Cloud computing basics simplified

What is cloud computing?

In simple terms, the delivery of different services via internet is known as cloud computing. Instead of using the local hard drive, storing. Accessing programs and data through internet is cloud computing. It depends on sharing of resources to achieve economies of scale. Computing services such as storage, servers, software, networking, databases, analytics and business intelligence over the internet are some of the computing services delivered through cloud computing.

How does cloud computing works?

The information that is accessed is remotely found in the cloud or the virtual space. The companies that offer cloud computing services enable their users to access all their data (files and applications) via internet that they have stored on the remote servers. This implies that a user can access their data remotely from anywhere and not have to be at a specific location. The cloud services are elastic — the user can have as much data as they wishes as it is completely managed by the service provider. In recent times, innovations in virtualization and access to high-speed internet have increased the usage and interest in such services.

Types of deployment methods in cloud computing

The clouds are different for different users and cloud computing could be the same for every user. Basis varied requirements; cloud computing services are demanded accordingly. Cloud computing is divided into different deployment models that are useful for users. It is important to determine that the deployment methods on which the cloud services are implemented.

1. Public cloud: A third-party operate and own public clouds. These third-party companies manage and control all the software, hardware, and other general information. They deliver services like storage and servers through internet. The users can access these services by their accounts while using web browsers.

2. Private cloud: The private cloud infrastructure is operated exclusively for a single organization or business. It could be managed and hosted either by a third party or internally within the organization. The infrastructure and services are maintained on a private network in private clouds.

3. Hybrid cloud: Hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private clouds. Although, public and private are bounded together, they remain distinct entities and allow data and applications to be shared between them. Hybrid cloud provided businesses more flexibility, better deployment options and helps in optimizing ongoing infrastructure, security and compliance. An example of a hybrid cloud could be that an organization can store its client’s data on a private cloud but use the business intelligence application on a public cloud.

Types of service models in cloud computing

Cloud computing service providers offer their services as per different models which are broadly divided into three categories — Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). This category of services is considered as layers of a stack as they are built on top of one another but may not be related to each other. Here are these categories in detail:

1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): It is a fast computing infrastructure that is managed and supported with the help of internet. It includes a method in which all the services related to operating systems, storage and servers is delivered through IP-based connectivity and scales up and down with demand. With IaaS, clients only have to pay for the services that they use, which help them avoid unnecessary expenditures and managing their servers and datacenter infrastructures. In simple terms, they can rent these on-demand services for as much duration as they want. Website hosting, storage, and backup recovery, big data analysis is some of the examples of services of IaaS that businesses take.

2. Platform as a service (PaaS): It is a cloud computing service that supplies an on-demand environment for development, testing and delivery of software applications. The service providers deliver a computing platform that includes an operating system, programming-language execution, database ad web server. PaaS is useful for developers to create web and mobile applications without setting and managing their infrastructure of networks, storage of servers. Therefore, with PaaS, the software is not delivered online, but it offers a platform where software is delivered via internet. Organizations generally use PaaS for services such as analytics or business intelligence and development framework.

3. Software-as-a-service (SaaS): In this service model, software applications are delivered over the internet. The users can access software applications and database which is usually based on pay-per-use or on subscription. Therefore, SaaS is also referred to as “on-demand software”. The organizations/ users can rent the software services from the service providers and can access them via internet. All the information regarding middleware, app software, app data, and more are located at the data center of the service provider, who also ensure the security and availability of the app and the users’ confidential data.

Uses of cloud computing

In the everyday world, we all are using cloud computing without even realizing it. Watching movies or television, sending emails or editing documents and playing games and music; it is possible through cloud computing. Here are some of the examples of cloud computing that the cloud service providers offer these days:

Create cloud-native applications — build, deploy and scale web, mobile and API applications.

Test and build applications — with the use of cloud infrastructures, cost and time of application development can be reduced.

Analyze data — with unified data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, better decisions could be made.

Store, back up and recover data — with offsite cloud storage system, data could be protected, stored and transferred.

Streaming video and audio — connect with people anytime, anywhere with high-definition audio and video systems.

Delivering software on-demand — with SaaS, on-demand software versions and updates could be provided to customers.

Embed intelligence — intelligent models could be useful for engaging customers and sharing insights.

Advantages of cloud computing

1. Cloud computing reduces expenses incurred on buying hardware and software and setting and running data centers.

2. Cloud computing reduces the need to involve time in tasks such as software patching, hardware set up, etc. Hence, can increase the productivity of IT team who can utilize their time in other related work.

3. Cloud computing is used on a global scale and can be beneficial at anytime, anywhere.

4. The cloud computing services are updated regularly, and they work on a worldwide network of secure data centers; hence, they provide better speed and efficient software and services.

5. Cloud computing makes data backup and recovery easy and at a lower cost.

Disadvantages of cloud computing

1. Although cloud computing complies with security measures and encryption protects vital information, but if the encryption key is lost, there is a risk of losing data.

2. Natural disasters, power outrage, and internal bugs can affect the servers maintained by cloud computing.

3. For organizations where multiple users access the data on cloud computing, there is always a risk of data transfer and deletion.

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