Short- term internet investments
Jan 23, at AM Author Bio Nicholas has been a writer for the Motley Fool sincecovering companies primarily in the consumer goods and technology sectors.
He enjoys the outdoors up and down the West Coast with his wife and their Humane Society-rescued dog. Follow nrossolillo Follow nrossolillo The rise of the cloud has been one of the best investment themes of the last decade.
What started out as little more than a buzzword short- term internet investments techies has grown into a massive industry, hauling in hundreds of billions of dollars a year worldwide.
In spite short- term internet investments their fast rise, though, cloud stocks will likely continue as a prominent driver of investment returns in the next decade, serving as a key ingredient in the "digital transformation" of many organizations as they update operations for the 21st century.
This guide will help get you started selecting the best of the many dozens of pure-play cloud companies available to invest in.
Image source: Getty Images. What is "the cloud"? So what is this high-in-the-sky technology term actually referring to? In simple terms, the cloud is a global network of data centers.
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These remote servers are used to deliver a service or complete a task for a user via the internet or other network. Functions of these data centers are diverse: They store data, run applications like email and business software, operate social networks, and deliver services like streaming TV. Generally, there are four methods by which the cloud is delivered to end users.
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The public cloud refers to a cloud service that shares resources with other users and is generally available over the internet. The private cloud, by contrast, isn't shared. It's usually a data center located on a company's property that provides services via a closed network rather than making them available via the public internet.
A hybrid cloud refers to a service that uses a mix of public and private clouds to function. For example, an organization might make use of public networks to access and operate less critical data and operations but automatically switch over to its private network when the data reaches a certain level of sensitivity.
A community cloud is one generally shared between businesses and organizations -- for instance, a data center that is shared by various arms short- term internet investments the U.
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A community cloud could help organizations make better use of their resources and make it easier to operate in tandem on joint projects. Organizations are making use of the cloud in myriad ways, but no matter the type of data center, all of them are still on the rise after a decade of busy construction activity.
A brief history of the cloud The concept of services being stored remotely and available on demand is nearly as old as the concept of the internet itself, but it wasn't until the s that the term "cloud" actually came into use in the tech world.
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An early pioneer of the concept was salesforce. The short- term internet investments hit on the concept of renting out its excess computing power to businesses and quickly became a leader in the cloud movement as a result.
Since the late s, a flood of cloud businesses has come online. Different parts of the cloud Just like different layers of the atmosphere, there are layers to the cloud, too. Generally, cloud services are split into three tiers. Some companies offer just one tier of service, while larger companies often span two or all three. Infrastructure-as-a-service The first tier and the base for all cloud offerings is infrastructure-as-a-service IaaS.
IaaS provides the nuts and bolts for a business wanting to operate in the cloud.
An IaaS provider offers the actual server space for storage, computing, networking, and security. Companies that don't operate their own cloud infrastructure host their services on another company's IaaS.
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Platform-as-a-service Many tech companies tout their software "platforms. Some software providers, like Salesforce for example, offer a PaaS in addition to SaaS see belowas they allow developers to custom build apps using a set of tools. Software-as-a-service Built on top of IaaS and PaaS is the short- term internet investments result of the cloud, the applications themselves.
Companies that operate and sell software applications are known as software-as-a-service SaaS providers. SaaS outfits build and provide ready-to-use apps for a wide variety of both business and consumer tasks. Why you should invest in the cloud The cloud is massive and growing fast The cloud has grown to epic proportions in relatively short order and has become a driving force behind technological advancement.
Digital transformation -- a phrase describing the wave of businesses and organizations using data center-based computing to update their operations -- is expected to fuel double-digit growth in cloud spending for the foreseeable future. The cloud is evolving Image source: Getty Images. Business analysts and economists generally think the s were the first half of the cloud's development and that the s will be phase two of the computing concepts' rapid global deployment.
As you can see above, the technology sector can be boom or bust. The same is true of individual companies and market segments within the space.
As it gets bigger, though, it is playing a role in the advance of other technologies. Edge computing, for example, is the move to push computing from the cloud to locations closer to the end user -- either at smaller localized data short- term internet investments or within devices themselves.
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Edge computing is quickly becoming a new category for cloud providers as they try to speed up the computing and data delivery process and is on its way to being worth tens of billions of dollars a year. The cloud is also powering applications like artificial intelligence as businesses use data centers to train and then deploy AI-based systems.
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Over the next decade, these could be powerful investment trends to watch that the cloud is making possible behind the scenes. As large, diversified tech giants, these companies can make up the core of an investment portfolio. Not to be forgotten, though, are the hardware companies that make cloud infrastructure and platform services possible. Hardware must exist before applications can be built.
Arista Networks and NVIDIA are two of the largest companies in this space, but investors who want to broaden their search even further should look for companies categorized as "network hardware, storage, and peripherals. SaaS investing Now on to the software itself.