What is Cloud Computing?

What is Cloud Computing?

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Agility, reliability, security, scalability are the important factors to consider while hosting servers and other services in own data centers. Managing and monitoring data centers require manpower and other expenses. Here comes the need of cloud computing.

Cloud computing is on-demand availability of computing services in various configurations. Scalability, reliability, security, agility and cost effectiveness are the advantage of using cloud computing services. In cloud computing, we don’t need to buy hardware and other resources; instead we can rent these from cloud providers with pay-per-use schemes. Cloud computing provides a broad way to monitor the hardware and software resources. There are in-built tools to manage the services independently or with customer service. Cloud computing provides information about security and vulnerability issues in all the operating systems and other software with possible fixes.

It provides us a simple way for security policies for the services we use.

Simply, it is the most cost effective way of running data centers virtually in almost all countries possible which reduces the latency to end users. It makes migration from local servers agile and reliable. Running servers on the cloud is reliable and secure. We can choose from a lot of operating systems to custom softwares which comes at a very low price. Cloud computing resources are mostly billed on a per minute or per hour basis.

Software development is made easier to deploy in the servers without wasting a lot of bandwidth to download and upload to servers for runtime only. 

Using cloud services is highly redundant. When we configure servers locally, chances of  hardware failure is very common. It may end up losing the data on storage drives. Whereas in cloud computing, hardware failure might happen, but it may not end up losing our data since they store copies of data in different places.

Advantages

  • Scalability
    Cloud computing services are highly scalable. This means we can obtain low to high configuration computing power as well as it is very easy to change from one configuration to the other without any issues 
  • Reliability
    Cloud computing makes disaster recovery, data backup etc. really easy and fast. Storage drive failures can happen at any time in any kind of machine. Since there are multiple copies of data, it makes disaster recovery quick and simple. 
  • Cost Effectiveness
    Cloud computing saves a lot of money. To set up an infrastructure locally, the amount we have to spend is really high. With cloud computing, we have to pay for what we use. That means we have pay in per-minute or per-hour usage of the services.
  • Security
    Cloud computing provides us ways to secure the services with various policies. We will be notified about the vulnerabilities in the services it offers. 
  • Agility
    Cloud computing provides us agile methods to migrate our data from locally placed machines to cloud.

Service Models

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
    IaaS is a model that delivers the basic components of an infrastructure such as hardware, storage, network, computing, software etc. on demand. IaaS allows users to expand or shrink resources on demand. IaaS allows multiple users to share the same physical infrastructure. It provides on-demand scalability of its resources when necessary. Instead of setting up and maintaining the servers, organizations can focus on  their business. 
  • Platform as a service (PaaS)
    PaaS is a model that provides hardware and software tools necessary for software development. Since there is not much to configure as compared to IaaS, it can be easily used to develop or run applications faster. Main advantage of PaaS is that it is very easy to setup and run applications in a fraction of time as compared to IaaS. Elastic Beanstalk, Openshift, Google App Engine are the best examples of PaaS 
  • Software as a service (SaaS)
    SaaS is a model that doesn’t consume a lot of time and money. SaaS doesn’t need a setup or configuration. In simple words, we can sign up for an account for the service and can consume its features. Software vendors maintain the application and servers as their own. It can be accessed from any device using a web client. These can be either free or paid. The users can scale most of these services according to their needs. Most of the vendors provide us their service with maximum security, so that we don’t have to worry about it. Dropbox, Office365, Google Apps, Slack are the best examples of SaaS. 

Delivery Models

  • Public Cloud
    This model of cloud computing is provided by a third party  for public needs and is accessible to the public. These can be either free or the users may have to pay for the service.
  • Private Cloud
    This model of computing is created for the purpose of an organization. It won’t be accessible by the public.
  • Hybrid Cloud
    In simple words, hybrid cloud is the combination of both public and private cloud.

Major cloud providers

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • IBM Cloud
  • Google Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud
  • Alibaba Cloud

Conclusion

Cloud computing is the best option if an organization doesn’t have much capital to invest in setting up an infrastructure. Since it provides easy to use and on-the-go PaaS services such as AWS Elastic Beanstalk, it is really easy for the developers to deploy and run applications with minimum time as compared to IaaS or traditional methods. Cloud computing provides a lot of tools from basic infrastructure building to serverless computing. Among all the cloud providers listed above, AWS is the most popular cloud service because of its simplicity and availability of a lot of tools. Whether the organization is small or large, cloud computing adoption reduces time and expenditure to spend on a lot of factors.

Ananthram

A wholehearted IT professional who collaborate with software developers, system operators and other IT staff members to manage project releases. Also responsible for maintaining cloud computing systems.

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