What Is Cloud Computing? Everything You Need To Know
Cloud computing is no longer a rocket science for anyone. Often, we see our colleagues talking about storing data or getting access anytime, anywhere through cloud computing. But many still look perplexed and wonder what it means. This is something that is used too often or you can say in every aspect of digital transformation and modern technology. It’s a part of our everyday life – even if the implication of the cloud shift is not yet fully grasped; however, if you won’t understand the cloud infrastructure and what are its benefits means we will take this most important technology for granted.
Our blog will take you through cloud computing, its importance, types of cloud computing services, types of cloud deployments, advantages of cloud computing, and examples. So, folks stay tuned and know the coolest data storage and functioning technology of the 21st century with us.
What Is Cloud Computing?
To simply put, cloud computing is to provide complete computing services right from servers to storage, databases to networking, development tools, software, analytics, and intelligence – over the internet termed as ‘the cloud’. You will pay only for cloud services that you use, thereby lowering your operational costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scaling up as per your business requirements. Today, Cloud computing is an on-demand service that gives access via the internet to computing resources – hosted at a remote data center and managed by a CSP - Cloud Services Provider CSP). CSP will make these resources available for a monthly subscription fee or might bill according to your usage.
Internet is filled with cloud computing tutorials and you can pick the one based on your preference and requirements. However, before you come to any consensus it's advisable to do good online research, check reviews and ratings, budget, and other features before you pick up any cloud computing tutorial.
Cloud Computing Basics
It is well said, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ and due to the rising need for large data accessibility cloud computing came into existence. On technical terms, cloud computing is the distribution of large infrastructure resources in digital format through an internet-based medium to deliver a pool of hosted services to the clients. In simple terms, cloud computing gives access to a host of on-demand computing services such as storage, application, networking, and analytics. The only thing you require would be a proper internet medium over the cloud through a payment processor known as ‘pay as you go’.
With cloud computing at its peak, clients will get access to give crucial elements:
Internet & Other Online Services
Compared to traditional IT practices, and the cloud services you would choose, cloud computing will help you in the manner given below:
Lower IT costs – Cloud saves a lot of money and effort in buying, installation, configuring, and managing your own premises infrastructure.
Gives Value For Time – With the cloud, your company can start using enterprise applications in a couple of minutes, instead of waiting for IT to respond, buy & configure supporting hardware components or install the software. Cloud empowers developers and data scientists to help themselves to software and support infrastructure.
Cost-Effective & Scalable – Cloud offers scalability instead of buying excess capacity, you can scale capacity as per your requirements. You can take advantage of the cloud provider’s global network and spread your applications closer to users across the globe.
What Is The Importance Of Cloud Computing?
If you think that cloud computing is just one of the trending topics that will catch the attention of people to store only videos and pictures, then you certainly making a grave mistake. Cloud computing is today the new definition for smart data accessibility and the business model that has changed the way of how enterprises can store and get access to worldwide data at the click of the button. Not only does it help companies store and access data easily, but it will also help aid the smooth function of their business operations.
Technology has enabled even the smallest business to dwell well in the market. Today, every cloud-native application development firm implements cloud computing techniques to have a wider customer base through the digital transformation of their businesses. There are various reasons why cloud computing has been an integral part of the efficient business environment.
As far as businesses are concerned, cloud computing has been a major game-changer since the host of services that are offered on-demand to the users. It means you pay only for what you use through a subscription-based technique. Thus, it negates other costs such as maintenance, labour, and buying.)
When your business experiences a lot of bandwidth and space, it’s time to switch to cloud computing. It makes resource management easier than ever before. You pay for your resources per month and get access to flexible package services (including cloud storage & VPS providers).
The best part about cloud computing is there won’t be any threat of data loss because it's stored in multiple locations. Even if one server fails to function, data won’t be accessible and safely located in the other locations. This data recovery service proves to be a boon for small businesses that lack hi-end infrastructure, data mining, handling, & data analyst and face the threat of potential data theft.
Maintenance seems to be a liability in the traditional setup right from manpower to machines and security software. However, there is no need for maintenance for a cloud computing environment. No other cost will be involved as everything is will be taken care off by the service providers.
Every business aspires to get into complete digital mode. It includes fully digital data migration from the existing traditional systems to cloud services. It is often costly way and involves a lot of time and energy consumption. However, cloud computing seamless transition with no grave consequences, and with much ease. Things are transformed at the click of the button.
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Types Of Cloud Computing Services
IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) are the three most common models of cloud services. And nearly all organizations will take either one of these services. However, there seems to be confusion amongst the three, so here will have given a clear explanation for them:
It is referred to as the “On-demand software,” and it’s a commonly used cloud computing service for business clients. SaaS application software is hosted in the cloud and gives you access and use via a web browser, a dedicated desktop client, or an API that integrates with your desktop or mobile operating system. In most cases, SaaS users pay a monthly or annual subscription fee else some may even offer ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing based on your actual usage. SaaS has a wide variety of applications and service types, due to which it is replacing or augmenting traditional enterprise systems like ERP, accounting, human resources management, content management systems, supply chain and inventory management, and CRMs (customer relationship management) programs, etc. Since SaaS doesn’t need expensive licensing, users get access to numerous cloud applications on as and when needed basis.
PaaS offers software developers the on-demand platform—hardware, complete software stack, infrastructure, and even development tools - for running, developing, and managing applications. It comes without the cost, complexity, and inflexibility of maintaining that platform on-premises. You may think of PaaS as the middlemen of cloud services as it links SaaS and IaaS. This cloud service offers users all the tools required to create a digital platform. It also features the groundwork for storage, networking, and virtual servers with software and hardware necessary to design, develop, test, implement, manage, and operate applications along with data sharing, integration, and analysis.
Through PaaS, the cloud provider hosts everything—servers, networks, storage, operating system software, middleware, databases—at their data center. Developers will simply need to pick from a menu to ‘spin up’ servers and environments they need to run, build, test, deploy, maintain, update, and scale applications.
IaaS offers on-demand access to fundamental computing resources such as physical and virtual servers, networking, and storage—over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. IaaS enables end-users to scale and shrink resources as and when required basis, reducing the need for high and up-front expenses or unnecessary infrastructure setup or overbuying resources to accommodate periodic usage spikes. IaaS layer offers important building blocks, database storage, and a virtual platform. When you build cost-saving and scalable IT solutions, the complex and expensive hardware is outsourced to a third-party cloud vendor. All of these IT components are automated for clients who are able to self-provision the storage or processing power of the IaaS platforms. Vendors are responsible for ongoing maintenance, including system upkeep, backing up data, and business steadiness.
‘Simply Serverless’ is a cloud computing service that offloads all the backend infrastructure management tasks like provisioning, scaling, scheduling, patching —to the cloud provider, free developers to focus all their time & effort on the code and business logic specific to their applications. Serverless computing run application code on a per request basis only and scale the supportive infrastructure as per the number of requests. In serverless computing, customers pay only for the resources that are used and only when the application runs.
Types of Cloud Deployments
The way organization handles & secures its business assets could be reflected in the types of cloud service it would deploy. But cloud service is not just restricted to private cloud vs public cloud. The type of cloud service you take will vary depending on the particular needs of the organization.
Let’s go through the types of cloud computing deployments:
Public Cloud Application – This is maintained through a third-party IaaS cloud provider. A Public Cloud application is fully deployed in the cloud, and every aspect of the application runs in the cloud. Right from servers to storage and other digital resources are run through the internet. Since the Public cloud takes all the infrastructure and bandwidth costs, clients might need only the web browser to access the service and manage accounts. It is mostly provided through a Cloud service provider; and therefore, the companies or industries are not responsible for maintaining the server.
Private Cloud – Also, known as on-premises Cloud is a type of cloud under which services, infrastructure, and networking are operated solely by an organization independent of other enterprises or public platforms. The company will take on the maintenance and build its own data centers. It has a higher level of security compared to Public Cloud. It requires the company to be competent to manage, store and use the data. A private cloud can be maintained in one of two ways –
A company’s data center is physically located in-house
third-party vendor is paid to host everything on a private instance.
Hybrid Cloud – It’s a mix of public and private clouds. The infrastructure allows data, information, and apps to be shared and transferred interconnected. It allows the users to extend either the capacity or the capability of a cloud service, through aggregation, integration, or customization with another cloud service. A private cloud can be used for sensitive processes such as finances & data recovery, and the public side can be used for high-volume applications. The business is more flexible as it has more deployment options. It will help you optimize the existing infrastructure, compliances, and provide business security. There are other modifications also that serve varied needs of the companies, such as Community Cloud, Distributed Cloud, and Big Data Cloud.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Today, businesses rely more on devices with Internet Of Things(IoT) capabilities mainly smartphones, gadgets, and tablets. Due to this, most of the companies or offices are now turning out to be virtual workspaces. Therefore, quick, easy, and more efficient access to data is possible through cloud computing.
Experts predict cloud computing has a major business impact and companies that have implemented cloud services have seen a 20-21% surge in process efficiency and business growth.
Here are some advantages of cloud computing:
Cost-Efficient – Cloud computing challenges the traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) spending and it's found that the majority of cloud spending is operational expenditure (OPEX). Since a third-party vendor maintains and takes care of data storage & accessibility, companies don’t have to spend a huge sum on teams, inventories to fix problems. The upfront infrastructure costs like local servers, manpower, electricity, and administration will be reduced.
Better Mobility – With the cloud services, apps and data could be accessed anytime and from anywhere. And it's all due to the ever-increasing number of mobile devices, smart gadgets like watches, scanners, tablets, and more. Anytime and Anywhere benefit gives instant business and delivers excellent results. Employees also get the flexibility to work and thus bring more efficiency and better customer service.
More Collaboration – Cloud Computing helps improve work processes and better coordination amongst the employees and business partners. Organizations demand more apps for file sharing and better workflows. Remote workers get instant connectivity, access to data, and thus improving work efficiency. They can communicate with co-workers, important clients, and management.
Scalable Economies – Cloud computing will reduce costs by leveraging economies of scale. Cloud customers take advantage of lower costs from vendors and thus reduce their investments in on-premises infrastructure.
Quick Operation – Some technologies are quite simple and cloud computing is one of them. The infrastructure of cloud computing runs of separate servers, through a third-party vendor. So, when problems arise, it’s the vendors who will fix the problem instead of utilizing your IT services, and resources to file claims or update servers.
These were a few benefits of cloud computing services. Isn’t it great? So, take up a cloud computing tutorial and get set & fly on the cloud of success.
Cloud Computing Examples
In today’s digital era, it's nearly impossible for businesses, processes, and industries to run without cloud computing services. Some of the most mundane tasks also depend on cloud computing.
Here are some cloud computing examples:
Email: It is used for personal and businesses communicate. However, this standard communication technique is fully shifted from a download to a stored way that is cloud-based. It is compatible with any device from computers to laptops and smartphones.
Credit/debit cards: Hardly, any people use hard cash to buy stuff. Credit and debit cards are more abundant and convenient mostly because banks and credit card companies have integrated their databases with cloud computing services. And that’s good for emerging payment apps like BHIMPay, PhonePe, Watsapp pe, and more.
Cloud Computing Firms: Biggest and most well-known tech brands won’t sail through the digital transformation, had it been without cloud computing. Top cloud computing companies have created what’s known as the “cloud wars” and extensive strategic SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS deployments. It’s like the infinity war amongst the services.
Microsoft: Deeply invested in all three levels of the cloud, Microsoft cloud computing – with its Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365 products – is the frontrunner as a global enterprise-cloud provider. Microsoft continues to develop and deploy products around artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and Blockchain.
Amazon: This massive e-commerce brand is just behind Microsoft in the cloud service space. Amazon cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is making strides in the cloud computing services movement, and it is ahead of Google’s cloud computing ventures.
Cloud Technology Trends
Cloud Technology has transferred the business dynamics in both the way: How people think and the way advanced technologies are utilized. Applying technologies like Machine learning, Data Science, Software development, Artificial Intelligence Or Business Intelligence will surely drive the digital transformation.
Cloud-washed vs Cloud-native
Considering the trouble and the cost involved in the process of developing original cloud-native software, some vendors engage in the so-called cloud washing. It is a marketing plot through which a product/service is rebranded and/or repackaged to be associated with the buzzword “cloud.” For a certified cloud-native, a solution/service must encompass all these five essential characteristics: On-demand self-service, Broad network access, Resource pooling, Rapid elasticity, and Measured service.
Security is top of mind. Some cloud service providers don't rely on a single security device or technique. Instead, they have worked on multiple layers of overlap security to protect data through each chain link and ensure better solution availability. Some security by them include: Application Security, Network Security, Physical Security, Operations Security, and Monitoring.
It's a physical facility that stores all the important IT equipment, such as servers, storage, network systems, routers, firewalls, etc. The data centre also includes non-IT elements like electrical switching, ventilation systems, backup generators, telecommunications, and more. This is where all the customers’ data is stored, data centres are critical assets for everyday operations. The facility requires both human and technological protection against cyber threats, illegal intrusion, and natural disasters.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things and Cloud Computing maybe two different terms but they are similar in nature and work best together. Internet of Things (IoT) is an umbrella term representing any device that can connect, or disconnect, to the Internet. It helps to make data analysis possible with the development of smart sensors and beacons. IoT enables managers to move out of control rooms and deliver results through better operational visibility.
Industry 4.0 is the umbrella term that covers all the emerging technologies such as smart factories, smart manufacturing, big data, the Internet of Things, etc. It’s originated from the industrial revolution in the Manufacturing industry and Industry 4.0 opens doors to automatic, digitalized production – the “smart factory”. It is a thin line between Information Technology and Operational Technology and further merging the virtual and physical worlds. Cybersecurity, the scarcity of specialists, and the lesser jobs due to machines in human tasks are the three challenges in Industry 4.0 era.
Digital Transformation because of the application of new technologies will open up new opportunities to give breakthroughs for processes and industries. Manufacturers benefit the most from this shift by integrating Cloud Computing into daily operations to enhance the production process and the supply chain. In order to have a successful digital journey, organizations work out a robust digital strategy aligned with corporate goals. Also, it creates a workplace environment that is conducive to self-learning, continuous improvement, and adaptation is also important.
Future of Cloud Computing
International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that at least half of IT spending is done on cloud-based and it's bound to grow over the coming years. Literally, all the enterprises worldwide will implement some form of cloud service, thereby signaling most applications and enterprise information flow will be cloud-based. The cloud will become more than just a consumption model - it will be instrumental to shape business IT strategy.
The Cloud Economics
For businesses and processes, the transition to cloud service gives more financial benefits rather than new technologies. The most visible financial benefit of cloud computing will be to avoid costly upfront capital expenditure, including hefty license fees, investment in the hardware components, premises purchase, manpower, IT solutions, and more. Also, cloud-based systems need lesser customization and deployment time. Thus, the costs associated are drastically cut and help scalable economies.
Security concerns and data hacking has been the major obstacle for companies considering public cloud services. However, the private cloud is quite robust and has been outnumbering the concerns. As per security software provider McAfee, 50% of the companies experience better security patches in private cloud premises.
Maintaining cloud security demands different procedures and employee skillsets compared to the IT environment. So here are some cloud security practices you should follow diligently:
Shared responsibility - Generally, the cloud provider is responsible to secure cloud infrastructure and the client is responsible for data protection within the cloud. So, it's important to define data ownership between private and public third parties.
Data encryption - Data should be encrypted while at rest, in transit, and in use. Clients need to maintain full control over security keys and hardware security modules.
User identity & access - Clients and IT teams need to understand the control and visibility into network, device, application, and data access.
Coordination Management - There has to be proper & clear communication between IT, operations, and security teams to ensure seamless cloud integrations.
Security & compliance monitoring: Understand all the regulatory compliance applicable to your industry and set up active monitoring of all connected systems and cloud-based services.
Hope our blog gives a clear understanding of what is cloud computing? and everything you need to know about it. To ace cloud computing services, you can enroll in an online course at Ekeeda – India’s top tech educational app for aspirants. We offer one of the best cloud computing tutorials online for individuals who wish to take a headstart in cloud computing.
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