What Is Cloud Computing ?
Cloud Computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”). Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you are billed for water or electricity at home.
Uses of cloud computing
You are probably using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realise it. If you use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games or store pictures and other files, it is 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 organisations—from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits—are embracing the technology for all sorts of reasons. Here are a few of the things you can do with the cloud:
Create new apps and services
Store, back up and recover data
Host websites and blogs
Stream audio and video
Deliver software on demand
Analyse data for patterns and make predictions
Top benefits of cloud computing
Cloud computing is a big shift from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources. What is it about cloud computing? Why is cloud computing so popular?
Here are Some common reasons organizations are turning to cloud computing services:
Contents of Post
- 1 Cost
- 2 Speed
- 3 Global scale
- 4 How Does the Internet Work?
- 5 Productivity
- 6 Performance
- 7 Reliability
- 8 Cloud computing: A better way
- 9 Types of cloud services: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS
- 10 Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)
- 11 Platform as a service (PaaS)
- 12 Software-as-a-service (SaaS)
- 13 Why is it called the ‘cloud’?
- 14 Types of cloud deployments: public, private, hybrid
- 15 Public cloud
- 16 Private cloud
- 17 Hybrid cloud
- 18 An example to understand cloud computing
- 19 Related
Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site data-centers—the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, 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.
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 it’s needed and from the right geographic location.
On-site datacenters typically require a lot of “racking and stacking”—hardware set up, 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 datacenters, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter, 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.
Cloud computing: A better way
With cloud computing, you eliminate those headaches because you’re not managing hardware and software—that’s the responsibility of an experienced vendor like salesforce.com. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: You only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy.
Cloud-based apps can be up and running in days or weeks, and they cost less. With a cloud app, you just open a browser, log in, customize the app, and start using it.
Businesses are running all kinds of apps in the cloud, like customer relationship management (CRM), HR, accounting, and much more. Some of the world’s largest companies moved their applications to the cloud with salesforce.com after rigorously testing the security and reliability of our infrastructure.
As cloud computing grows in popularity, thousands of companies are simply rebranding their non-cloud products and services as “cloud computing.” Always dig deeper when evaluating cloud offerings and keep in mind that if you have to buy and manage hardware and software, what you’re looking at isn’t really cloud computing but a false cloud.
Types of cloud services: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS
Most cloud computing services fall into three broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (Saas). These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack, because they build on top of one another. Knowing what they are and how they are different makes it easier to accomplish your business goals.
The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC.
Why is it called the ‘cloud’?
Thanks to its name, some people tend to think that cloud computing has something to do with actual clouds, but let me assure you, the two are in no way related.
Interestingly, a cloud symbol is often used to represent the Internet in technical diagrams and flowcharts. It’s speculated that this practice of denoting the Internet as a cloud led to the popularity of the term ‘cloud computing’.
So, all you need to know here is that the term ‘cloud’ is used as a metaphor for the Internet and its ubiquity in the modern world. Just as clouds are everywhere, the resources and services in the cloud can also be accessed anywhere with an electronic device and an Internet connection.
Types of cloud deployments: public, private, hybrid
Not all clouds are the same. There are three different ways to deploy cloud computing resources: public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud.
Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider, which deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.
A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organisation. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more deployment options.
How cloud computing works
Cloud computing services all work a little differently, depending on the provider. But many provide a friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easier for IT professionals and developers to order resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud computing services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line interface (CLI), giving developers multiple options.
An example to understand cloud computing
Let explain the concept of cloud computing with a simple example. Suppose you own a software company that employs a hundred people who make programs for businesses and corporations. Creating complex programs, quite understandably, requires a lot of resources and machines, including office space, power, networks, servers, computers, a huge number of storage devices and a giant cooling system to keep all the things in a server room from overheating.