, TV & film
Music and film platforms such as Spotify and Netflix can connect artists and actors with their fans effortlessly via the internet. They can update the appearance of their applications and web-based platform with the latest releases instantly.

Cloud computing is an excellent tool that has helped thousands of businesses improve their IT infrastructure. Learn & expand with Arc Systems. Find out more about our Cloud services.