A Guide to Cloud Computing for Beginners

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has revolutionised the way in which we think about IT infrastructure. It provides businesses with the delivery of computing services including, servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more, over the internet, or ‘the cloud’.

This eliminates the need for the costly ownership and upkeep of computer hardware, with cloud providers instead offering the services on-demand. This is beneficial for many companies, but especially smaller start-ups as it provides exactly the right type and size of computing resources required for the job with no waste, you just pay for what you use.

Although cloud computing services are barely a decade old, the technology has been leapt upon so rapidly that its use has already started to become ubiquitous in our daily lives. If you use email, watch films and TV shows online, stream music, play games, or just store pictures and other documents, it is almost certain that cloud computing is making it all possible.

Cloud computing has caused a real paradigm shift in the way in which businesses think about IT resources. Look at the benefits of cloud computing however, and it becomes clear why so many are turning to it as a preferred IT solution.

The benefits of cloud computing:

  1. Cost

Cloud computing eliminates the cost associated with setting up and running on-site data centres including the racks of servers, the round-the-clock energy demands, and the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It also benefits from massive economies of scale, with many thousands of users, cloud providers can offer their services at lower prices.

  1. Speed

Cloud computing services are most commonly provided as on demand services. This means that vast amounts of computing power can be provisioned in minutes, giving businesses the flexibility to up weight and down weight resources as required and stop guessing capacity.

  1. Performance

Cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centres, and are regularly upgraded to the latest and most efficient computing hardware. This not only means that the upkeep of these services is done more efficiently than at a single privately owned data centre, but the worldwide network also allows for fast deployment of applications around the world with reduced network latency.

  1. Reliability

Backing up data is important and cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity far easier and cost effective than ever before.

How does C5 use cloud computing?

Cloud computing is taking the power we have come to know from our personal and upscaled it to create a global network of computing infrastructure to be used for everyone’s benefit. Thanks to the economies of scale involved, it now requires less capital and less infrastructure to build organisations, allowing start-ups to grow, scale and innovate globally on an unprecedented scale.

C5 have recognised the benefits of the cloud to new businesses and have begun running accelerators in Bahrain and Washington D.C. through C5 Accelerate. The eight-week structured program of mentorship is designed to cover all aspects of scaling up, with a focus on scaling using the cloud.

The Cloud Accelerator program in Bahrain is a first for the Middle East and Africa and aims to drive growth in the local and regional business ecosystem by enabling the rapid adoption of cloud technology. The program has already started to develop and fund businesses from across the region with a focus on technologies that align with the economic priorities of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including companies in manufacturing, financial services and technology sector development.

At the PeaceTech Accelerator based at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington D.C. and powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), C5 has launched the first major international peacetech program powered by cloud innovation and dedicated to scaling start-ups around the world. C5 is investing in peacetech because it represents the purposeful application of the innovation that cloud computing enables for good and not evil.

Following the programs, cohort companies enter a peer network for ongoing support and guidance.

These collaborations build on the existing relationship between C5 and AWS, in which AWS supports C5 accelerators with expertise and support to help train program participants on cloud computing services. With the AWS Cloud, PeaceTech accelerator and Cloud Accelerator participants can take advantage of the power of cloud technology to help launch and grow a business rapidly, securely, and cost effectively.