Cloud Computing Services List

Cloud computing involves hosting various Information Technology services and applications remotely and accessing them via the Internet. The advantage of this is that any computer with an Internet connection can then access said applications and services. For example, a file storage service hosted by Amazon would be represented through the precipitation cycle metaphor of water evaporating when files are stored and raining when they are downloaded. The cloud itself is not part of any of the technology infrastructures using the files, but is part of all their processes.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a simple cloud computing file storage service in which data is stored remotely and ‘dropped’ into the box for everyone to share. An example use of this is that an organization can have its promotions department in one location and its web development in another. The promotions department can drop picture files into the box and the web development team can collect them remotely and use them to create the page. The advantage of this is that resources can be shared amongst many without the need for manual emailing and specific server hosting.

Pricing:

2 Gigagbytes of data for free.
$9.99 per month for 50 Gigabytes
$19.99 per month for 100 Gigabytes
Custom pricing for larger teams.

Visit Dropbox’s site here

Google Apps

Google is one of the better providers of cloud computing as they offer a large range of services. The entire Google Documents suite of applications allows people to remotely work on the same spreadsheet or word document, which is fantastic for students working together and has also begun to attract businesses. The major advantage to this service is that it is very cheap, making it an attractive prospect for small but global businesses. Furthermore, Google has its own laptops called ‘Chromebooks’ that are cheap laptops designed only to use its cloud services. Services include video hosting, email services and document creation.

Pricing:

$5 per month per user or $50 a year per user

Salesforce

Salesforce offers cloud computing options that are an intermediate between basic systems such as Google App Engine and more advanced systems such as Rackspace Cloud. It is designed to cater for customer support based services by essentially moving the support structure of an organization online. This includes the option for managers to overlook the overall situation, for technical support and such to communicate with clients. Unfortunately, I cannot verify the manner in which their VOIP system is set up and so cannot include details about it in this review although it seems that the $195 per month package has basic computer telephony integration and would therefore be the package for those seeking to use the cloud service as the framework for its call centre.

Pricing:

$95 per month for basic support system.

Visit Saleforce’s site here

Rackspace Cloud

Rackspace Cloud offer services similiar to Amazon’s EC2 services in that it provides server resources and time to clients to distribute work and data to. This means that it offers more oppotunities as it can in theory host almost all applications, but loses some of the simplicity of previously mentioned cloud services. They offer three services: servers, file storage and load balancers designed to offset server loads elsewhere. The idea with the load balancing is that rather than upgrading an already existing server, an organization may simply offset some of its load during peak hours or such to compensate.

Pricing:

Prices start at $0.015 cents per hour or $10.95 per month for a 10gb, 256 mb of ram server. Data transfer is calculated seperately at 8 cents per Gigabyte of download data and 18 cents per gigabye of upload. This is listed as starting at roughly 1.5 cents per hour or $11 per month. As with all usage based plans this could and likely would spike upwards.

Visit Rackspace Cloud’s site here

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud 2

Rather than offering specific application services, Amazon offers its cloud computing product as server time. The benefit of this is that it can host almost anything, the negative is that for those wishing for simple tasks with little set up it may take time to set up the server. The benefits of using Amazon, however, is that large organizations tend to be very secure and that the pricing scheme dynamically takes into account how much server resources and bandwidth are being used. Ultimately, Amazon is attempting to win over the budget crowd by charging people for exactly what they use and having very flexible contract terms.

Pricing:

A complex pricing scheme based on resources used, per hour, and in what area. Lowest price appears to be $227.50 per year for a reserved instance or $0.12 cents per hour for on-demand. Prices rise with usage.

Visit Amazon EC2′s site here

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