The term cloud computing has been making waves all over for quite some time now. It seems that the cloud is everywhere and everyone is using it. Cloud computing part 1 is a part of the upcoming series of video and written web tutorials that will help you to understand what is cloud computing, what are its advantages and how you can use this technology for the benefit of your organization. It is not a very difficult concept to understand and once you understand the concept behind this term, you will to use this technology in no time at all.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is basically using the resources placed on the internet to store, manage and process your data instead of having a personal infrastructure to do this work. Cloud can be seen as a metaphor for the internet as the resources are available over the web by the cloud service providers. Instead of buying and setting up your own resources, you just ask the cloud service providers to give you the access of their resources and use them as long as you like.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
Following are some major benefits of the cloud computing
- No capital investment
Whenever you start a new venture a large amount of capital investment is required to set up the project. Cloud helps you to reduce that capital amount to a very minimal level. It allows you to rent out its resources instead of buying them.
You can save a lot of time and increase the efficiency if you use the cloud infrastructure. Instead of setting up a completely new system, you need time to set up all the resources. Also some resources will sit idle for days, waiting for other resources to get ready. Cloud allow us to surpass these hassles by providing a ready to use system
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Cloud allows you to scale at exponential rate. If you are taking the services from a reliable cloud service provider, they have huge resources already reserved, and if you require them you can ask for immediate use.
Here is an example of the extend of scalability available by the cloud. The client was using Amazon web serves cloud and within three days was able to scale from 300 systems to 3000 a task nearly impossible to achieve if you were using normal office based infra-structure.
Photo by Allison AWS
- Pay as you go
Cloud computing will save you a lot of money as you pay for the resources only that you are using. If you have personal infrastructure and you make the initial investment there are chances that you will be paying for the resources that will be sitting idle for a long time. Also there will be times when the demand becomes much more than the prediction, then there will be shortage of resources. Under such circumstances, it is not confirmed whether scalability will be possible or not. These problems do not occur in the cloud systems. Because you can use as many resources as possible and pay for only those that you are using. The following graph lets us understand this concept.
Cloud computing infrastructure
The cloud infrastructure can be of three distinct types.
- Private cloud
- Public cloud
- Hybrid cloud
It is a cloud structure that is dedicated to a single organization. In this case all the data and resources remain within a building or a single structure. It is not very beneficial as the company has to set up the cloud completely whether it is managed internally or externally by a third party. Building an internal data center will require a huge amount of investment. It should be implemented when the organization is sure to gain a large amount of profit from it. However sometimes the data of an organization is so sensitive that they cannot take the risk to send it over to the public cloud.
It is the common type of cloud that most users are using. When people are talking about cloud, it is usually this type of cloud they are talking about. In the public cloud the services are rendered over a network that is freely available to the public for use. The structure of both private and public cloud is the same. The main cloud service providers are Amazon web services, Google cloud and Microsoft Azure.
As the name indicates a Hybrid cloud is a combination of both private and public cloud. There may be an infra-structure within the organization to manage the sensitive data but the cloud is not isolated within the single structure and can connect with the public cloud, for business application management programs and resources. There is another example of hybrid cloud usually seen when IT giants connect their internal cloud with the public to meet the sudden surge in demand.
Cloud computing service models
Depending on what services the cloud is providing it is divided into different service based models
It stands for Software as a service model. In this service model the client will get access to various software and database resources. In the SaaS model, cloud providers install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access the software from cloud clients. Cloud users do not manage the cloud infrastructure and platform where the application runs. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on the cloud user’s own computers, which simplifies maintenance and support.
It stands for infra-structure as a service. In this case the cloud provides the complete infrastructure to the client including a virtual machine that masks the gap between the client and the cloud.
PaaS stands for Platform as a service. In this case the cloud will provide platforms to develop various applications. Usually IT organization make use of this kind of cloud service provider.
Is cloud a useful service? Let us know in the comments section below.