What Is Cloud Computing? A Complete Guide
Cloud computing is a popular choice for individuals and businesses for several reasons, including cost savings, increased productivity, speed and efficiency, performance and security.
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What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of different services over the Internet. These resources include tools and applications such as data storage, servers, databases, networks, and software.
Rather than keeping files on a proprietary hard drive or a local storage device, cloud-based storage allows them to be stored in a remote database. As long as an electronic device has access to the web, it will have access to the data and software programs to run it.
Cloud computing is a popular choice for individuals and businesses for many reasons, including cost savings, increased productivity, speed and efficiency, performance and security.
Understanding Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is so named because the information accessed is located remotely in the cloud or a virtual space. Companies that provide cloud services allow users to store files and applications on remote servers, and then access all data over the Internet. This means that the user doesn’t need to be in a specific place to access it, allowing him to work remotely.
Cloud computing removes all the heavy lifting of data compression and processing from the device you take everywhere or sit and work with. It also transfers all that work to huge computer clusters in cyberspace. The Internet becomes the cloud, and voilà: your data, work, and applications are available from any device with which you can connect to the Internet, anywhere in the world.
Cloud computing can be both public and private. Public cloud services provide their services over the Internet for a fee. Private cloud services, on the other hand, only provide services to a certain number of people. These services are a network system that provides hosted services. There is also a hybrid option, which combines elements of public and private services.
Cloud computing in a nutshell:
- Cloud computing is the delivery of different services over the Internet, including data storage, servers, databases, networks and software.
- Cloud-based storage allows files to be saved to a remote database and retrieved on demand.
- Services can be both public and private: Public services are provided online for a fee, while private services are hosted on a network for specific clients.
Types of cloud services
Regardless of the type of service, cloud computing services provide users with a number of functions, including:
- Data storage, backup and recovery
- Create and test applications
- Analysis of data
- Audio and video transmission
- On-demand software delivery
Cloud computing is still a fairly new service. Still, it is being used by several different organizations, from large corporations to small businesses, from non-profit organizations to government agencies, and even individual consumers.
There are several types of clouds, each of which is different from the others. Public clouds offer their services on servers and storage on the Internet. These are operated by third-party companies, which manage and control all hardware, software, and general infrastructure. Customers access the services through accounts that can be accessed by anyone.
Private clouds are reserved for a specific clientele, generally a company or organization. The company’s data service centre can host a cloud computing service. Many private cloud computing services are provided on a private network.
Hybrid clouds are, as the name implies, a combination of public and private services. This type of model allows the user more flexibility and helps optimize user infrastructure and security.
The newest forms of cloud computing services include the community cloud, big data cloud, and multi-cloud.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is not a single piece of technology, like a microchip or a mobile phone. Rather, it is a system composed primarily of three services: software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS).
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS) involves licensing a software application for customers. Licenses are generally granted through a pay-as-you-go or on-demand model. This type of system can be found in Microsoft Office’s 365.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaaS) involves a method of delivering everything from operating systems to servers and storage through IP-based connectivity as part of an on-demand service. Customers can avoid the need to purchase software or servers, and instead purchase these resources from an on-demand, outsourced service. Popular examples of the IaaaS system include IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
- Platform as a service (PaaS) is considered the most complex of the three layers of cloud computing. PaaS shares some similarities with SaaS, the main difference being that instead of delivering software online, it is a platform for creating software that is delivered over the Internet. This model includes platforms like Force.com and Heroku.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud-based software offers companies in all industries, several benefits, including the ability to use 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 transparent 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 such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Cloud Computing services also allow users to back up their music, files, and photos, ensuring that those files are immediately available in the event of a hard drive failure.
It also offers large companies an enormous potential for cost savings. Before the cloud became a viable alternative, companies had to acquire, build, and maintain expensive information management technology and infrastructure. Businesses can trade expensive server centres 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 desktop or laptop computers. It also allows users to update software more quickly because software companies can offer their products over the web rather than through more traditional and tangible methods, including discs or flash drives. For example, Adobe customers can access their Creative Suite applications through an Internet-based subscription. This allows users to download new versions and fixes in their programs easily.
Disadvantages of the cloud
With all the speed, efficiency, and innovation that comes with cloud computing, there are natural risks.
Security has always been a big concern with the cloud, especially when it comes to sensitive medical records and financial information. Although the regulations oblige cloud computing services to reinforce their security and compliance measures, it remains a permanent problem. Encryption protects vital information, but if the encryption key is lost, the data disappears.
Servers maintained by cloud computing companies can also be victims of natural disasters, internal errors, and power outages. The geographic scope of cloud computing is bi-directional: A blackout in Barcelona could paralyze users in London, and a company in Berlin could lose its data if something causes its Madrid-based provider to crash.
As with any technology, there is a learning curve for both employees and managers. But with many people accessing and manipulating information through a single portal, inadvertent errors can be transferred across an entire system.
The business world
Businesses can use cloud computing in different ways. Some users keep all applications and data in the cloud, while others use a hybrid model, keeping certain applications and data on private servers and others in the cloud.
When it comes to providing services, the major players in the field of corporate computing are:
- Google Cloud
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- IBM Cloud
Amazon Web Services is 100% public and includes a paid-for-use model, outsourced. Once you’re on the platform, you can sign up for additional apps and services. Microsoft Azure allows customers to keep some data on their sites. Meanwhile, Aliyun is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group.