If you have little experience in network technology, you probably know that the Internet and many of its applications are based on the concept of using “network resources” in a similar way to what you might call a utility computing model. Examples of this sort of application are email, webmail, and file storage.
The most obvious example of cloud-based services is the popular online blogging platform Twitter. Twitter actually streams the information it loads from its servers to every individual user’s computer. Similarly, online social networks like Facebook and MySpace allow their members to upload items or photos and post them to their own home pages or through specialized third-party applications. All of these networks are taking advantage of the same basic idea behind cloud computing: data is shared and accessed on a shared server rather than a user’s own.
The field of Internet marketing has also turned to cloud computing in its quest for new ways to advertise products and services. Applications like Google AdSense allow websites to display relevant advertising based on a visitor’s past search habits, or the activities of other Internet users who have recently come to the website. In some ways, it is much like the utility computing model that we saw above, except it’s applied to the online environment. There’s still a big difference between using this sort of application for marketing purposes and for communicating with customers directly.
Another example of cloud computing that may be at the root of your networking questions is Amazon’s cloud hosting. Amazon Web Services offers a variety of tools and programs for managing and monitoring an entire website’s performance. This may seem like a minor point, but it’s important. Many people wonder how Amazon can offer all this functionality for so little cost, but it does. The company spends a great deal of money on its cloud hosting, and it continues to expand and build on that foundation each day.
Is cloud computing a part of networking?
It may not be a major part of your overall network planning, at least not in the way you may think of it. But it is certainly one consideration to take into account. As you may have guessed, Amazon uses its own platform to host its own applications and e-commerce features. If your business focuses on more traditional file and document storage over a network, then it may not be a bad idea to move some of your files and those documents to an off-site location. But by using the same network as Amazon, you can leverage the power and efficiency of the Amazon system and put it to work for you.
Similarly, companies who are big fans of remote management and want to take their IT resources and infrastructure on the road can also gain access to cloud hosting. With some software, they can easily take remote servers, create policies, and set up the whole thing from their desktops. Even if they use a third-party service for their cloud application, they will still gain some of the advantages offered by Amazon. Some of those advantages may even make remote management less stressful, after all.
Cloud Computing is a part of networking?
So the bottom line is, yes, cloud computing is a part of networking. But when you’re talking about application deployment, it’s the actual data centers where things get interesting. After all, you wouldn’t want to be in a position where your applications were taking up excessive bandwidth. The server farms run by remote servers are a great source of stress relief when it comes to the amount of information and files being transferred over the network.
And finally, we should point out that networking is just one part of the equation when it comes to cloud hosting. A lot of people are quick to say that everything can be done over the Internet, without any particular consideration for how that traffic gets there or how it’s routed. It’s true that most applications can be hosted remotely, but you have to ask yourself if that’s really what you want. If you’re going to move your business to the cloud anyway, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and not just because you can get it done cheaper. You’ll probably regret cloud hosting in the long run, especially if you can avoid the most common mistakes.