What is Cloud Computing? Many explanations can be complex and full of jargon so we’re here to break things down using simple language and explain the core concepts around cloud computing and help you to understand the terminology that is used to describe this computing paradigm.
You’ve probably heard about cloud computing in one form or another. Cloud computing has become the best way to deliver enterprise applications – and the ideal solution for businesses that want to launch new innovations or extend their infrastructure. It’s also used for many of the consumer applications you know and love such as Uber, Airbnb, Gmail, YouTube and Netflix.
Jobs in cloud computing pay well and offer exciting work with cutting-edge technology and huge career potential. At Digital Cloud Training we provide training courses to get you certified on Amazon Web Services (AWS) so you can find your way into this amazing industry. But before we get to that, let’s start at the basics.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is basically the running of workloads remotely over the web in a commercial provider’s data center, popularly known as the “public cloud” model. Some of the most popular cloud models include Microsoft Azure, Salesforce’s CRM system, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). To enhance performance and stay ahead of the competition, most modern organizations take a ‘multi-cloud’ approach, which means they use multiple public cloud services.
Types of Cloud Computing Deployment Model
There are several cloud computing deployment models which include:
Public clouds are operated by third-party cloud service providers. These service providers deliver various computing resources such as servers and storage over the web. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are examples of public clouds. With this type of cloud computing, all the software, hardware and supporting infrastructure is owned, operated and managed by the cloud provider. All you need is to create an account, and you will access and manage all services through your web browser.
Private cloud is the direct opposite of the public cloud. It refers to cloud computing resources that are owned and used exclusively by a single organization or business. A private cloud can be physically located within the organization’s datacenter. However, there are those that pay third-party service providers to host private cloud on their servers. All the resources, services and infrastructure in a private cloud are managed on a private network.
A Hybrid cloud is a cloud that combines both private and public clouds. On a hybrid network, these two clouds are bound together by technology, which allows applications and data to be conveniently shared between them. By allowing data to be flawlessly shared between public and private clouds, hybrid cloud gives businesses more deployment options, greater flexibility and helps them optimize their existing infrastructure, compliance and security.
It is worth noting that these cloud computing types are not made equal. There is no one type that is right for everyone. They are all designed to help offer the right solution based on your unique needs. Therefore, it is critical for business owners to understand each type and determine which type of cloud computing architecture their cloud services will be implemented on.
Types of Cloud Computing Services
There are different types of cloud computing services. Generally, they are known as cloud computing ‘stack’ because they are created on top of each other. Understanding what they are and how they work makes it easy for those who want to incorporate cloud computing to achieve their desired goals.
The main types of cloud computing services include:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is the most basic type of cloud computing service. With it, you rent all the IT infrastructure, including virtual machines (VMs), servers, networks, operating systems, storage and more from a third-party cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
This is a way of delivering software applications over the web on-demand and on a subscription basis. In SaaS, third-party cloud providers host and manage the software and handle any required maintenance such as security patching and software upgrades. Businesses connect to the application over the web, mostly through web browsers across various devices.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS refers to cloud computing services that provide an on-demand environment for creating, testing, managing and delivering applications. This service is specially made to make it easy for developers to create mobile or web apps without stressing about investing and managing the underlying infrastructure of databases, networks, storage and servers required for the development.
Function as a Service (FaaS)
FaaS adds a layer of abstraction to PaaS so that developers are protected from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of working around virtual servers, application runtimes, and containers, developers upload functional blocks of code and set them to be triggered by particular events such as uploaded files or form admission. All major clouds like Google Cloud Functions, Microsoft Azure and AWS provide FaaS on top of IaaS.
Serverless computing is focused on enhancing app functionality without spending much time constantly managing services and any other infrastructure needed to do so. The third-party cloud provider is the one that manages the server, setup and capacity planning. Serverless architectures are event-driven and scalable and only use resources when triggered by a certain event.
How Cloud Computing Works
Instead of owning data centers and computing infrastructure, business owners can rent access to servers, storage, applications and other infrastructure from third-party cloud providers. With cloud computing, companies avoid upfront fees and the complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. They simply pay for the resources they use.
Cloud computing creates a win-win environment for both business owners and cloud computing providers. The former enjoys a blend of convenience and affordability, while the latter makes the most out of the significant economies of scale by offering similar services to a myriad of customers.
Uses of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has a wide range of applications. In fact, you are probably using cloud computing right now, but you don’t realize it! For instance, if you use a particular online service to edit documents, stream movies or watch TV, play games, send emails, store files, or listen to music – cloud computing is playing an integral role behind the curtains.
To understand cloud computing better, below are some of the possible uses of cloud computing:
- Develop cloud-native applications: You can use cloud computing to develop, deploy and scale web or mobile applications. You can do this by taking advantage of cloud-native technologies such as microservices architecture, API-driven communication, DevOps, containers and more.
- Build and test applications: Use cloud computing to build and test applications. By using cloud infrastructure that can be scaled up and down with ease, you will go a long way in saving both time and money.
- Analyze data: Data analysis can be an overwhelming task. However, cloud computing services such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can make it one of your simplest undertakings.
- Store, backup and recover data: You can use cloud computing to safeguard your data at a massive scale without incurring high costs. Simply transfer your data over the web to an offsite cloud storage system, which you can access from anywhere and on any device.
- Deliver software on demand: Perhaps one of the biggest uses of cloud computing is that it helps you offer the latest software versions to your clients whenever they need them.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing rides along with a plethora of benefits, including:
Cloud computing offers an extensive set of technologies, controls and policies that enhance the overall security of your systems. It provides military-grade protection to your apps, infrastructure, apps and more from potential threats posed by hackers and snoopers.
Cloud computing is highly reliable. With it, data is mirrored on multiple redundant platforms on the cloud provider’s network. This makes data backup and recovery, as well as business continuity, easier and affordable.
The best cloud computing services operate on a worldwide network of safe datacenters that are regularly upgraded to cutting-edge computing hardware. This enhances speed, efficiency, reduces network latency for applications, and leads to greater economies of scale.
If you choose to have an on-site datacenter, be prepared to incur costs and spend a lot of time doing software patching, hardware setup and other IT management roles. Cloud computing eliminates these tasks so that your team can focus on achieving your short and long-term business goals.
Cloud computing is in relatively early stages of adoption despite having a long history. With more and more companies getting comfortable with their data being on the cloud, cloud computing practitioners have many opportunities to make a decent living. Now that you know what cloud computing is, how it is used and its unrivaled benefits, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get started with AWS certification and join the league of the most celebrated cloud computing experts of all time. To kick off your cloud journey, enroll in our Beginner’s Course Introduction to Cloud Computing on AWS.
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