What is cloud computing

Cloud computing refers to the phenomenon of providing services over internet. A typical cloud computing platform resources consist of physical computer machines, hard disks, SSDs, and proper networking contained within globally distributed data centers. It is indeed a pay-as-you-go model that scales to provide its users with computing, storage or throughout operations as per requirement. In short you can say that “Cloud” is a general terminology used for all of the services a company offers to us by the aid of Internet.

There are dozens of advantages of cloud computing. I am discussing very popular ones here:

Pay as you go benefit

You have to pay only for the resources you are using in a cloud based system and thus it is called pay as you go model . In traditional hosting, you pay in advance for the services which you are not sure you are completely going to use. Buying 100GB disk space for a year or 4GB RAM capacity and you are unsure whether you will be really in need of that for next consecutive 12 months. On the other hand, cloud computing gives you a flexibility and ease of paying only for the resources you utilize. Thus you are saving a lot of money which can fulfill other needs.

With cloud computing you can get rid of a wrong prediction.

While deploying an application typically you are not 100% sure how much resources it will require. The disadvantage of this is, you endup either buying additional resources or you will not buy required, which will either cost you more or you would be getting compromised on app functionality. Cloud computing provides you the exact resources required to smoothly run the app and guarantees maximum uptime than a traditional host.

Ease of adding new resources.

Cloud computing ensures better speed and stability of the application by providing an option to add additional resources with a single click. You can increase or decrease the RAM and Processor and also can set the storage space according to your needs and thus provides high level of scale-ability in least possible time with this elastic behavior. This feature of cloud computing is highly beneficial for test environments where companies cannot buy separate hosting for each test. They just run a new instance in cloud and scale the resources according to their requirements.

Security benefits:

Cloud computing providers like amazon web services provides virtual private cloud, also called VPC, give better level of encryption , security policies, access control and api keys for sufficient identity and prevents account hijacking. VPC is a sort of network segmentation which provide isolation to your resources. In this manner if one of your resource got an unauthentic access, hacker would not be able to penetrate into other resources.

Cloud computing offers services to give you ability to manage security in an efficient manner. These services are indeed virtual or software based tools meant to protect incoming and outgoing data.

Cloud computing ensures Maximum uptime

Cloud computing has become so much powerful with their services like load balancers, which ensures maximum uptime as compared to traditional hosts. A load balancer distributes the load across multiple servers, thus in the instance, if a server fails, it picks up the application from another server and serves to the end user. New servers can easily be added or removed according to site needs at that time, as it is completely scalable and redundant. The server to which traffic is currently pointing to is called the active server and other servers are called passive servers.

Cloud computing is an ideal environment for development and testing.

Application can be developed and tested on a passive server in a cloud environment and then can be deployed easily. Any customization related work can also be carried out in the same way and also new instance can be created for this purpose. You just have to create the snapshot of the actual instance and create a new instance through this snapshot. A lot of software companies are shifted to cloud just for this amazing feature.

Cloud computing provides a greater level of redundancy thus in case of a hardware failure, it will not impact the application uptime and data lose chances are very rare.

Major types of cloud computing:

Private Cloud:

A typical organization / company is a sole owner of a cloud platform in the case of private cloud. In other words you can say that a private cloud is a limited computing architecture which serves a small number of people. Resource pooling and sharing is still possible. This cloud service is setup in the same building where the organization resides. For example, in a university, cloud service is shared between management, teachers, students etc.

Community Cloud:

This sort of computing service is shared between many organizations which have shared concerns, like mission / goal, policy, security needs etc. As an example, you can think of an NGO which has an office per each city which have similar needs and can come around on a single cloud server residing in the head office.

Public Cloud:

The public cloud facility is available to general public and is owned by a company selling cloud services like Amazon, Google, Rackspace etc. These services are provided equally to all set of customers and everyone is free to acquire services of a cloud platform.

Hybrid Cloud:

A Hybrid cloud is a combination of one or more above cloud service types. It may happen that a company can utilize private cloud service to hold its very sensitive data and can make use of public cloud services for front end applications. Hybrid cloud makes use of same tools and technology.

This infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds which are tied together and enables information portability to gain efficiencies and business benefits in true terms. The cloud computing architecture is highly scalable because of its distributed nature

There are various types of clouds: public cloud, community cloud, private cloud, etc. The latest analyst reports suggest that the cloud market will continue to grow exponentially. Worldwide companies are investing in cloud services or strategically intend to do so in coming years. In cloud computing, central server administers the system, monitoring traffic and client demands to ensure everything is running smoothly.

A brief introduction of popular Cloud service providers:

What is google cloud?

According to medium.com:

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a collection of Google’s computing resources, made available via services to the general public as a public cloud offering.

Like other cloud based platforms, Google Cloud Platform consists of computer sets, hard disks, physical and virtual resources which become a service. Google owns lot of zones combined together as data centers deployed around the globe. Major regions include Central US, East Asia and Western Europe. The major services which GCP offers are Computing and hosting, Storage, Big data, Networking and Machine learning.

What is aws cloud?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular cloud computing platform owned by Amazon. Amazon was the pioneer in launching cloud computing model in 2006 where it utilized an already built infrastructure in the company which was handling all sort of retail transactions. The major offering of AWS are infrastructure as packaged software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

What is iCloud?

iCloud.com is an Apple platform meant to store and share photos, documents, apps, music and videos across all devices. You first have to create an Apple ID on a Mac device and then you can signup and use iCloud. The beauty of this cloud based platform is, if you create a photo album in one device it gets automatically shared across your all iOS devices, Apple TV and Apple watch. Like office 360 and GSuite, icloud also includes web version of important apps like Mail, Calendar, Notes etc. If you have a window based PC and want to use icloud on it, you can only get access to icloud drive, which is a storage service and few other apps.

What is Microsoft Cloud?

Azure is the cloud based platform offered by Microsoft which is highly scalable and agile. The working of this enterprise-grade service is just like other cloud based systems with an added advantage of improved security but still challenges are there. Firewall deployments can be managed through a centralized security system.

Conclusion:

Cloud computing provides lot of benefits and thus one can concentrate more on developing and marketing a product rather than thinking about its deployment, maintaining and securing it. But switching from a traditional host to a cloud server is not an easy job and requires expert level knowledge to make this transfer.

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