Cloud Computing

Cloud is a new approach to IT resources, especially hardware and software, which can be used remotely, via the Internet. From the users’ perspective, everything that is not in their computers or networks, is in a kind of cloud, hence the name cloud computing. However, there is another parallel with clouds that are constantly changing and evolving – like the needs of businesses for IT equipment. Users can expand the portfolio of used services in case of rapid growth of the company, or when they want to start new business activities remotely and quickly, according to their current needs. This is possible without the necessary investment in new hardware or software, and with lower operating costs.
The idea of sharing computational power of computers and servers remotely originated many years ago when large corporations began to realize that their data center capacity remains unused, especially at night. Responsible managers have decided to offer spare capacity to other users over the Internet. Over time, cloud computing has become a fully-fledged business, services have become more professional, and service suppliers, including S&T, have started to rent unlimited computing power of their data centers for applications and programs.

Based on the utilization rate of a cloud service provider, there are three basic levels of cloud computing: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Cloud services from a provider are referred to as public clouds; if a company builds a cloud internally, i.e. in its environment, we speak of a private cloud. New technologies also support a mixed mode – the so-called hybrid cloud using a private cloud and some IT services from external sources, i.e. from external suppliers.

As already mentioned, cloud computing is a kind of evolutionary follow-up to virtualization, a division of one physical server (or a memory, storage, network card) into a number of units that operate separately with their own operating systems and allocated computing power. When the virtualization of corporate servers reaches a significant level, e.g. about three-quarters of the hardware capacity, the situation starts to resemble cloud computing with all its benefits, especially the effective capacity management.

In cloud computing, S&T provides a comprehensive portfolio of services to users from any sector of the economy and businesses of any size, allowing them to use the necessary applications without the investment in proprietary hardware or software.

Clouds from S&T have several key advantages: in addition to cost savings and zero initial investment, it is fast commissioning of services, including the solution testing. The service can start working in 10 minutes after it is ordered. Moreover, the project is not limited in time: as soon as the user does not need anymore, the delivery is completed. The configuration of cloud services is based on business requirements of the customer who pays only for the resources used in the form of licenses, dedicated storage, and server performance, on a monthly basis.

S&T’s approach to cloud computing includes solutions for all three levels, i.e. IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. While the first two forms of cloud services include private clouds, rental of unlimited computing power in S&T Cloud or spaces in data centers, SaaS (Software as a Service) includes Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft CRM Online services and an efficient operation of SAP applications in a private cloud.