CLOUD COMPUTING

Cloud computing is all about storing and accessing data, and applications over the internet instead of deploying them in your personal computer or any hardware storage. It allows us the online access to computer services and resources. These resources include servers, databases, networks and software. Instead of storing your data on hard drive or local storage cloud computing allows us to store them on a remote database. Cloud computing helps small and large scale businesses in a number of ways such as it increases the productivity, decrease cost, provide efficiency and security, increase speed and performance.

FEATURES OF CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICES

Cloud computing services offer the following features to their users either private or public

  • Email messaging
  • Audio and video streaming
  • Backup, storage and data access
  • Analyzing data
  • Developing and testing applications
  • Developing and delivering complete software

TYPES OF CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICES

Cloud computing can be private, public and hybrid. Public cloud computing service is freely available on the internet. On the other hand, private cloud computing service is only available to the limited number of users.

PUBLIC CLOUD

Cloud environments created by public clouds usually use infrastructure owned by third parties. China’s Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud are among the largest public cloud providers. Cloud computing services previously were only available off-premises, but today, cloud services are available on clients’ on premise data centers. The distinction between owner and location has become superfluous.

As a result of partitioning and redistribution to multiple tenants, all clouds become public clouds. Since some cloud providers (such as the Massachusetts Open Cloud) allow tenants to use their clouds for free, fee structures aren’t necessary characteristics of public clouds anymore. Public cloud providers can also abstract their bare-metal IT infrastructure and sell it as IaaS, or they can develop it into a cloud platform and sell it as PaaS.

PRIVATE CLOUDS

Cloud environments designated solely for one end user or group have been loosely defined as those hosted behind a user’s or group’s firewalls. Cloud computing becomes private when a single customer has complete access to the underlying IT infrastructure.

However, private clouds do not need to be built using on-premises IT infrastructure. Today, private clouds are built on vendor-owned data centers located off-premises, which eliminates the need for dictates of ownership and location. As a result, private clouds have been categorized into several subtypes, such as:

Managed Private Clouds

Customers deploy, configure, and manage their own private clouds through a third-party vendor. Enterprises with understaffed or under-skilled IT teams can benefit from managed private clouds in terms of better cloud services and infrastructure.

Dedicated Clouds

It is the cloud within a cloud. Accounting departments might have their own dedicated cloud within a company’s private cloud.

HYBRID CLOUD

A hybrid cloud combines public and private cloud elements and connects them securely over the internet via a virtual private network (VPN) or dedicated internet connection. You can use the public cloud as a storage medium with near-limitless capacity, while your data processing would occur on premises. If you don’t need additional permanent hardware, you can expand your computer network to the cloud.

In a hybrid cloud solution, the best aspects of both options are combined to maximize the advantages of both options. By extending your private cloud, you can use the public cloud to increase computing capacity if your premise-based capacity is running out. Businesses can now expand their compute capacity on demand while making use of the on premise resources they have already paid for.

TYPES OF CLOUD SERVICES

The cloud is now a part of every organization’s strategy and it is imperative to understand the different types of services it offers. Cloud computing services vary in terms of type, but all of them share a few basic features and advantages. There are three types of cloud computing services that companies can use for their business, regardless of how small or large it may be:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

The cloud journey usually begins with an IaaS solution for organizations with existing IT infrastructure. The basic idea of the infrastructure as a service is that companies can rent a vendor’s physical and logical (network) IT infrastructure and then run virtual machines (VMs) on that infrastructure. Public cloud VMs are managed in the same way as if they were hosted on premise, except that no physical environment needs to be owned or managed.

Due to this fact, existing IT skills are mostly transferrable and public cloud services are generally cost-effective and painless for companies to get started with cloud technology. Users are responsible for installing and maintaining databases, OSs, applications, and security components while most IaaS packages include servers, networking, storage, and virtualization components.

Example:

Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers runtime environments in the cloud. Programmers can use it to easily create, test, run, and deploy web applications. Pay-per-use cloud services are available from cloud service providers and can be accessed via Internet. Using PaaS, the cloud service provider manages scalability on the backend, so end users don’t need to worry about infrastructure management. The infrastructure and platform components of PaaS support the entire web application life cycle. They include servers, storage, networking, middleware, database management systems, and business intelligence tools.

Example:

Google App Engine, Force.com, Joyent, Azure.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

In cloud computing, SaaS refers to software as a service that provides applications tailored to different business needs, such as marketing automation, CRM, or business analytics. SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service, which is a method of renting web-based applications on demand. SaaS companies host an application that is completely functional through an Internet-based interface.

As SaaS services leverage cloud architecture, they can cut the costs of support, maintenance, and operations since they are run on vendor-owned systems. Most users are familiar with cloud computing services such as Netflix, Gmail, JIRA, Dropbox, and Salesforce since they use them on a regular basis. Software as a service (SaaS) is offered on a subscription basis, so users will never have to pay for it upfront.

Example:

SAP Business ByDesign, Zoho CRM, AppDynamics, Microsoft Office 365, Pardot Marketing Automation. 

CHARACTERISITICS OF CLOUD COMPUTING

According to the National Institute of Science and Technology, there are five standardized characteristics of cloud computing that makes it cloud.

On demand self service

It is a kind of utility billing service where you can pay as per usage. You can choose your service provider yourself and upon the payment your services will be available to you. You are paid at the end of the month and hence this type of service gives you full control over your spending.

Broad network access

You can access your cloud from anywhere and any device that is connected to the internet. It is possible as the servers are located on multiple locations.

Resource pooling

Many users can share the same resources and resources are assigned and reassigned to everyone unless the internet is connected at your device no matter where ever you are located.

Rapid elasticity

Cloud services are elastic services. If you are facing a lot of traffic then the cloud will adjust itself and accommodate the new number of users without effecting its services.

Measured services

As stated earlier, you have to pay against your usage. No more no less. It is like utility bills, as much electricity you consume, your bill will be according to your usage. As much as you store your data on the cloud you are charged accordingly.

 CONCLUSION

Cloud computing can benefit every type of business since it improves efficiency and reduces costs. Depending on their business processes, expertise areas, and other priorities, businesses can choose between one or more cloud computing services. It is imperative when selecting a cloud computing provider to conduct sufficient research to figure out the business requirements, and then look for providers who can supply desired cloud solutions that will work perfectly for the organization.

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