The term ‘cloud computing’ is often used in technological circles. Even though it might sound alien to some of us, it has been in vogue for a long time now. Businesses and multinationals the world over has greatly relied on cloud computing to take their ventures to the next level.
For the last two decades, cloud computing has become a surefire way for these corporations to build more infrastructures virtually and extend their reach. From statistics, the cloud computing market has surpassed expectations—from amassing 40.9 billion USD in 2012 to generating over 180 billion USD in 2018.
For mere users, it has been considerably easier to now access, stores and saves data. It is also noteworthy to point out that everyone these days seem to be moving stuff to the cloud.
While the idea may appear cloudy to those new to the subject matter, this post sheds some light on it.
What exactly are Cloud Computing, its origin, benefits, types and its service classifications? We’ll be discussing each and every one of them. For more information about this, click here.
What is Cloud Computing?
The term ‘cloud computing’ is most commonly referred to as Internet-based computing. This may sound too official for a someone who needs the idea to be broken down. Typically, cloud computing is the concept of using or delivering various computing services over the internet (cloud) and on a pay as you demand basis.
It is called the cloud because the services are uploaded remotely and can only be accessed through a web-based connection.
How exactly does cloud computing work?
Cloud service providers deliver their services—networks, object storage, file storage, computing power, load balancers—to the cloud (internet).
Cloud storage users will then be able to get access, upload storage, create virtual networks, and download these services through their smartphones, laptops or tablets, saving costs of acquiring and maintaining their own IT framework.
This is not to say that computing companies do not own or operate large facilities filled with servers. They do, but their services are shifted from the localized server, uploading it a remote location for global usage due to the internet.
It is necessary to point out that users can also edit these services simultaneously, making it easier for them to work from anywhere. It is more or less like a huge IT network that connects thousands of small systems to provide cost-effective services.
For instance, when you download a program, it is stored in your computer or hard drive. Now, when you make the decision to store that program on the web, that phenomenon is Cloud Storage.
Uses of cloud computing.
The usefulness of cloud computing is quite enormous. For the most part, cloud computing is used to:
- Create new apps and software.
- Test and build applications.
- Store and save data.
- Recover data.
- Stream video and audio.
- Deliver software on demand.
Benefits of cloud computing.
From all indications, we can deduce that cloud computing is a welcome shift from traditional views of IT frameworks. There are seemingly a lot of benefits of cloud computing if you’re considering to embrace it.
- Speed. Since most cloud computing services are delivered on demand, an array of resources needed by the end user can be provided in a matter of mouse clicks, reducing the time that would have been spent on capacity planning and storage.
- It is cost-effective. The cost of acquiring and maintaining an IT framework is usually expensive and not ideally feasible for startups and small businesses. Cloud computing helps these small companies by providing IT services and expanding their capabilities. This is beneficial for the companies—because they only pay for what they need, eliminating overhead expenses for setting up and running on-site servers, sustaining a 24-7 power supply accruing more energy bills, and hiring professionals for managing these servers. Even large companies that own IT infrastructure also benefits from cloud computing. If they want to expand, they can keep sensitive data on their servers, while sending the rest to the cloud. By so doing, expenses for purchasing a larger framework is totally eliminated.
- Maintenance. On-site servers require regular updates to function in its full capacity, and this can pose a lot of expenses for startups, small and large companies. These expenses are drastically reduced when your computing needs are delivered to you from the cloud. There are advantages to this: you will spend less finding and hiring skilled staff on the ground and maintaining the on-site hardware.
- Performance. Shedding more light on the previous benefit, most cloud computing providers usually operate using servers updated to the latest and most efficient hardware. Hence, their services provide greater economies of scale and reduced network latency for requests from users.
- Global reach. This is perhaps why most companies have made the decision to adopt cloud computing. One of the duties of cloud computing service includes delivering the required amount of IT resources, in the form of storage, computing power or even bandwidth, to anyone and from any location.
- Increased productivity. When regular checks and maintenance are done on-site IT hardware and servers, overall productivity is low. Cloud computing removes the need for these time-consuming checks, pushing the staffs into completing more compelling tasks.
Types of cloud computing.
It is important to stress that not all cloud is the same, even though their usage and benefits are the same. Also, not all type of cloud is ideal for everyone. We’ll be looking at the different types of cloud computing, so you can determine the type that best suits your need.
- Public cloud. They are the most popular and commonly used cloud in the world. A public cloud is owned and operated usually by a third-party service provider. They specialize in delivering their IT resources and storage to users across the internet. Companies that make use of the public cloud do not build or purchase their own servers. This is because all hardware, software and other resources are owned and managed by the cloud provider. You can only gain access to these services and manage your account through a web connection. Public cloud providers serve multiple users across the globe by configuring multi-user environment, and distributing computing services and ensure these services are available on demand.
- Private cloud. A private cloud usually refers to a cloud computing service that is owned and operated by a single business, organization or user. Every infrastructure and resources are maintained on a private network. Companies that use private cloud services would require their own on-site datacenter and management team. There are companies who pay third-party cloud service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud service would give the business or organization more control over their IT resources along with more responsibility. This allows the business to determine the resources they want to make use of, customize their own security, and allocate appropriate resources themselves. It should be noted that maintenance for private IT framework is incredibly expensive, coupled with appropriate staffing and increased energy bills.
- Community cloud. This is when several organizations with similar goals and a common infrastructure come together to set up a cloud. The responsibility of running and maintaining the infrastructure is shared among them.
- Hybrid cloud. This type of cloud combines both public and private clouds, allowing data and resources to be shared between them. Making use of the hybrid cloud is advantageous, as companies can invest less in on-site IT infrastructure while utilizing the public cloud. As the business gain more grounds, critical information can be securely stored on-site while other voluminous data can be uploaded to the public cloud.
Types of cloud computing services.
There are four types of cloud services. Having full knowledge of each of them will make all the difference in choosing the best-suited service.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). This type of cloud services involves the cloud provider delivering IT resources on the internet on demand by businesses or users. With IaaS, users are given access to virtual servers, load balancers, firewalls, virtual LANs, and even domain name servers. A business only rents the kind of service they need, eliminating the cost of purchasing and maintaining data centers.
- Platform as a service (PaaS). This cloud service offers an environment for testing, developing and managing software and applications. With PaaS, developers find it easier to create web and/or mobile applications, without worrying about storage and databases for development. As the name suggests, it provides the ground for developers to work freely.
- Software as a service (SaaS). This service allows businesses to rent an app or software and connect it over the internet with a web connection. All the IT infrastructure—both hardware and software—is owned and managed by the cloud service provider, which makes it readily available for the user on a pay-as-you-go basis.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that cloud computing is not only the in-thing right now, but are the future of modern computing. It is therefore important to take note of the various types and services of cloud computing discussed above to help you make the right choice for yourself and your business.