The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Cloud Computing
The Executive Headlines
What is Cloud Computing?
A Cloud is simply a term that is used to describe a network of computers operating programs and applications that run on connected servers instead of a local machine. Cloud computing can be considered as a Virtual Hosting Solution. It is a set up whereby software, data storage, and processing power are provided from a decentralized, remote location. All information files and application programs are hosted on a global network of remote data centers, facilitating sharing and collaboration regardless of the user location or the access device being used. In simple terms, cloud computing is the delivery of computing resources over the internet. These resources can be servers, databases, software, networking, analytics, and/or intelligence.
Types of Cloud Computing
There are different models of cloud computing, and a single model is not fit for all. As per business nature, several different models, types, and services have evolved. To avail your cloud services optimally, it is essential to determine your cloud computing architecture.
Deployment Types of Cloud Services
There are three different deployment types of cloud services. They are:
1. Public Cloud
Third-party cloud service providers own these. Their computing resources, such as the server and storage, are delivered over the Internet. Here all the resources such as the hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure are owned by the cloud provider. You can access these services and manage your account via the web browser. It follows a multi-tenant architecture with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. The top vendors of public clouds are AWS, MS Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
2. Private Cloud
This refers to the cloud computing resources that are exclusively used by a single business or an organization. A private cloud can be located in an organization’s on-site data center. The services and infrastructure in a cloud are maintained over a private network. It follows a single-tenant architecture with on-premise hardware with direct control of underlying cloud infrastructure. The top vendors for private clouds are HPE, VMware, Dell EMC, IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft, OpenStack.
3. Hybrid Cloud
As the name suggests, hybrid clouds combine third-party, public fog, and on-premise private clouds. Here the data and applications can be moved between public and private clouds. A hybrid cloud provides more flexibility, more deployment options, and optimizes the existing infrastructure, security, and compliance for business. It has cloud bursting capabilities with the benefits of both public and private cloud environments.
As mentioned earlier, as per your business nature, several different deployment models, types, and services have evolved.
Service types of the Cloud
Let us review the different service types of the cloud.
1. IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service]
It is a computing and infrastructure service which is provisioned and managed over the Internet. IaaS can be scaled up and down as per requirement. It avoids the capital investment required for buying and managing physical servers and other infrastructure. The cloud computing service provider manages and the infrastructure, software, operating system’s middleware, and applications while you rent and use the required service component.
2. PaaS [Platform as a Service]
It is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud. You can purchase resources from the cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis. PaaS includes IaaS, middleware, development tools, BI services, database management systems, and more. It eliminates the hassle of buying expensive software licenses and orchestrating them. Once you are subscribed, all of it is managed by the cloud service provider.
3. SaaS [Software as a Service]
SaaS provides a complete software solution that you can purchase on a pay-as-you-go basis. It allows a user to connect to and use cloud-based applications over the internet. The leased software and hardware are managed with appropriate SLAs [Service Level Agreements] by the cloud service provider.
4. Serverless Computing
Serverless Computing enables developers to build applications faster and eliminates the need to manage the underlying infrastructure. It is so-called because the tasks associated with the infrastructure provisioning and management are carried out by the cloud service provider. This increases developers' focus on business logic and innovation, increases productivity and optimizes their resources.
Uses of cloud computing
You are probably using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realise it. If you use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games or store pictures and other files, it is likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes. The first cloud computing services are barely a decade old, but already a variety of organisations—from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits—are embracing the technology for all sorts of reasons.