Is there an internet user who has not heard about the cloud yet? If yes, such a person unconsciously uses it, for example, storing files on Google’s disk or using Microsoft Office 365. In 2020, the global market for cloud computing services is expected to exceed 400 billion dollars. The cloud enables calculations and entertainment. It will help to generate a report or issue an invoice. It will enable Big Data analysis and the safe storage of terabytes of data. It will do everything like an “ordinary” computer, only faster, in a reliable way and (here is the big thing) much cheaper. The cloud is also an ideal environment for packaging planning algorithms.
Using a packing algorithm in the cloud means comfort, access from different places and significant savings – the more you pack, the more you save. These benefits result from the cloud’s operating principles.
What is the cloud?
Cloud computing is a virtual machine (computer) which can store data and perform specific operations (calculations) using applications (algorithms). The algorithms may be the user’s own or provided by a cloud owner.
The virtual cloud works based on tangible computing centres equipped with fast and efficient hardware – disk arrays and computers whose computing power and capacity can be combined to create virtual machines. Where did the name “cloud” come from? Apparently from the logo of the first such service, in which the cloud symbol was used.
Power and capacity without restrictions
The cloud is used for the same purposes as traditional computers. However, it provides unbeatable advantages: (almost) unlimited computing power and disk capacity. The key advantage is also the possibility of building such a virtual machine in seconds, and then, if needed, its scalability.
You can obtain similar possibilities based on your own IT infrastructure, however at an extremely high cost. Even if you can afford such an investment, you will have to wait for days or months to see the results – depending on the project size. In the case of the cloud, in most cases, you can get access immediately after paying for the service. In the worst case scenario – you will have to wait weeks.
SaaS – to rent or to invest ?
One of the most popular cloud models is SaaS (Software as a Service), in which you gain access to software installed in the cloud. Instead of building or expanding your own IT department, you pay a monthly subscription.
The benefits of such a solution are obvious. Nevertheless, the three most important are worth mentioning:
- no investment – you do not need to buy expensive hardware and software or incur additional labour costs (due to creating new jobs);
- you pay only for what you use – you will only pay for the time agreed or for the number of inquiries sent to the application – you can change the scope of the services or opt out whenever and at no additional cost;
- you can access the application from anywhere – the use of the cloud application is possible wherever and whenever on any device with internet access.
Test packaging in the cloud
Everything that was written above applies also to packaging planning algorithms. The SaaS model is a flexible, cost effective and efficient solution for online stores, warehouses and forwarding companies – for all those who pack and store a lot.
The best way to learn the potential of applications in the cloud is to sign up for a free trial. For example, you may check how the algorithms manage to answer the classic question about the maximum number of packages that can be stored in a given packing space (https://www.3dbinpacking.com/en/products/check-max-load). The software works flawlessly and the response time is measured in hundredths of a second. It is clear that humans cannot compete with algorithms. You’d better “employ” them.