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What is Cloud Computing?

By ·Categories: Tech Explained·Published On: November 12th, 2021·3 min read·

We are often asked – what is cloud computing? Cloud computing offers a wide range of services and resources to networked devices. Users of cloud computing often serve applications, provide remote storage or offer additional processing power to their on-site systems. 

Simply put, the term cloud computing came about because the location of capabilities it offers is nebulous, intangible and frequently irrelevant to users. For companies offering commodity or business applications, cloud computing is an attractive option, but is it best to invest in in-house IT systems and management, or move your infrastructure to the Cloud?  

As we covered in our Edge vs Fog post, the decision doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t be) one or the other. Cloud computing allows companies to move faster on projects without vast upfront costs. In addition to cloud computing being highly cost effective, it also allows users to rapidly scale their services. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, when combined with edge computing, you get a best of both worlds infrastructure that can make quick decisions, while providing the flexibility of remote management.

What is cloud computing infographic

Using Cloud Computing with Edge Devices 

Cloud computing and edge devices were made for each other. When the two pair together, they create ample opportunities for businesses to grow. The cloud is frequently the destination for Edge or IoT data, allowing for access anywhere. Together, the edge and cloud operate simultaneously to produce cost-effective data monitoring and control solutions. 

Here at OnLogic, we provide businesses with the hardware tools they need to make the most of cloud computings capabilities. For example, we partnered with Genea to find the perfect cloud solution for their business. Genea offers cloud-based software and services for the commercial real estate industry, including property managers and business owners. 

The OnLogic team identified a fanless PC as the basis for Genea’s hardware solution. From there, we worked with them to create a unique gateway platform that would meet their specific connectivity and performance requirements. Today, Genea uses a customized, custom branded version of the OnLogic ML350 to create smart building solutions for their clients

Genea Custom Computer Systems from OnLogic

Cloud vs. Edge Computing 

If you’re unfamiliar, edge computing enables low latency data collection. In addition it compute capabilities are real-time at the fringes of our connected world. Information collected by edge computers can then be sent to the cloud for storage or further computational analysis. 

Compared to working exclusively in the cloud, edge computing can yield significant benefits. Especially with respect to latency by processing the data closer to the source. Security can also be improved by way of minimizing the amount of data that has been sent off-site. Lastly, data integrity and reliability can be improved  by mitigating the necessity to transfer data across multiple networks and into the cloud for computation. 

None of this means that cloud computing should be avoided, only that it’s important to understand your specific needs when creating your data management architecture. Think about how you distribute the experts within your business. You want to make sure that you have adequate resources to get questions answered quickly and address any issues that arise. The same care should be taken when considering where to place your computing power. Your unique needs may be best served by a combination of edge and cloud resources.

If you have questions about where compute power should live, or what hardware would best meet your needs, reach out to our solution specialists to chat about your project. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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About the Author: Ross Hamilton

Ross is a Senior Solution Architect at OnLogic responsible for research, strategy, and product innovation. When he's not at work, Ross likes to spend time with my family enjoying movies/television/games, and care for his many animals.
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