A few years ago, the word “cloud” referred to white, puffy formations in the sky. The definition of “cloud” today has been expanded to include a type of computing where hardware, applications, storage, desktops, and even entire networks are hosted elsewhere and accessed via the Internet. Cloud computing is “an airy term for real systems of cleverly networked computers, powers thousands of mobile games, workplace software programs and advanced research projects” — and it’s on the rise. (1)
If you use Dropbox to store and share files or Google Docs to create word processing documents or spreadsheets, you are taking advantage of cloud computing. Popular forms of cloud computing includes:
- Online storage / file sharing – Services such as Dropbox, Box, and Evernote allow users to upload and share files. Because they’re “in the cloud,” files can be accessed remotely from computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Document creation – Instead of buying an expensive copy of Microsoft Office or Adobe Illustrator, you could access these same powerful applications via the cloud for a fraction of the cost. Cloud-based software is typically available for a low-cost monthly subscription. In addition to cost advantages, you can access the always-current software from virtually any Internet-connected device.
- Business applications – Salesforce.com pioneered cloud-based sales force automation as a service. Other common forms of cloud-based business applications include CRM software, accounting software, invoicing software, and enterprise asset management software to name just a few.
- Entertainment – Did you watch the last episode of Game of Thrones on your HBO to Go app? Have you recently watched a movie on Netflix or Amazon prime on your tablet? Do you enjoy a game of Words with Friends with a distant relative? These are all popular forms of cloud computing.
- Cloud hardware – From desktops and servers to storage and networks, it’s possible to rent hardware via “the cloud.”
One area that’s been underserved in cloud computing is data archiving. That is, until now. Dolphin Corporation’s Content Archive Service for Cloud allows SAP archived data to be “stored to cloud and transparently accessed whenever and wherever [users] needed” the data (2).
Dolphin is the first to incorporate cloud storage into SAP data archiving.
Demand for cloud computing is on the rise. How high will it go?