MCC Daily Tribune Archive

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing.  No we’re not talking about the weather.

With all of the buzz lately about everything being in the cloud, you may be wondering what exactly is “Cloud Computing”.   

You may already be a user of cloud computing if you use any of the following services:

1.       Gmail, Hotmail or other online email service.
2.       YouTube, Netflix or other streaming video or movies.
3.       SalesForce CRM.
4.       Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media websites.

These are all website services that do not require you to install a program on your computer.  All you need is a web browser such as Internet Explorer (IE) or Firefox and the Internet to use these services.  The term “cloud” is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the cloud drawings used to represent the Internet in computer network diagrams. Cloud Computing may be subscription-based or a pay-per-use service over the Internet. 

Cloud computing is a growing trend in IT today, as we all look for ways to save money and add flexibility to our operations.  Cloud Computing provides on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources such as networks, servers, storage and applications.

Here are just some of the cloud computing services MCC uses:

Angel / Blackboard – Online Course Management System
Microsoft Live or MS Office 365 - Student Email
Cisco Network Academy – Course Assessment
Web Hosting Services – Time Warner
People Admin – HR Job Search

The growth in cloud computing is fueled by the economies of scale. Cloud computing allows users to pay for what they need, when they need it.  Of course with the benefits comes the risk, such as security concerns, reliability, compliance, backups, etc.  It is critical that you research the risks and benefits before moving your service to a cloud environment. 

Donna Pogroszewski
Communications and Network Services