Since the birth of industry and commerce, people have needed better and better ways to store data and access it whenever required. While valuable information was physically stored on paper in the pre-computer era, today, data is mostly stored on the hard drives of computers and servers. These drives and servers can store, process and retrieve a significant amount of data quickly and easily.
However, both hard drives and servers come with their limitations, and with the pace at which today’s businesses and industries are growing, the need for storage that can store and process increasingly significant amounts of data has become a priority. . This is where Cloud Computing has come to the rescue!
Before the onset of Cloud Computing platforms, businesses mainly relied on servers, databases, hardware, software and other peripherals to get their businesses online. Companies had to purchase these components to ensure that their website or applications reached users.
In addition, businesses also needed a team of experts to manage hardware and software and monitor the infrastructure. While this approach was practical, it came with its own unique problems, such as high setup cost, complex components, and limited storage space, to name a few. Cloud Computing was created to address these problems.
Table of contents
- What is Cloud Computing?
- What is the history of Cloud Computing?
- Types of Cloud Computing
- Benefits of Cloud Computing
- Types of Cloud Services
- How does Cloud Computing work?
- What is Cloud Computing used for?
- Why Cloud Computing?
- How do I choose a cloud service provider?
- Examples of Cloud Computing
- Importance of Security in the Cloud Computing
- The future of Cloud Computing?
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is named as such because the information being accessed is located remotely in the cloud or in a virtual space. Companies that provide cloud services enable users to store files and applications on remote servers and then access all data via the Internet. This means that the user is not required to be in a specific location to gain access to it, allowing the user to work remotely.
Cloud computing takes all the hassle out of collecting and processing data from the device you carry around or sit and work on. It also moves all that work to large clusters of computers far away in cyberspace. Your applications are available from any device that can connect to the Internet, anywhere in the world.
Cloud computing can be both public and private. Public cloud services offer their services over the Internet for a fee. Private cloud services, on the other hand, provide services only to a certain number of people. These services are a system of networks that provide hosted services. There is also a hybrid option, which combines elements of public and private services.
What is the history of Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing as a term has been around since the early 2000s, but the concept of computing as a service has been around for much, much longer since the 1960s, when computer offices would allow companies to rent time on a mainframe. instead of buying one themselves.
These ‘time-sharing’ services were largely overtaken by the rise of the computer, which made owning a computer much more affordable, and then by the rise of corporate data centers where companies would store large amounts of data.
The concept of renting access to computing power has reappeared again and again in the application service providers, utility computing, and grid computing of the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was followed by cloud computing, the which really took off with the emergence of software-as-a-service and large-scale cloud computing providers such as Amazon Web Services.
Types of Cloud Computing
Not all clouds are the same, and no one type of cloud computing is right for everyone. Several different models, types and services have evolved to help provide the right solution for your needs.
First, you need to determine the type of cloud deployment, or cloud computing architecture, in which your cloud services will be implemented. There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: in a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.
Public clouds are the most common type of cloud computing deployment. Cloud resources (such as servers and storage) are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and distributed over the Internet. With a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider.
In a public cloud, you share the same hardware, storage, and network equipment with other organizations or cloud “tenants,” and you access services and manage your account using a web browser. Public cloud deployments are often used to provide web-based email, online office applications, storage, and test and development environments.
Advantages of public clouds:
- Lower costs no need to purchase hardware or software, and you pay only for the service you use.
- No maintenance your service provider provides the maintenance.
- Near-unlimited scalability on-demand resources are available to meet your business needs.
- High reliability a wide network of servers ensures against failure.
A private cloud consists of cloud computing resources used exclusively by a business or organization. The private cloud can be physically located in your organization’s on-site data center or hosted by a third-party service provider. But in a private cloud, the services and infrastructure are always kept on a private network, and the hardware and software are dedicated only to your organization.
In this way, a private cloud can make it easier for an organization to customize its resources to meet specific IT requirements. Private clouds are often used by government agencies, financial institutions, any other medium to large organizations with business-critical operations that require enhanced control over their environment.
Advantages of a private cloud:
- More flexibility your organization can customize its cloud environment to meet specific business needs.
- More control resources are not shared with others, so higher levels of control and privacy are possible.
- More scalability private clouds often offer more scalability compared to on-premises infrastructure.
A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines infrastructure in a private cloud with a public cloud environment. Hybrid clouds allow data and applications to move between two environments.
Many organizations choose a hybrid cloud approach due to business imperatives, such as meeting regulatory requirements and data sovereignty, taking full advantage of technology investment in environments or addressing low-latency issues.
The hybrid cloud is evolving to include edge workloads as well. Edge computing brings cloud computing power to IoT devices closer to where the data resides. By moving workloads to the edge, devices spend less time communicating with the cloud, reducing latency, and are even able to operate reliably for long periods offline.
Advantages of a hybrid cloud:
- Control your organization can maintain a private infrastructure for sensitive assets or workloads that require low latency.
- Flexibility you can take advantage of additional resources in the public cloud when you need them.
- Cost-effectiveness with the ability to scale to the public cloud, you pay for extra computing power only when needed.
- Ease moving to the cloud doesn’t have to be overwhelming because you can migrate incrementally by uploading in stages over time.
A community cloud is a cloud infrastructure in which multiple organizations share resources and services based on common operational and regulatory requirements. The concept of a community cloud is similar to a community garden, where different individuals grow crops on a single piece of shared land. Community clouds are a recent phenomenon compared to other cloud models such as public, private and hybrid clouds.
High costs mean that a private cloud is, more often than not, out of reach for many small organizations, while industry regulations make public cloud unfeasible for many others. This is where the community cloud appears. This system is a modified form of private cloud, where the needs of different organizations and verticals are weighed when designing the architecture. A community cloud system is owned, managed, and operated by community members, third-party vendors, or both.
Advantages of a community cloud:
- Capacities shared use by several partners reduces costs because each application unit contributes its financial share to the operation of the cloud.
- Integrated applications in addition to the basic availability of a web-based infrastructure, the community can also use applications and embedded software.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Types of Cloud Services
Most cloud computing services fall into four broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), no server, and software as a service (SaaS). These are sometimes called cloud computing “stacks” because they are built on top of each other. Knowing what they are and how they differ makes it easier to achieve your business goals.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing service that provides core computing, storage, and network resources on an on-demand, fee-based basis. IaaS is one of four types of cloud services, along with software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and serverless.
Migrating your organization’s infrastructure to an IaaS solution helps you reduce on-premises data center maintenance, save money on hardware costs, and gain real-time business insights. IaaS solutions give you the flexibility to scale your IT resources up and down with demand. They also help you quickly provision new applications and increase the reliability of your core infrastructure.
IaaS allows you to bypass the cost and complexity of purchasing and managing physical servers and data center infrastructure. Each resource is provided as a separate service component and you pay for a particular resource only for as long as you need it. A cloud computing service provider manages the infrastructure as you purchase, install, configure, and manage your software including operating systems, middleware, and applications.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a complete cloud development and deployment environment, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based applications to sophisticated cloud-enabled enterprise applications. You purchase the resources you need from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis and access them via a secure Internet connection.
Like IaaS, PaaS includes servers, storage and network infrastructure but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems and more. PaaS is designed to support the full web application lifecycle: build, test, deploy, manage, and update.
PaaS allows you to avoid the expense and complexity of purchasing and managing software licenses, underlying application infrastructure and middleware, container orchestrators such as Kubernetes, or development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider usually manages everything else.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) allows users to connect to and use cloud-based applications over the Internet. Common examples are email, calendaring, and office tools (such as Microsoft Office 365).
SaaS provides a complete software solution that you purchase for a fee from a cloud service provider. You rent the use of an application for your organization, and your users connect to it over the Internet, usually with a web browser. All underlying infrastructure, middleware, application software and applications reside in the service provider’s data center. The service provider manages the hardware and software and with the right service agreement, will ensure the availability and security of your application and data as well. SaaS allows your organization to get up and running quickly with an application with minimal initial cost.
Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS)
Unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) is trending up amid the current crisis as this service model presents communications continuity and remote collaboration services to users, worldwide, via the cloud network. Moreover, this service model provides advanced security and reliability, enabling the remote workforce to work seamlessly in a secure, virtualized cloud environment.
As work-from-home is becoming the new norm and the digital workplace becoming the future of work, both SMEs and large enterprises are embracing UCaaS services to keep their teams connected while they work apart. UCaaS platform not only empowers the mobile workforce to connect and collaborate over phone/video calls but also enables them to share files, documents or resources via the cloud infrastructure for streamlined workflows.
How does Cloud Computing work?
Cloud computing is possible because of a technology called virtualization. Virtualization allows the creation of a simulated, digital-only “virtual” computer that behaves as if it were a physical computer with its own hardware. The technical term for such a computer is virtual machine. When implemented correctly, virtual machines on the same host are sandboxed from each other, so they do not interact with each other at all, and files and applications from one virtual machine are not visible to other virtual machines even though are in the same physical. car.
Virtual machines also make more efficient use of the hardware that hosts them. By running many virtual machines at the same time, one server becomes many servers and one data center becomes a whole host of data centers, capable of serving many organizations. Thus, cloud providers can offer the use of their servers to many more customers at the same time than they would otherwise be able to do, and they can do so at a low cost.
Even if individual servers are down, cloud servers in general must always be online and always available. Generally, cloud vendors book their services on multiple machines and in multiple regions.
Users access cloud services either through a browser or through an application, connecting to the cloud through the Internet – that is, through many interconnected networks regardless of the device they use.
What is Cloud Computing used for?
Here are some of the most common cloud computing uses:
- Cloud storage: Cloud services ensure your data is stored in an offsite cloud storage system, allowing easy access from any internet-connected location or device. Cloud storage allows you to share files securely and sync files across devices. Popular cloud storage services include Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive.
- Cloud backup: Cloud backup services are failsafe solutions if your company experiences a server crash, cyberattack or other data loss. The best cloud backup services combine storage, data synchronization and restoration, real-time backups, archiving, and high-level security. Many cloud storage services also provide cloud backup functionality.
- Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting services facilitate multiple types of information sharing, including email services, application hosting, web-based phone systems and data storage. A cloud hosting service can host your business website, manage databases and house domain names. Because cloud hosting services are offsite, scaling to manage peak loads is effortless.
- Software as a service: Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud-based application delivery solution. Businesses can use SaaS solutions in many operational areas. For example, you can implement SaaS CRM software like Salesforce for sales management, accounting software like QuickBooks Online for finance management, and email marketing software for enhanced marketing communications. (Read our review of Salesforce and our QuickBooks Online review to learn more about these SaaS solutions.)
Why Cloud Computing?
With increase in Computer and Mobile user’s, data storage has become a priority in all fields. Large and small scale businesses today thrive on their data & they spent a huge amount of money to maintain this data. It requires a strong IT support and a storage hub. Not all businesses can afford high cost of in-house IT infrastructure and back up support services. For them Cloud Computing is a cheaper solution. Perhaps its efficiency in storing data, computation and less maintenance cost has succeeded to attract even bigger businesses as well.
Cloud computing decreases the hardware and software demand from the user’s side. The only thing that user must be able to run is the cloud computing systems interface software, which can be as simple as Web browser, and the Cloud network takes care of the rest. We all have experienced cloud computing at some instant of time, some of the popular cloud services we have used or we are still using are mail services like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo etc.
While accessing e-mail service our data is stored on cloud server and not on our computer. The technology and infrastructure behind the cloud is invisible. It is less important whether cloud services are based on HTTP, XML, PHP or other specific technologies as far as it is user friendly and functional. An individual user can connect to cloud system from his/her own devices like desktop, laptop or mobile.
Cloud computing harnesses small business effectively having limited resources, it gives small businesses access to the technologies that previously were out of their reach. Cloud computing helps small businesses to convert their maintenance cost into profit.
In an in-house IT server, you have to pay a lot of attention and ensure that there are no flaws into the system so that it runs smoothly. And in case of any technical glitch you are completely responsible; it will seek a lot of attention, time and money for repair. Whereas, in cloud computing, the service provider takes the complete responsibility of the complication and the technical faults.
How do I choose a cloud service provider?
Once you’ve decided to switch to cloud computing, your next step is to choose a cloud service provider. It is vital to evaluate the reliability and capability of a service provider you plan to trust with your organization’s applications and data.
A few things to consider:
Business health and processes
- Financial health. The provider should have a track record of stability and be in a healthy financial position with sufficient capital to operate successfully over the long term.
- Organization, governance, planning, and risk management. The provider should have a formal management structure, established risk management policies, and a formal process for assessing third-party service providers and vendors.
- Trust. You should like the company and its principles. Check the provider’s reputation and see who its partners are. Find out its level of cloud experience. Read reviews, and talk to customers whose situation is similar to yours.
- Business knowledge and technical know-how. The provider should understand your business and what you’re looking to do and be able to match it up with their technical expertise.
- Compliance audit. The provider should be able to validate compliance with all of your requirements through a third-party audit.
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Providers should be able to promise you a basic level of service that you are comfortable with.
- Performance reporting. The provider should be able to give you performance reports.
- Resource monitoring and configuration management. There should be sufficient controls for the provider to track and monitor services provided to customers and any changes made to their systems.
- Billing and accounting. This should be automated so that you can monitor what resources you’re using and the cost, so you don’t run up unexpected bills. There should also be support for billing-related issues.
Technical capabilities and processes
- Ease of deployment, management, and upgrade. Make sure the provider has mechanisms that make it easy for you to deploy, manage, and upgrade your software and applications.
- Standard interfaces. The provider should use standard APIs and data transforms so that your organization can easily build connections to the cloud.
- Event management. The provider should have a formal system for event management that’s integrated with its monitoring/management system.
- Change management. The provider should have documented and formal processes for requesting, logging, approving, testing, and accepting changes.
- Hybrid capability. Even if you don’t plan to use a hybrid cloud initially, you should make sure the provider can support this model. It has advantages that you may wish to exploit at a later time.
- Security infrastructure. There should be a comprehensive security infrastructure for all levels and types of cloud services.
- Security policies. There should be comprehensive security policies and procedures in place for controlling access to provider and customer systems.
- Identity management. Changes to any application service or hardware component should be authorized on a personal or group role basis, and authentication should be required for anyone to change an application or data.
- Data backup and retention. Policies and procedures to ensure integrity of customer data should be in place and operational.
- Physical security. Controls ensuring physical security should be in place, including for access to co-located hardware. Also, data centers should have environmental safeguards to protect equipment and data from disruptive events. There should be redundant networking and power and a documented disaster recovery and business continuity plan.
Examples of Cloud Computing
Here are some examples of Cloud computing applications:
Medical professionals can do diagnostics, host information, and analyze patients remotely with the help of cloud computing. Cloud computing allows doctors to share information quickly from anywhere. It also saves costs by allowing large data file transfers instantly. This certainly increases efficiency.
Ultimately, cloud technology helps the medical team ensure patients receive the best possible care without unnecessary delay. The condition of patients can also be updated in seconds with the help of remote conferencing.
Cloud computing is also useful in educational institutions for distance learning. It offers various services for universities, colleges, professors, and teachers to reach thousands of students all around the world. Companies like Google and Microsoft offer various services free of charge to faculties, teachers, professors, and students from various learning institutions. Various educational institutions across the world use these services to improve their efficiency and productivity.
The military and government were early adopters of cloud computing. Their Cloud incorporates social, mobile, and analytics technologies. Although, they must adhere to strict compliance and security measures. This protects against cyber threats both domestically and abroad.
Cloud computing helps data scientists analyze various data patterns, insights for better predictions and decision making. There are many open-source big data development and analytics tools available for this purpose.
Cloud computing provides network-based access to communication tools like emails and social media. WhatsApp also uses a cloud-based infrastructure to facilitate user communications. All the information is stored in the service provider’s hardware.
Nowadays, many business processes like emails, ERP, CRM, and document management have become cloud-based services. SaaS has become the most vital method for enterprises. Some examples of SaaS include Salesforce, HubSpot.
Facebook, Dropbox, and Gmail:
Cloud computing can be used for the storage of files. It helps you automatically synchronize the files from different devices like desktop, tablet, mobile, etc. Dropbox allows users to store and access files up to 2 GB for free. It also provides an easy backup feature.
Social Networking platforms like Facebook demand powerful hosting to manage and store data in real-time. Cloud-based communication provides click-to-call facilities from social networking sites and access to the instant messaging system.
The cloud technology can be used for handling citizen services too. It is widely used for storing, managing, updating citizen details, acknowledging forms, and even verifying the current status of applications can be performed with the help of cloud computing.
Importance of Security in the Cloud Computing
A top priority for data protection is putting in place the best possible security measures. For many companies, this may mean developing an integration strategy to securely move data from on-premise servers to the cloud.
One of the most basic concerns a company has is simply, “Will my data be secure in the cloud?” For an answer, look at your existing infrastructure. An internal IT team that is overstretched but still struggling to manage internal systems is likely to be less effective at preventing data compromise than a team of cloud provider engineers whose sole focus is which is the monitoring and storage of your company’s data.
Additionally, implementing third-party tools, rather than relying solely on the cloud provider, can add an additional layer of security and control.
The future of Cloud Computing?
Increase Storage Capacity
Today, data is being generated in a high volume and it is difficult to store it securely. Most companies are looking for a place where they can securely store their data.
So many businesses are adopting cloud computing and it is predicted that Cloud providers will offer more data centers at a lower price as there is a lot of competition between them. With the help of more in your company will be able to save data.
Enhanced Performance of Internet
With the help of the Internet of Things, the quality of the internet can be increased. With the help of the IoT and Cloud Computing, we can store data in the cloud, for further analyze & provide enhanced performance.
The users expect high-quality fast-loading services and application. The network provided will be faster and the ability to receive and deliver that data will be quick.
Modular Software Will Be Priority
The size of an individual program along with the complexity is increasing regularly. This leads to the fact that Cloud technology will soon require advance system thinking.
We can see software development from many angles because in the future applications will store in places other than the cloud. This application will store on different modules, on servers of different Cloud Service.
This can also reduce the cost of software as placing components of the program on different storage is economical.
Internet of Things Along With Cloud Computing
The internet of things is also one of the leading Technology is it comes with continuous innovation in real time Data Analytics and cloud computing. There are many machine-to-machine communication, data, and process occurring. We can do it easily with the help of cloud computing.
Improvement in Cloud Services
Cloud Computing includes:
- Infrastructure as a service
- Platform as a service
- Software as a service
With this service, we can achieve our desired goals. There are many researchers which have proved that Cloud Computing will be one of the leading technologies in the future as the software as a service solution will account for more than 60% of the workload.
It also has been predicted that the platform as a service and infrastructure as a service will increase gradually as it has been used in most of the organizations. Cloud Computing is user-friendly and is compatible for both new as well as old organizations.
Companies are using much software, which is yet to modify. This leads to the fact that cloud computing requires modified software, which will provide better security and facilities. This software will be more user-friendly and flexible to use.
One of the major advantages of this software will be that it will save the overall cost as well as time. We can see from the below graph, companies providing services and software are also improving.