You might wonder what the term cloud computing is, if you have, then you are at the right place. In this guide, we will be talking about cloud computing, its benefits, and how it works. Read through this guide to gain the crux of what cloud computing is.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is an application-based software infrastructure that stores data on remote servers, which can be accessed through the internet.
Basically, cloud technology allows us to access and store data via the internet rather than a personal hard drive. Think about Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox to name a few. These cloud-based services store all of your data strictly through the web, freeing up space on your device among other benefits.
How Does Cloud Computing work?
To understand how cloud computing works, it should be divided into front-end and backend.
The front end allows a user to access to data stored in the cloud using an internet browser or cloud computing software. However, the main component of cloud computing – responsible for securely storing data and information – is the backend. It includes servers, computers, databases, and central servers.
The essential server facilitates operations by following a set of rules known as protocols. It uses software, and middleware, to ensure seamless connectivity between devices/computers linked via cloud computing. Cloud computing service providers usually maintain multiple copies of the data to mitigate instances of security threats, data loss, data breach, etc.
Cloud technology gives rise to cloud hosting. Hosted cloud services can be public or private. The route you choose depends on your business needs and constraints.
Types of cloud computing
There are three main types of clouds: public, private, and hybrid. Each of them requires a different level of management from the customer and provides a different level of security.
In a public cloud, the whole computing organization is placed on the premises of the cloud provider, and the provider delivers services to the customer over the internet. Customers do not have to maintain their own IT and can quickly add more users or computing power as needed. In this model, multiple tenants share the cloud provider’s IT infrastructure.
A private cloud is used exclusively by one organization. It could be hosted at the organization’s location or at the cloud provider’s data center. A private cloud provides the highest level of security and control.
As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private clouds. Generally, hybrid cloud customers host their business-critical applications on their own servers for more security and control and store their secondary applications at the cloud provider’s location.
Earlier we said there are 3 types of cloud computing. However, multi-cloud has little difference from the hybrid cloud. The difference is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage devices in a single architecture.
Cloud computing services
There are three main types of cloud services: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to the cloud; it’s more about finding the right solution to support your business requirements.
SaaS is a software delivery model in which the cloud provider hosts the customer’s applications at the cloud provider’s location. The customer accesses those applications over the internet. Rather than paying for and maintaining their own computing infrastructure, SaaS customers take advantage of subscriptions to the service on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Many businesses find SaaS to be the ideal solution because it enables them to get up and running quickly with the most innovative technology available. Automatic updates reduce the burden on in-house resources. Customers can scale services to support fluctuating workloads, adding more services or features as they grow. A modern cloud suite provides complete software for every business need, including customer experience, customer relationship management, customer service, enterprise resource planning, procurement, financial management, human capital management, talent management, payroll, supply chain management, enterprise planning, and more.
PaaS gives customers the advantage of accessing the developer tools they need to build and manage mobile and web applications without investing in—or maintaining—the underlying infrastructure. The provider hosts the infrastructure and middleware components, and the customer accesses those services via a web browser.
To aid productivity, PaaS solutions need to have ready-to-use programming components that allow developers to build new capabilities into their applications, including innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The right PaaS offering also should include solutions for analysts, end users, and professional IT administrators, including big data analytics, content management, database management, systems management, and security.
IaaS enables customers to access infrastructure services on an on-demand basis via the internet. The key advantage is that the cloud provider hosts the infrastructure components that provide compute, storage, and network capacity so that subscribers can run their workloads in the cloud. The cloud subscriber is usually responsible for installing, configuring, securing, and maintaining any software on the cloud-native solutions, such as database, middleware, and application software.
What are examples of cloud computing?
Cloud computing underpins a vast number of services. That includes consumer services like Gmail or the cloud backup of the photos on your smartphone, though to the services that allow large enterprises to host all their data and run all of their applications in the cloud. For example, Netflix relies on cloud-computing services to run its video-streaming service and its other business systems, too.
Cloud computing is becoming the default option for many apps: software vendors are increasingly offering their applications as services over the internet rather than standalone products as they try to switch to a subscription model. However, there are potential downsides to cloud computing, in that it can also introduce new costs and new risks for companies using it.
How cloud computing fosters innovation
Cloud customers benefit from automatically having the latest innovations and emerging technologies built into their IT systems because the cloud provider takes on the work of developing new capabilities and features.
It’s about the speed of innovation. With the right cloud provider, customers can leverage a modern cloud computing architecture to innovate faster, increase productivity, and lower costs. Better yet, choosing a cloud provider that offers an integrated cloud (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) architecture gives businesses the ability to move from operations to innovation and deliver new apps and services, including the use of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Companies can harness the abundance of data to gain predictive insights into their businesses and ultimately drive better outcomes for their customers.
Benefits of cloud computing
Cloud computing is a big shift from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources. Here are seven common reasons organizations are turning to cloud computing services:
Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site datacenters—the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, and the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It adds up fast.
Most cloud computing services are provided self-service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.
- Global scale
The benefits of cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically. In cloud speak, that means delivering the right amount of IT resources—for example, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth—right when they’re needed, and from the right geographic location.
On-site datacenters typically require a lot of “racking and stacking”—hardware setup, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.
The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centers, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate data center, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies, and controls that strengthen your security posture overall, helping protect your data, apps, and infrastructure from potential threats.
Uses of cloud computing
You’re probably using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realize it. If you use an online service to send an email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games, or store pictures and other files, it’s 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 organizations—from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits—are embracing the technology for all sorts of reasons.
Here are a few examples of what’s possible today with cloud services from a cloud provider:
Create cloud-native applications
Quickly build, deploy, and scale applications—web, mobile, and API. Take advantage of cloud-native technologies and approaches, such as containers, Kubernetes, microservices architecture, API-driven communication, and DevOps.
Test and build applications
Reduce application development costs and time by using cloud infrastructures that can easily be scaled up or down.
Store, back up, and recover data
Protect your data more cost-efficiently—and at a massive scale—by transferring your data over the Internet to an offsite cloud storage system that’s accessible from any location and any device.
Unify your data across teams, divisions, and locations in the cloud. Then use cloud services, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to uncover insights for more informed decisions.
Stream audio and video
Connect with your audience anywhere, anytime, on any device with high-definition video and audio with global distribution.
Use intelligent models to help engage customers and provide valuable insights from the data captured.
Deliver software on demand
Also known as software as a service (SaaS), on-demand software lets you offer the latest software versions and updates around to customers—anytime they need them, anywhere they are.
In conclusion, if you read through the guide you must have seen why cloud computing is important and a necessity in today’s world. For organizations that struggle with disconnected business processes and data silos, the cloud offers a way to transform their business operations. With the cloud, there’s no need to reinvent the process wheel