Cloud Computing: The Ins and Outs

Cloud computing has gained significant popularity over the past few years because of its self service capacity, flexibility, affordability, scalability and its pay as you go service model. You may have also heard cloud computing referred to as the cloud, cloud hosting, cloud server hosting and etc. These terms have been thrown around so much and most do not even know exactly what it means. So what is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is unlike traditional hosting alternatives that use a single dedicated server, as cloud computing uses virtualization technology to pool or share resources from an underlying network of physical servers. In other words, a group of physical servers acts like one big server to bring you the resources that you need on demand. Cloud computing delivers shared computing resources, data or software through the Internet; which is the most common way of accessing the cloud. However, intranets and dedicated networks are also used too. Resources provided by the cloud include: networks, servers, storage, platforms, applications and other services. And these resources are shared between people and organizations, and accessed by applications or users.

The Five Main Characteristic of Cloud Computing

In cloud computing, there are five fundamental characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting alternatives, including rapid elasticity, broad network access, on-demand self-service, resource pooling, and measured service.

· On-Demand Self-Service

With cloud computing’s on demand self service, you are able to access email, applications, network or server services without human interaction. Simply set up an account with the seller, create billing and security credentials, and select the cloud computing resources that you will need. Generally this is all done by utilizing a user friendly and easily accessible web-based self-service portal.

· Broad Network Access

Cloud computing services are available over a network, either over a dedicated network, the Internet or the Intranet. These services can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, anytime on any device or workstation, with the right credentials of course.

· Resource Pooling

Cloud computing provides multiple customers the same physical resources, however, with a a separate environment for each client. And the resources from these physical servers can be pooled from various servers, in various data centers, in various locations. And if a server in your network goes offline, then your virtual server will pool resources from another server in your physical network. Even if an entire data center in your network is down, then your resources are pooled from various data centers in various locations. This structure allows for decreased risk in the instance of failure.

· Rapid Elasticity

Perhaps one of the essential benefits of cloud computing is the flexibility that it provides to users, as cloud resources can be rapidly and elastically supplied to quickly scale out and in to meet demand. In other words, you get the resources that you need when you need them.

· Measured Service

Cloud computing leverages metering capabilities to measure your usage of resources, allowing you to only pay for what you are using. In other words, just like a utility bill you will only be charged for what you use, nothing more nothing less.

The 3 Main Cloud Computing Service Models

In cloud computing, there are three main service models. They are Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

· Software as a Service (SaaS) is the most extensively used cloud computing service model. SaaS allows developers and organizations to utilize business specific applications developed by third parties. In a SaaS model the vendor hosts both the application and the data, and the end user is free to use the services from anywhere. SaaS is not your average on premise software, as it is deployed over a network, generally the web, accessible via browser or program interface. Services can be anything from email to inventory control to database processing. Some examples include: Salesforce.com, Zoho, and Netsuite. The service level coverage provided includes: application uptime and performance.

· Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a type of cloud computing that provides users with software development tools that are hosted on a cloud provider’s infrastructure. In a PaaS environment, developers can leverage the resources of a cloud provider to create and host applications on their platforms over the Internet. The greatest benefit derived from PaaS is that users can run existing or develop new applications without being concerned about the maintenance of server hardware, operating systems, load balancing or computing capacity. In other words, you can unload the responsibility of owning, managing, and operating systems software and hardware to your service provider. The types of services provided can be anything from RunTime scenario, cloud storage, integration and etc. Some examples of PaaS are Google App Engine, Windows Azure and Force.com. The service level coverage provided includes: environment availability, environment performance and no application coverage.

· Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides users with networks, storage, virtualized servers and systems software that give you all the functionalities of an entire data center. In other words, you are able to use computers that your service provider owns, manages and operates. Resources should encompass servers, storage, vendor managed network and virtualization layers so that your network architect is able to run your application and data. All the while, you will have control over operating systems and deployed applications. Types of services provided: cloud storage and virtual server. Some examples: Amazon Web Services, RackSpace Cloud and Go Grid. The service level coverage provided includes: virtual server availability, time to provision and no platform or application coverage.

The Three Major Cloud Solutions

There are many types of cloud strategies to employ. There are three main types of cloud solutions, including: public, private and hybrid cloud solutions.

· Public Cloud

When people think of the term cloud, more often than not they are referring to the public cloud. A public cloud solution is shared by thousands of customers worldwide and is available to anyone on the Internet. This is the easiest and most cost effective cloud strategy to employ. However, because you share the cloud with the public, you do not want to keep sensitive information here.

· Private Cloud

When your organization has sensitive data, privacy fears are a leading issue. This is where a private cloud will come into use. A private cloud is either a proprietary network or a data center that provides hosted services to just a single customer. In a private cloud setup, you must either lease or supply the hardware that will be used. Not to mention you can either manage some or all of your IT resources in-house or managed externally. For businesses that are in highly regulated industries where security is paramount, a private cloud solution is the only alternative. The benefits of a private cloud solution include: no restrictions of network bandwidth, security vulnerabilities, and legal concerns that utilizing a public cloud might encompass. It can also have improved security, accountability, and resiliency than a public cloud because use can be contained and managed. Some disadvantages are that a large capital investment is required, time to market can average 6-36 months to establish and the learning curve is great.

· Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a combination of a public and a private cloud and is considered to be the best of both worlds. A hybrid cloud solution allows you to keep all of your secure data in a private cloud setting, while getting high usability of mobile and web based access to corporate applications. In most cases, a hybrid cloud solution that combines the advantages of both private and public clouds works rather well for a bulk of businesses. Some advantages of a hybrid cloud solution include: no vendor lock in, minimizes the risk of data loss and/or downtime, save the extra cost of purchasing exclusive server hardware and get fairly reliable connectivity, even in case of outages. One major disadvantage is that a hybrid cloud solution is very expensive.

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Learn More About How to Choose Computer Parts

A computer is a device that is assembled with a combination of components and elements and is programmed to automatically complete logical and sequential operations. The term ‘computer’ is not any single part by itself but a ‘sum of many parts’ working together. The physical components or elements that can be seen and handled or felt are collectively called ‘computer hardware; these elements more or less constitute the computer system.

Components or elements that are a part of ‘computer hardware’ are the chips, computer data storage, hard disk drive, graphic cards, keyboard, memory, monitor, motherboard, mouse, sound cards etc. In contrast, ‘computer software’ cannot be seen; it is the set of instructions or commands or programs installed in the computer and run by the hardware.

Usually computer parts in a computing system are labeled in reference to a desktop which is the most often used. A laptop also has similar parts but they are put together in a precise and concise package that can be carried anywhere.

The hardware components of a computer system can be detailed as follows:

• System Unit – Usually in the shape of a rectangular box, this is the ‘core’ of the computer that houses the electronic components whose central function is to process information. One of the most important components is the Central Processing Unit (CPU or Microprocessor) which is the brain of the computer. This processing element handles logical operations; the order and sequence of operations can be changed by a control unit. The other important component is the Random Access Memory (RAM), which is the unit that stores information temporarily when the computer is in operation; once it is switched off, the information contained in the RAM is wiped off.

Almost every other component of a computer system is connected to the system unit through cables plugged into specific openings, called ‘ports’. Other elements not collectively in the ‘hardware’ are referred to as ‘peripheral devices’.

• Storage – generally a computer system has one disk drive or more; these are plastic or metal storage devices that store information when the computer is not in use.

• Hard Disk Drive (HDD) – the HDD is located inside the system unit and is the primary storage area of a computer system; it is a stack of rigid platters coated with a magnetic surface and can hold large amounts of information

• Compact Disc Drive – a CD (Compact Disk) Drive located in the front top portion of a system unit uses lasers to retrieve data from a CD; this way information can be shared from computer to computer by ‘reading’ CDs. A CD Drive also allows information from the computer system to be ‘written’ on the CD for storage or for sharing; it can be also used to play music CDs.

• Digital Versatility Disc – called the Digital Video Disc until a few years ago, the DVD Drive operates much like the CD Drive but is capable of reading and writing more complex formats. A DVD Drive is usually used on a computer to watch video clips and full-length movies.

• Floppy Disk

• Drive – though no longer relevant since the advent of Pen Drives that are known as Mobile Storage Units because files can be copied and carried in hand for use anywhere, the Floppy Drive was extremely popular at the beginning of computer usage for storing information and retrieving it later. Since they were not fool proof against tampering, damage and loss of data, these have become redundant although some computers still have these drives.

• Monitor – the monitor or screen of a computer displays text and graphics. The two basic monitor types are the Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) which is now mostly relegated to the older models and the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) ones which are the newest. LCD monitors are much lighter and thinner than CRTs.

• Keyboard – the keyboard has keys for the arrangement of letters and numbers on a typewriter keyboard; besides these, there are also special keys such as function and navigation keys. A keyboard can also do some of the functions that a mouse is programmed to do.

• Mouse – this term is very appropriate for the device as it resembles a mouse with a tail; the tail is the cable that attaches the ‘mouse’ to the system unit although modern wireless units have appeared. Its function is to point out items and elements on the computer monitor or screen and allowing the user to use ‘click’ procedures to operate commands. A mouse has two buttons; the left button is the primary one used for clicking and the other, the secondary. A wheel set positioned under the mouse between the two buttons allows the user to scroll down the screen and look at pages of information without having to scroll line by line.

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A Guide for Hiring the Best Computer Troubleshooters

One of the best ways of ensuring the success of your business is enlisting professional business computer support. Your business is largely dependent on technology. As such, if your computers or the entire IT system is not functioning properly, the operations of your business will be affected. Nevertheless, you can avoid this by ensuring that you have experts always ready to fix your business computer problems.

Hire the best computer troubleshooters

There are many providers of computer repair services. However, you should hire the best IT experts to fix the computer problems of your business computers. There are several things that you should look out for when hiring experts to fix your computer IT problems.

They include:

    1. Knowledge: The best experts to repair your business computers should be knowledgeable technicians. These should have undergone professional training and acquired relevant experience in fixing different computer problems.
    1. Concerned about your business: Hire experts who care about the success of your business. The best experts should know the impacts of the failure of your business IT system. As such, they should fix your computer problem efficiently and effectively.
    1. Dependable: Look for experts that you can depend on to fix any computer problem. This also means that the experts should be available any time you need them. They should also respond quickly as promised and solve the problem professionally.
  1. Comprehensive solutions: There are many interconnected threats that face your business IT system. They include viruses and malware which can interfere with the proper functioning of your IT system. The best IT experts should provide comprehensive solutions to these problems.

It is highly important that you consider the professional qualifications of the computer IT expert that you hire to fix your business computer problems. This is very important because only IT experts who have undergone professional training can provide the best small business IT support. Therefore, consider the level of professional training of a technician before enlisting their service.

Additionally, consider the experience of a computer technician before hiring their service. The best local computer technician to hire to fix your computer problems should be experienced in fixing different computer problems. A technician who has been offering computer repair services in your area has also established an enviable reputation. Thus, once you hire a reputable technician you are assured that you will get quality services because there is no problem that a professional and experienced technician cannot fix.

If you are feel that you need a best computer troubleshooters for PC, Business computes and laptops you have to be clear and choose a best local computer technician to provides small business IT support with very small price.

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Different Types Of Computers!

While a computer basically has a microprocessor in it, people think of it as a way to input information using a mouse and a keyboard. They also believe that it simply processes the data that they input in it somehow and produces a result on the screen. However, what they do not know is that there are different types of computers in this world. Here are some types of computers.

The personal computer

The personal computer can be defined as a machine that has been developed or designed for personal use by a single individual. Even though a Mac is also a personal computer, many still continue to associate personal computers with the one that has Windows as its operating system. Personal computers were originally known as microcomputers since they were built smaller in size as compared to the personal computers that are currently in use by most businesses.

Desktop

A personal computer that is not designed to be transported is called a desktop computer. The expectation that you will be set up at a permanent location comes with desktop computers. Most desktops offer storage, power, and versatility for a cost lesser than their portable cousins.

Laptops

These are also known as notebooks. These computers integrate the keyboard, display, the trackball, the processor, the memory, and the hard drive all in one unit that is battery operated or that runs on electricity and these are slightly larger than an average notebook. However, they are portable unlike desktop computers and personal computers.

Mainframe

Back in the day, you could find that mainframes were huge and filled an entire room. Even though the size of computers has diminished today, the power of the modern computers has increased twofold. As this has happened, the mainframe computers have fallen out of favor with the enterprises that initially ran these servers. You can still hear the term mainframe today in enterprises, even though it is not in use.

Tablet computers

Today, you can get computers in tablet phones. You can get a variety of tablet phones from the market. These are compact in size and come in a wide range of sizes and colors. You can carry them to any place you like without having to worry about whether or not they would work well. In fact, these computers have more features in one as compared to the other computers. There are also devices known as “phablets” since they are a combination of phones and tablet computers.

To know more about computer or computers, please check our website.

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10 Quick Tips To Speed Up Your Computer

Has your computer become slower than an old steam engine? If it has, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and speed it up. While there are a number of tools that claim to help in boosting computer speed, the best slow computer fix lies within your operating system. Check out these ten quick tips to speed up your computer and boost its performance.

1. Clear Up Old Programs

Clicking a few buttons on an installation wizard and adding a program to the existing repertoire on your computer is easy. However, every tiny program that is added to the list can play a part in slowing down your computer. Even if you are not actively using them, some of these programs tend to run background processes that can be a huge drain on your machine’s resources. Uninstalling programs that you don’t or rarely use is the first speed fix for your machine, and can be done quite simply from the Control Panel. So get started with “spring cleaning” your computer and watch it go from slow to fast in no time.

2. Partition Your Hard Drive

If your computer runs on just a single drive, it is time to partition it. Your computer’s Control Panel’s “Administrative Tools” provides you with all you need to partition your hard drive. Simply select “Computer Management”, “Storage” and “Disk Management”. Right-click on the single existing drive and choose “Shrink Volume”. You will be prompted to specify the amount of space you would like to shrink the drive by. Once the drive has been shrunk, you will see some unallocated/free space available. Right-click on the free space and create a new partition out of all the space or part of it.

Once you’ve partitioned your hard drive, move files out of your “Desktop” and “Documents” folders. Windows loads all your files in these folders each time it starts up, and this can be a major drain on resources and can increase loading time.

3. Do A Disk Cleanup

A disk cleanup is a rather simple task, but often overlooked. As you use your machine, there are often redundant and temporary files that are backed up. A disk cleanup clears up all these files and improves performance. The Windows disk cleanup utility can be found under “Start” -> “Programs” -> “Accessories” -> “System Tools”. Choose the drive that you wish to clean up, and Windows takes care of the rest of the job for you.

4. Defragment Your Computer

The option to defragment your computer can be found in the same place as the disk cleanup utility. Defragmenting basically implies that you are managing computer space better, thereby improving performance. Over time, as you install and uninstall programs or add and delete files on your machine, there are little pockets of space over which Windows needs to travel before getting to the file or program that you are trying to open. Defragmenting works similar to re-organizing your wardrobe – it organizes existing files and programs, re-maps their indices and frees up pockets of space so that performance is improved. Defragmenting a drive can take quite a long time, but should be done at least once in 3 months to keep your computer running smoothly.

5. Turn Off Start-up Programs

Programs that are set to start up when your computer loads can significantly extend the time your machine takes to start, while causing a lot of processes running in the background. If you don’t need a program to start along with your machine, disable it. Click “Start” -> “Run” and type “msconfig”, without the quotes. You will get a System Configuration window which will give you the option to enable or disable programs at “Startup”. Deselect all unnecessary programs, leaving only your antivirus programs enabled.

6. Adjust Visual Effects

Themes, animations and visual effects sure look great on your computer, but can significantly slow it down, especially if you are running low on RAM and your hardware isn’t really up to the mark. Windows 7 comes bundled with the option to adjust visual effects under “Performance Information and Tools” under the “Start” menu. For older versions of Windows, adjust the graphics settings for optimum performance and this will have a significant impact on speed.

7. Disable Windows Indexing

If you are a frequent user of the “Search” option on your computer, chances are high that Windows has indexed and recorded information related to your searches and your files, and has stored it somewhere. Disabling the indexing service can boost your computer’s speed rather noticeably. Click “Start” -> “Run” and type “services.msc”, without the quotes. Select the “services.msc” link that displays to bring up the “Services” window. Scroll down to the “Windows Search” service and disable it.

8. Set A Static IP For Your Computer

When you start up your computer, quite a lot of time is spent in assigning it a dynamic IP address. Assigning it a static IP address is easier on the network as well as on the machine and can save a lot of your start-up time.

To set a static IP address, go to the “Network and Sharing Center” and choose “Change Adapter Settings”. Right-click on the adapter that you are using, select “Properties” -> “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” -> “Properties”. Select the “Use the following IP address” radio button and enter the static IP that your computer will be using. This has to correspond with your network setup, so be sure to use the right IP address.

9. Get More RAM

Increasing your computer’s RAM is a simple, yet effective slow computer fix! If you use a lot of programs, you need more RAM or your machine will lag. While there is no upper limit on the extent to which you can upgrade your RAM, 4 GB should do just fine for smooth performance.

10. Clear Up Dust

Your computer’s speed issues could be more than just internal, and could also be caused by dust and dirt. Dust can inhibit free airflow and cause your computer to heat up, which in turn reduces its performance. So, get out your cleaning kit and give your machine a thorough cleaning, and you will be surprised at how well your computer works after this.

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