Cloud computing refers to any service that is delivered over the internet. These services can be divided into three categories: infrastructure as an service ( IaaS), platform and software ( PaaS), and software as service ( SaaS).
Clouds can be either private or public. Public clouds are available to all users of the internet. Private clouds are networks or data centers that provide hosted services to only a select number of users. Cloud computing can be private or public. Its goal is to make computing resources and IT services accessible in a way that is easy to scale.
Cloud infrastructure is the hardware and software required to properly implement a cloud computing model. Cloud computing can also refer to utility computing and on demand computing.
Cloud Computing is named after the cloud symbol, which is often used to signify the internet in flowcharts or diagrams.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing allows clients to access cloud services and data from remote servers, databases, and computers.
Cloud computing is heavily dependent on virtualization, and automation technologies. Virtualization allows users to request and use services and cloud systems by abstracting them into logical entities. With the orchestration capabilities, automation and associated automation capabilities, users can provide self-service to provision resources and connect services.
Cloud computing services in different types
There are three types of cloud computing, or general service delivery categories for cloud computing.
- IaaS. IaaS providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide a virtual server instance, storage, and application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow users to migrate workloads to virtual machines (VMs). The storage capacity is allocated to users. Users can access, modify, and stop the VM as well as access it. IaaS providers can offer small, medium, large and extra-large instances. They also have the ability to customize instances for different workloads. IaaS’s cloud model is closer to remote data centers for business users.
- PaaS . Cloud providers host development tools on the infrastructures of their PaaS models. These tools can be accessed via APIs, web portals, or gateway software over the internet. PaaS can be used to develop general software. Many PaaS providers host the software once it has been developed. The most common PaaS products are Salesforce’s Lightning Platform and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
- is a distribution model that delivers software over the internet. These applications are sometimes called Web Services . SaaS services and applications can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. SaaS allows users to access application software and databases. Microsoft 365 is a common SaaS application that provides productivity and email services.
Cloud computing deployment models
Private cloud services can be delivered to internal users from the business’s datacenter. An organization can create and maintain its own cloud infrastructure using a private cloud. This model allows for the flexibility and convenience of cloud computing, but preserves the control, security, and management capabilities of local data centers. Services rendered by IT Chargeback might be charged to internal users. VMware and OpenStack are two common private cloud vendors.
The public cloud service is delivered over the internet by a third party cloud service provider ( CSS1_ ). Although many public cloud services can be purchased on-demand, they are typically sold by the hour or minute. Long-term commitments may be available for some services. Customers pay only for the central processing units cycles, storage, or bandwidth that they use. AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM are the top public CSPs, as well as Tencent, Oracle, Tencent, and IBM.
A hybrid cloud combines public cloud services with an on-premises private clouds, and allows for orchestration and automation. The private cloud can be used to run sensitive workloads and mission-critical applications, while the public cloud can handle spikes in workload . A hybrid cloud is designed to provide a unified, automated and scalable environment that can take advantage of all the public cloud infrastructure has to offer while maintaining control over mission-critical data.
Multi-cloud deployments will become much easier as providers’ APIs and services converge and become more standardized through industry initiatives like the Open Cloud Computing Interface.
A community cloud is a shared resource that supports multiple organizations. It helps a community share the same concerns, such as the same mission, security requirements, and compliance considerations. These organizations can manage a community cloud, or they can hire a third-party vendor. It can be either on or off site.
Cloud computing’s advantages and characteristics
Cloud computing is a technology that has been around for many decades. Today’s cloud computing infrastructure offers a variety of benefits that can be used to benefit businesses of all sizes. These are some of the key characteristics of cloud computing:
- Self-service provisioning. End users can instantly spin up compute resources to support almost any type or workload. End users can now provision computing capabilities such as network storage and server time, eliminating the need for IT administrators to manage and provision compute resources.
- Elasticity. Companies can scale up or down as their computing requirements change. This means that there is no need to make large investments in local infrastructure which may or not be active.
- Pay per use. Calculating resources can be measured at a fine level. Users are able to pay only for what they use.
- Workload resilience. CSPs often use redundant resources to provide resilient storage and keep users’ critical workloads running across multiple regions.
- Flexibility in migration. For better cost savings and to take advantage of new services, organizations can transfer workloads to the cloud or to other cloud platforms as needed.
- Broad network access. Any device with an internet connection can connect to the cloud and access or upload cloud data.
- Multi-tenancy, resource pooling. Multi-tenancy allows multiple customers to share the same physical infrastructures and the same apps, while still maintaining privacy and security over their data. Cloud providers can service multiple customers using the same resources by resource pooling. Cloud providers must have large and flexible resource pools that can meet the needs of multiple customers.
- Cost management. Cloud infrastructure can help reduce capital costs as companies don’t need to spend large amounts on equipment maintenance and buying new ones. As they don’t need to invest in infrastructure, utilities, or hardware to support their growing business, this reduces their capital expenditures. Cloud providers have the expertise to manage cloud data centers, so companies don’t require large IT departments. Cloud computing reduces downtime costs. Cloud computing is very reliable and companies won’t need to spend money or time to resolve any downtime issues.
- Mobility of data and workloads. The cloud allows users to access their information from any location with an internet connection. Users don’t need to have multiple CDs, external hard drives or USB drives to access their data. Remote employees can access corporate data from their smartphones or other mobile devices. End users can access the cloud to store, retrieve, retrieve, and recover resources. Cloud vendors also provide updates and upgrades automatically, which saves time and effort.
- Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR). Data loss is a concern for all organizations. The cloud stores data so that users have access to their data regardless of whether their devices (e.g. smartphones or laptops) are not working. Organizations can recover their data quickly with cloud-based services in case of an emergency, such as power outages or natural disasters. This is a benefit to BCDR and ensures that data and workloads are accessible even after the business has suffered damage or disruption.
Cloud computing’s disadvantages
Cloud computing has its advantages, but it also presents challenges for IT professionals.
- Cloud security . Security is the most difficult aspect of cloud computing. Organizations that rely on the cloud are at risk of data breaches, hacking APIs and interfaces, compromised credentials, and authentication problems. There is also a lack transparency about how sensitive information is handled by cloud providers. Cloud configurations, business policy, and practice are critical to security.
- Unpredictability . It can be difficult to predict and estimate final costs when using pay-as-you go subscription plans for cloud usage. Cloud costs can also be interdependent. One cloud service may use one or more cloud services, all of which will appear on the monthly recurring bill. Unplanned cloud costs can result.
- Incapability and expertise . As cloud-supporting technologies advance rapidly, organizations face increasing demands for employees and tools that can manage and architect workloads in the cloud.
- IT governance. IT governance can be difficult due to the lack of control over infrastructure operations, provisioning, deprovisioning, and management. This can make managing security, compliance and data quality difficult.
- Compliance With industry laws When transferring data from local storage to cloud storage, it can be difficult to maintain compliance with the industry regulations via a third-party. To maintain compliance with regulatory requirements and good business governance, it is important to know exactly where data and workloads are located.
- Management multiple clouds Each cloud is unique, so multicloud deployments can be disjointed to address other cloud computing issues.
- Cloud performance . Latency and other issues are out of the control of organizations that use cloud services. If organizations don’t have contingency plans, outages to the network or provider can disrupt productivity and cause disruptions in business processes.
- Building and managing a private cloud can be daunting for IT staff and departments.
- Cloud migration . The process of moving data and applications to a cloud infrastructure can often cause complications. Many migration projects take longer than expected and cost more. The problem of data and workload repatriation, which involves moving from the cloud to a local server, is often ignored until performance or cost problems occur.
- Vendor lock-in. Switching between cloud providers can often cause major problems. These include technical incompatibilities, regulatory and legal limitations, and significant costs associated with large data migrations.
Examples and uses of cloud computing
Cloud computing has grown and diversified to offer a variety of capabilities and offerings that can be tailored to almost every business need. These are just a few examples of cloud computing diversity and capabilities:
- Google Docs and Microsoft 365. Access to Google Docs or Microsoft 365 can be done via the internet. Access to work spreadsheets and presentations stored in the cloud allows users to be more productive from any location.
- Email, Calendar, Skype, WhatsApp. Emails, Skype, WhatsApp, and calendars all take advantage of cloud’s ability for users to access data remotely. This allows them to access their personal data from any device at any time and anywhere they like.
- zoom. zoom is a cloud-based platform for audio and video conferencing. It records and saves meetings to the cloud so that users can access them from anywhere. Microsoft Teams is another common platform for communication and collaboration.
- AWS Lambda. Lambda allows developers to write code for back-end services or applications without needing to provision servers. Pay-as-you go allows organizations to adjust their data storage and data usage in real time. Other cloud providers that support serverless computing capabilities include Google Cloud Functions, Azure Functions, and others.
How is the cloud used? There are many uses for the myriad capabilities and services found in modern public cloud infrastructures.
- Development and testing. Pre-made environments that can be tailored to your needs can speed up milestones and timelines.
- Hosting production workloads. Organizations use the public cloud to host their live production workloads. This requires careful planning and architecture of cloud resources and other services to provide the right operational environment for the workload.
- Big Data Analytics HTML3_ HTML4_ HTML5_ HTML6_ HTML7_ HTML8_ HTML9_ HTML5_ HTML6_ HTML8_ HTML9_ HTML5_ HTML7_ HTML5_ HTML8_ HTML7_ HTML9_ Cloud storage allows for remote data centers that can be accessed from anywhere and provide valuable insights based on data. Many cloud providers provide services that are tailored for big data projects such as Amazon EMR or Google Cloud Dataproc.
- IaaS.IaaS allows companies to host IT infrastructures, and access storage, compute and network capabilities in an scalable manner. Companies can save money on their IT costs by using pay-as-you go subscription models.
- PaaS. PAaS allows companies to develop, manage, and maintain applications in a more efficient and flexible manner than if they had to use a hosted platform. PaaS can speed up the development of applications and enable higher-level programming.
- Hybrid cloud. Organizations can choose to use the right cloud, private or public, for different workloads and applications in order to maximize cost and efficiency.
- Multicloud. Subscribers can use multiple cloud services from different cloud providers to find the best fit for their specific workloads.
- Storage. Large data amounts can be stored remotely so that they are easily accessible. Only clients need to pay for the storage they use.
- DR. cloud offers faster recovery than traditional on premises DR. It is also cheaper.
- Cloud backup is generally simpler to use. Cloud providers manage data security and availability, so users don’t have to worry about these things.
Cloud computing vs. traditional web hosting
Cloud computing has become a confusing term due to the multitude of services and capabilities offered by the public cloud. Although the public cloud is commonly used for web hosting purposes, they are very different. The three distinctive characteristics of a cloud service are what distinguish it from traditional web hosting.
- Large amounts of computing power can be accessed on-demand. It is usually sold hourly or by the minute.
- It’s flexible — users can access as much or little as they wish at any time.
- The provider manages the service completely. All the consumer requires is a personal computer with internet access. Cloud computing has seen significant innovations in virtualization, distributed computing, and improved internet access.
Providers of cloud computing services
There are many cloud service providers in the market. These are the three biggest public CSPs in the industry that have become dominant players:
The following are other major CSPs:
There are several things to consider when choosing a cloud service provider. First, providers can offer different services, so business users need to choose a provider that provides services that are relevant for their needs.
Cloud services are typically paid per-use, but different providers may have different pricing plans. If the cloud provider is going to store sensitive data, it’s important to consider the physical location of their servers.
Security and reliability should always be the top priorities. The service level agreement of a provider should indicate a level that will satisfy client business requirements. It is important to pay attention to the configuration settings and technologies used to protect sensitive information when comparing cloud vendors.
Cloud computing security
Businesses considering cloud adoption, especially public cloud adoption, should be concerned about security. The public cloud environment is multi-tenant and the public CSPs share their hardware infrastructure with multiple customers. This environment requires significant isolation between logical computing resources. Account login credentials are used to protect access to public cloud storage as well as compute resources.
For fear of losing, theft or outages, many organizations are bound by complicated regulatory and governance requirements. This resistance is slowly fading as logical isolation has proved reliable, and the addition of data encryption, and other access management tools, have increased security within the public clouds.
The responsibility to create and maintain a secure cloud environment lies with the business user. This is the combination of cloud resources, services and the workload that runs in them. It also has to implement the security features offered by the cloud provider.
Cloud computing: The history
Cloud computing’s history and evolution can be traced back to the 1960s and 1950s.
Companies began to use mainframe computers in the 1950s. However, it was too costly to purchase a computer per user. In order to maximize the use of processor time on the central mainframe’s expensive mainframe, time sharing was created in the late 1950s and early 60s.
By using time sharing, users could access multiple instances of the computing mainframes at once. This allowed them to maximize processing power and minimize downtime. This is the beginning of cloud computing, and the basis of modern cloud computing.
In 1969, J.C.R., an American computer scientist, created the global network that allows computing resources to be distributed. Licklider was instrumental in the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (the so-called precursor to internet). Licklider wanted to create a network of computers that could connect across the globe so that users could access information and programs from anywhere.
Cloud computing took a tangible form in the 1970s with the introduction of the first virtual machines. These virtual machines allowed users to use more than one computing system from a single computer. Virtualization was born from the functionality of these VMs.
Apple, IBM, and Microsoft developed technologies in the 1970s and 80s that improved the cloud environment. They also advanced the use and hosting of cloud servers and cloud servers. In 1999, Salesforce was the first company to offer business applications via a website.
AWS was launched by Amazon in 2006. It offers cloud computing and storage. To compete with AWS, other tech giants, such as Microsoft and Google, launched their own cloud offerings.
Future of cloud computing, emerging technologies
According to the “RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report”, more than 30% of enterprise IT decision makers identified public cloud as their top priority for 2019. However, the rapid adoption of public cloud by enterprises, particularly for mission-critical applications has not been as fast as experts expected.
Organizations are now more likely to move mission-critical workloads into public clouds. This shift can be explained by business executives who desire to make sure their company is ready for the digital transformation and are demanding the use of the public cloud.
Business leaders also look to the cloud for elasticity, modernization of internal systems and empowerment of critical business units and DevOps teams.
Cloud providers like IBM and VMware are also focusing on enterprise IT. This includes removing barriers to adoption of public clouds that previously caused IT decision-makers fear to embrace the cloud fully.
Many enterprises are primarily focused on cloud-native apps when considering cloud adoption. This means that they have designed and built applications specifically for cloud services. Their most critical apps have remained in their own domain. These enterprises are realizing that the cloud is available for them if they choose the right cloud platforms. Those that have a track record of meeting their needs.
Cloud providers are in constant competition for cloud marketshare. This means that the public cloud is constantly evolving, expanding, and diversifying its services. Public IaaS providers now offer more than just storage and compute instances.
Serverless computing, also known as event-driven computing, is a cloud service that performs specific functions such as image processing or database updates. Cloud deployments are traditionally done by setting up a compute instance and loading code into it. Next, the user chooses how long they want to keep that instance running and for what price.
Serverless computing allows developers to simply create code and the cloud provider loads that code to respond to real-world events. Users don’t need to worry about the instance or server aspect of cloud deployment. The number of transactions the function executes is all that users pay. Examples of serverless computing services include AWS Lambda and Google Cloud Functions.
Big data processing requires large amounts of compute resources and is best done in public cloud computing. Cloud providers responded by offering big data services such as Google BigQuery to large-scale data warehouses and Microsoft Azure Data Lake Analytics to process huge data sets.
A second crop of cloud technologies and services is AI and Machine Learning. These technologies offer a variety of ready-to use cloud-based AI and machine-learning services to meet client needs. These services include Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon Lex and AmazonPolly.