Cloud computing is a term used to describe a variety of different types of computing concepts that involve a large number of computers connected through a real-time communication network such as the Internet.
Cloud computing is so named because the information being accessed is found in “the cloud” and does not require users to be physically located in close proximity to the servers that hold their data. It relies on sharing resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network.
In this model, cloud providers make applications available to general users via different devices connected via the internet. A user can access their programs and applications from any device connected using the internet, which means, if you are using your work computer at work, then you can also access it from home or while traveling with your laptop. In short, you can use any device that has an internet connection to access these applications.
History of Cloud Computing
The history of cloud computing can be traced back to the 1960s and 1970s when computer scientists began experimenting with ways to share data among multiple computers. The first project was completed by researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in 1973. The idea was to develop a supercomputer that could be used by multiple users on different computers across the country.
The term “cloud computing” was coined by U.S. computer scientist Dave Patterson in 1996 as a way to describe how Internet-based technologies such as e-mail, web hosting, and streaming multimedia were changing from services offered by computer vendors to services offered by third parties over the Internet.
Cloud computing has emerged as one of the most disruptive technologies in recent times. It has been a game-changer for the IT industry by helping organizations to reduce costs while improving productivity and agility. Cloud computing promises many benefits like reduced capital expenditure on hardware & software; flexibility in using infrastructure; ability to scale up or down depending on business needs; improved security due to better control over the data; faster deployment time etc. resulting in the rapid growth of cloud adoption among enterprises.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing brings a lot of benefits to businesses. It offers high availability, reliability, and scalability as well as cost-effectiveness. Here are a few reasons why Cloud is highly sought after by growing corporations and businesses:
The cloud provides high availability as it uses multiple data centers across different geographical locations which provides redundancy for critical systems in case one fails due to any reason.
The users can access their applications from any location by using the internet regardless of whether they are in the office or on vacation.
This increases the reliability of business operations as well as improves customer satisfaction levels since customers do not face any downtime issues during their transactions with your company.
Flexibility (or in a more techy term, Scalability)
Cloud computing allows companies to scale up or down as needed, adding or removing resources as required. This can be particularly useful for businesses with seasonal peaks and troughs, or those that operate in multiple locations.
Cloud computing reduces operational costs significantly due to its pay-as-you-go model where users only pay for what resources they use rather than paying upfront for all infrastructure and networking requirements.
Zero CapEx requirements
Cloud computing is often cheaper than buying and managing on-premises hardware and software, particularly if you’re using a pay-as-you-go business model with no long-term commitment. It also reduces the need for costly upgrades and maintenance, since your provider does this for you.
With Cloud computing, there are no CapEx expenditures required to purchase the servers, set those up, and connect them to the internet. You can select the size of the server (or servers) you want, click a few buttons, and voila! you have the server you want in your hands.
Reduced Maintenance and Operating Costs
There’s no need to hire IT staff whose job is to maintain hardware and software on-site at your office.
Instead, maintenance tasks are managed remotely by a third-party Cloud provider. And if something goes wrong with a server or network connection, the provider will fix it for you so you don’t have to worry about downtime or loss of productivity during repairs.
Different Types of Cloud Services
Cloud computing is a trendy term that’s used to describe a wide range of services. In fact, there are many different types of cloud services and they can be categorized in several ways. Here’s a look at some of the most common types.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Businesses can use SaaS to access software applications hosted in the cloud rather than installing them on their own computers. For example, if you want to use an accounting application like QuickBooks or Xero, you don’t need to install it on your computer — you simply log into your account on their website and the application is available for use.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is another type of cloud service that provides companies with the tools they need to build and host their websites in the cloud. PaaS providers offer ready-made solutions like databases, programming languages, and other software that allow users to create web-based applications without having to install anything on their own servers or computers.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS provides companies with access to virtualized hardware such as disk storage, computing power, and network bandwidth that can be used for any purpose — including running applications or storing data.
Unlike PaaS where the solution offered to the user is limited to the particular use-case they rent the server, in IaaS, the user can configure the server as per his/her likes.
For example, if you rent a NoSQL database in PaaS, you can use it only as a database. However, when you rent an IaaS service, you get to decide what components of your application are hosted in an IaaS server.
Even better, you can use an IaaS instance to handle both databases like NoSQL along with a webserver like NGINX or Apache.
IaaS is flexible, however, at the same time can be overwhelming for beginners who have no experience in handling a Linux or Windows Server instance. That’s why PaaS exists. PaaS is easier, it does what it says it will do, but is lesser flexible when compared to IaaS.
This is the reason why major cloud computing service providers including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Cenmax offer both PaaS and IaaS. One can easily choose a solution they want, based on their expertise.
Different Types of Cloud Computing Deployments
There are three main types of cloud computing deployments: public, private, and hybrid. When choosing a type to use for your business needs, consider cost efficiency, security, flexibility and control.
What is a Private Cloud Computing?
The private cloud is a type of computing that delivers similar advantages to the public cloud, including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture. Private clouds are designed for use by a single organization, and can be physically located on the company’s on-site data center. Alternatively, a third party can provide the private cloud service off-site and manage it for the organization.
Private clouds provide control over sensitive data in highly regulated industries where security is critical, such as financial services or healthcare.
What is Public Cloud Computing?
This type of cloud service is owned by an organization that sells cloud services to the general public over the internet. For example, Amazon’s AWS is a public cloud platform that can host websites and web applications in the cloud.
- All your data and files are stored in the provider’s data centers. These data centers are highly secured and have very high redundancy levels.
- It offers a pay-as-you-go services model and is usually available for low charges. There are no setup fees or maintenance charges involved, but you only need to pay for what you use.
- The main advantage of using a public cloud service is that it allows businesses to gain access to computing resources without spending extra money on infrastructure or management costs.
- The major disadvantage of using a public cloud service is that it is a shared network with multiple cloud clients, hence resulting in multi-tenancy, making it harder to secure sensitive pieces of information like financial and healthcare data.
What is Hybrid Cloud Computing?
Another type of cloud computing is the hybrid cloud, which combines the benefits of private and public clouds. In this approach, you can choose which data is best stored in the private cloud and which needs to be in the public cloud.
Hybrid clouds are made up of at least two distinct and isolated cloud infrastructures (private, community, and/or public) which are integrated together to form a single cohesive service.
In a hybrid cloud deployment, a combination of multiple cloud solutions can be used along with your own on-premise hosted servers, colocated servers, and dedicated servers from other hosting providers.
For example, you can use AWS, Azure, and Cenmax in association with the on-premise servers you have in your office.
The Hybrid Cloud model is followed widely in Fortune 500 companies that do not intend to store their sensitive information at a data center of a third-party cloud solution provider, no matter how secure their data centers are, for better protection of their data.
Usually, in an On-Premise Hybrid Cloud setup, a Public Cloud solution provider like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or Cenmax would build the underlying architecture and takes charge of the on-premise office data center.
Technically, it is hand-free and on auto-pilot mode as the Cloud solution provider still takes care of all aspects of servers and maintenance, but the only difference here is instead of hosting the data on a data center of the Cloud provider, data don’t leave the premise of the organization, at least, physically.
Now that you’ve read this article, you should have a good idea of what cloud computing is and the benefits it can provide. As you can see, it can help your business save money and accommodate changing workloads to meet peak demand.
If you are interested in learning more about cloud computing, please leave us a comment below. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.