The Definitive Guide to Cloud Computing
A Definitive Guide to Cloud Computing. Learn about Cloud Computing types, Services, Uses, and how they will benefit the organization.
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You are working in your office. Suddenly the fire alarm goes off. You rush out. Your colleagues informed you that a short circuit in the IT department led to the fire outbreak. There is more bad news. The main server room had caught fire, and all the servers were affected. This news creates panic and frenzy amongst employees as it may result in the loss of critical company data. Also, employees might have to recreate important files and get them ready in a limited time, resulting in a high-stress environment.
However, the CTO informs everyone that we have all the data backed up on the cloud. The data recovery process will complete in a few hours. The loss of data will be negligible. Everyone can resume work from tomorrow.
Imagine if the data was not available in the cloud. It would require many hours of rework to restore normalcy, with no guarantee of retrieving all data. The situation could have been far worse.
But things are back to normal in a day and all your hard work of previous days is all available. All this is thanks to cloud computing services.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Let us first understand the term cloud. Cloud is a network of remote servers, accessible through an internet-enabled device, from anywhere and at any time. In simple terms, it is a virtual hard disk with a backup and most cases, multiple backups.
Companies like Microsoft deliver Azure cloud computing services, including servers, storage capacity, supporting software solutions, applications, databases, and business analytics and insights through the internet (also called over the cloud). Hence the term cloud computing.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing can be classified into different types based on its deployment models, i.e., the architecture used by cloud computing service companies to implement the cloud. There are 3 deployment models of cloud computing – public, private, and hybrid.
1. Public Cloud
Third-party service providers offer a Public cloud. Multiple users share these resources and access them through the internet. They pay per use for the services like bandwidth utilization, storage size, or CPU cycles.
Public clouds are easy to scale and have a faster implementation time. It is easy and quick to start as the company can pay a monthly/annual subscription fee and use it almost instantly.
The cost of ownership is lesser as a company doesn’t need heavy infrastructure to store and back-up data. Also, they do not have to buy any software or applications. The service provider handles the security, maintenance, up-gradation, and support. For e.g., Microsoft looks after the maintenance and security of the cloud if you use Microsoft Azure cloud computing services. As the Azure cloud team does the heavy lifting, a company can manage its IT requirements with a lean team.
2. Private Cloud
A Private cloud is available only for selected users through the internet or private intranet. A cloud computing service set up only for a company and its employees is a private cloud or corporate cloud.
In this case, the IT team is accountable for its maintenance, management, and security. Hence a company will have to invest in hiring an IT team.
Certain companies opt for a private cloud as they have strict confidentiality guidelines prescribed by local government bodies.
3. Hybrid Cloud
A private cloud combined with a public cloud creates an instance of a Hybrid cloud. Companies might store sensitive data on the private cloud and use the additional computation power of the public cloud to manage sudden demand spikes.
It combines the best of both worlds, i.e., maintains complete control over critical and sensitive data by using a private cloud and uses the scalability and computing power of a public cloud. The aim is to create a coherent and scalable environment with automation capabilities.
Using these different deployment models, the service providers offer us three services: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
Different Types of Cloud Services
There are mainly three types of cloud computing services. They are categorized as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a well-known cloud service model. In this, the service provider has developed an application or software and hosts it on the cloud. Other companies can access it over the internet through any device at any time. The users will have to pay certain charges depending upon their requirements.
Also, the users don’t have to install software on their laptops separately. The cloud service provider takes care of the software’s security, upgrades, support, maintenance, and management.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Let us consider an example wherein a technology company is developing software. The company needs an environment to develop, test, manage, and distribute software. In this scenario, they can opt for the PaaS model. It helps developers quickly develop applications.
It also allows companies to keep costs low as they do not have to buy multiple software licenses. They instead pay the service provider for the platform. It is also easy to scale as the company pays for the additional requirements when required and can start using them almost instantly.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
In this case, a company can pay for IT infrastructure on a need basis. It includes renting storage, servers, virtual machines, networks, and OS from the cloud provider. It helps companies save a lot on their upfront IT costs.
Now, you might have a question; why are companies opting for cloud computing services?
However, various other advantages cloud computing offers.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
- Lowers the spending on IT infrastructure;
- Easy to add new users or resources and manage them;
- Flexibility to increase or decrease computational prowess depending upon the demand;
- Boosts IT teams’ productivity as they can free up their time to focus more on business-critical goals;
- Best in class security and performance;
- Multiple back-ups and recovery mechanisms are in place to ensure almost 100% uptime.
Uses of Cloud Computing
Let us now look at some of the common uses of Cloud computing.
- Data storage, sharing, backup, and archiving;
- Data recovery as a part of disaster management;
- Big Data analytics requires additional computational capabilities, which cloud computing can provide;
- Gain valuable and actionable insights based on real-time data;
- Create, test, and build cloud-native applications;
- Distribute software on demand;
- Communicate with your target audience anywhere on the globe through video and audio-conferencing applications.
Cloud Computing vs On-premise Solutions
We now know about cloud computing. However, let us also check how it fares against traditional on-premise solutions.
The field of cloud computing is buzzing, and cloud solutions like Azure cloud are in great demand due to its numerous benefits.
Published at DZone with permission of Ritesh Pandey. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.