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Overview of Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing?

NORRCOM and the cloud, a partnership made for schools

In cloud computing, the capital investment in building and maintaining data centers is replaced by consuming IT resources as an elastic, utility-like service from a cloud “provider” (including storage, computing, networking, data processing and analytics, application development, machine learning, and even fully managed services).
Whereas in the past cloud computing was considered the province of startups and aggressively visionary enterprise users, today, it is part of the enterprise computing mainstream across every industry, for organizations of any type and size.

what are the benefits of cloud computing

Cloud computing has made a profound impact on innovation and the economics of business overall. It gives forward-looking organizations the opportunity to not only improve flexibility, reduce costs, and focus on core competencies, but also to fully transform how they operate — for example, by re-designing internal workflows or customer interactions as digital experiences that extend from the data center all the way through to mobile devices.

Specifically, the business advantages of cloud computing include:

  • Resources can be purchased and consumed on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, and increased or decreased as needed for optimal utilization.
  • Capital expenses can be converted into operating expenses.
  • Cloud customers can focus on rapid innovation without the expense and complexities of hardware procurement and infrastructure management.
  • End-user productivity is likely enhanced because no software is installed, configured, or upgraded on personal devices, and services can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Infrastructure functionality, performance, reliability, and security are likely to improve because customers can benefit from “vertically integrated” stacks that are customized at every level — which would be out of reach for on-premises deployments built from off-the-shelf components.

Will cloud computing work with existing infrastructure?

Although some companies have “lifted and shifted” their entire infrastructure to the cloud as part of a full digital transformation, most will choose to take a gradual approach that presumes a hybrid environment. For that reason, it’s important for your cloud provider to support integration with on-premises systems via standard connectors and interfaces, in addition to open frameworks and APIs that help make customer applications portable to other platforms (whether on-premises or cloud-based).

What are good initial use cases for migrating to the cloud?

For those organizations taking a gradual approach to a cloud migration, there are a few use cases that present good opportunities for initial success:

  • Disaster recovery (DR): maintaining data center redundancy can be expensive. Instead, storing redundant data in the public cloud, coupled with the use of specialized tools for managing the DR process, can be more cost-effective.
  • Development & testing environments: similarly, using public-cloud infrastructure in lieu of replicating on-premises resources for test/dev can make significant capital investments unnecessary.
  • Managed services: Collaboration apps (e.g., G Suite), data analytics (e.g., Google BigQuery), and even machine learning (e.g., Google Cloud ML Engine) can now be consumed as services that complement on-premises systems before making a wholesale infrastructure shift to the cloud.
  • Data archiving: the public cloud can provide data storage at massive scale and cost-effectively.
  • Specialized compute-intensive workloads: When access to massive computing power is needed but only on a transient/ad-hoc basis, the cloud is an efficient option.

With your use case(s) identified, it will be important to identify your preferred method of storage, model your costs, and determine whether you will migrate your data via self-service or with the help of a vendor.

What’s next for cloud computing?

Initially, cloud computing was premised on running IT infrastructure in a more flexible, more cost-effective way. In contrast, the next wave of cloud computing is about helping customers forget about the existence of that infrastructure entirely (aka “serverless” computing), thereby freeing them to unlock full digital business transformation.

EveryCloud from NORRCOM

EveryCloud is NORRCOM’s hosted cloud service offering, giving schools the final choice on how they want and who they want to host a service. EveryCloud gives schools the chance to host the server component such as print offsite and at NORRCOM giving you the ability to rid yourself of all on site services.NORRCOM thinking cloud

Microsoft Cloud

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a collection of various cloud computing services, including remotely hosted and managed versions of proprietary Microsoft technologies, and open technologies, such as various Linux distributions deployable inside a virtual machine.

Why does Microsoft Azure matter?

Azure lacks upfront costs or an appreciable time delay in resource provisioning capacity is available on demand. With a usage-based billing formula, Azure is a compelling option for enterprises transitioning from on-premise Windows servers to the cloud.

Who does Microsoft Azure affect?

Azure can be utilized at any scale, from a garage startup to a Fortune 500 company. Because of the ease of transition, organizations with an existing Windows Server deployment may find Azure to be best suited to their needs.

When was Microsoft Azure released?

Azure reached general availability in February 2010, with additional services and regional data centers being added continually since launch.

How do I get Microsoft Azure?

NORRCOM Hybrid Cloud Solutions

New users receive a $200 service credit good for 30 days when signing up for Microsoft Azure; the credit can be applied toward any Microsoft-provided service. Additional discounts and credits are available for startups, nonprofits, and universities.

AWS – Amazon Web Service

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully featured services from data centers globally. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster.

What is AWS? AWS is a platform offering computer, data storage, and a wide array of other IT solutions and utilities for modern organizations. AWS was launched in 2006, and has since become one of the most popular cloud platforms currently available.

NORRCOM cloud from your mobile

AWS offers numerous advantages for organizations like reduced management overhead, simplified implementation, and significantly reduced costs versus comparable legacy solutions. In fact, AWS has been such a game changer that many organizations are eliminating on-premise servers altogether in favor of  AWS

EC2

One of the most powerful services offered by AWS was also one of the first released in 2006. Amazon refers to this service as the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). EC2 effectively enables AWS customers to lease virtual systems, managed by AWS, upon which organizations can run their own applications and resources.

In doing so, AWS made it possible for organizations to eliminate the need to build and maintain a private, on-premise infrastructure to reach the same end. Instead, organizations only paid for what they used, creating a far more scalable model without the management overhead of hosting the same architecture on-premise.

The result was that organizations could instead focus their efforts and capital towards more important tasks like developing their products. EC2 has been so successful that Amazon has subsequently added a large number of utilities.

AWS Ticks Many Boxes

Today, AWS for computer, storage, networking, analytics, application services, deployment, identity and access management, directory services, security. All of which offer powerful, cloud based, pay-as-you-go alternatives compared to their legacy counterparts.

These solutions have made it possible for organizations to shift their entire data center to the cloud. The benefits for organizations is that there is no longer a need to build data centers on-premise, nor incur the massive costs of data center builds and operations. IT doesn’t have to worry about implementation, integration, networking, and everything else that comes with building a data center. Rather, organizations simply use what they need.

AWS has steadily chipped away at the on-premise foundation that has traditionally supported the IT infrastructure in most organizations. In fact, it’s not uncommon for newer organizations and startups to leverage AWS  for the majority of their IT resources.

Benefits of AWS

  • Minimize investment, maintenance, and management overhead for on-premise solutions
  • Leverage resources that are highly reliable, always on, and globally available
  • Increase productivity by providing the right tools to get the job done
  • Heighten security with modern cloud security standards
  • Improve scalability with pay-to-play pricing

Google Cloud

NORRCOM is an accredited Google for Education Partner, which gives us access to the best range of devices from across the Google for Education range. This encompasses a range of solutions for teachers and students with market-leading productivity tools, affordable and easy to manage devices and classroom management tools.G Suite for EducationG Suite for Education is a set of free productivity tools built for teaching and learning. Just some of these tools include:
  • Google Classroom
  • Gmail
  • Shared Calendars
  • Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations and Forms
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage
  • Security and Administration Controls