What Is Cloud Computing?
The on-demand availability of computer system resources, like storage, databases, and computing power, which is not actively managed by the user and follows the pay-as-you-go model, is known as cloud computing. Instead of buying, owning, and managing data centers and servers, you can access these services on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider.
Cloud computing is a popular choice for individuals and businesses, which includes cost savings, increased productivity, speed, efficiency, performance, and security.
Understanding the Cloud Computing
It is named cloud computing because the information accessed is located in a remote location or in a virtual space. Companies offering cloud services allow users to store data and applications on the virtual servers in the cloud and then access everything using the Internet.
Cloud computing eliminates all the heavy lifting involved in the data processing. It also moves all that work to a large cluster of computers far away in cyberspace. The Internet connects you to the cloud and your work, data, and applications are available on any device, anywhere in the world.
Cloud computing is categorized as public, private, and hybrid cloud. The public cloud service provider offers its services over the Internet for a fee. Private cloud services, on the other hand, only serve a certain number of people. These services are a network system that provides hosted services. Hybrid cloud combines elements of public and private services.
Types of Cloud Services
There are two ways to classify cloud services, first based on their computing services and second based on the deployment method.
Based on Computing Services
Different cloud services based on computing services are as follows:
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS consist of the basic building blocks for the cloud infrastructure. It typically provides access to computers – virtual or on metal, networking, and data storage space and gives you the highest level of flexibility and management control over your IT resources. IaaS is similar to the existing IT resources with which many IT departments and developers are familiar. It is also referred to as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). Few IaaS providers are AWS EC2, Rackspace, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Digital Ocean, etc.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
In PaaS, the need for you to manage underlying infrastructure – hardware and operating systems, is removed and allows you to concentrate on the management and deployment of your applications. This helps one to be more efficient as one doesn’t need to worry about capacity planning, resource procurement, application of patching, software maintenance, or any of the other heavy lifting involved in running one’s application. It also provides programming language libraries and database management systems. Few PaaS providers are AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Heroku, Windows Azure – mostly used as PaaS, Force.com, OpenShift, Apache Stratos, etc.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS provides one with a complete product that is run and managed by the service provider. In most cases, SaaS are end-user applications – such as web-based email. With a SaaS, one doesn’t have to think about how the service is being maintained or how the underlying infrastructure is being managed. One only needs to think about how s/he will use that particular software. Few SaaS providers are BigCommerce, Google Apps, Salesforce, Dropbox, MailChimp, ZenDesk, DocuSign, Slack, Hubspot, Microsoft Office’s 365, etc.
Based on Cloud Deployment
Different cloud services based on cloud deployment are as follows:
1. Public Cloud
Users over the internet use cloud services of public clouds. Its infrastructure is located on the cloud computing company’s premises. The public cloud is not considered secure and the organizations with sensitive information must not use public cloud. The information is available for everyone who uses this cloud.
2. Private Cloud
The cloud infrastructure is placed inside the organization and it is not shared with anybody without the permission of the organization is called the private cloud. The private cloud is said to be the most secure among all of the cloud deployment types. Customization, flexibility, and scaling is the charm of the private cloud. Hardware and software are built only for the owner of the cloud.
3. Hybrid Cloud
The combination of public and public cloud deployments is called the hybrid cloud. Organizations have the advantage of the public cloud while doing heavy workloads and the information is securely stored in a private cloud.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud-based software offers businesses across all industries a number of benefits, including the ability to use the software from any device, whether through a native application or a browser. As a result, users can bring their files and settings to other devices in a completely seamless way.
Cloud computing is much more than simply accessing files on multiple devices. Thanks to cloud computing services, users can check their email on any computer and even store files using services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Cloud computing services also allow its users to back up their music, data, and photos, also ensures these are available immediately even if a hard drive crashes.
It also offers large companies enormous cost savings potential. Before the cloud became a viable alternative, companies had to buy, build, and maintain costly information management technologies and infrastructure. Businesses can trade expensive server centers and IT departments for fast Internet connections, where employees interact with the cloud online to complete their tasks.
The cloud structure allows people to save storage space on their laptops or desktops. It also allows users to update software more quickly because software companies offer their products over the www rather than through traditional, tangible methods involving discs or flash drives. For example, Adobe customers can access the applications in their Creative Suite through a cloud-based subscription.
Disadvantages of the Cloud
With all the speed, efficiency, and benefits that come with cloud computing, there are some risks also.
Security has always been a huge issue with the cloud, particularly whilst it comes to touchy medical statistics and economic information. While regulations force cloud computing services to tighten up their security and compliance measures, it remains an ongoing problem. Encryption protects important information, in case you lose the encryption key the records are gone forever.
Servers maintained by cloud computing companies can also be victims of natural disasters, internal errors, and power outages. The geographic reach of cloud computing is cut both ways: A power outage in New Delhi could paralyze users in Mumbai, and a company in Chennai could lose its data if something causes a collapse of its Kolkata-based provider.
Cloud computing is the distribution of various services over the Internet, including databases, networks, data storage, servers, and application software. Services may be public and private. Public services are provided online for a fee, while private services are hosted on the client’s premises.