A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

A very basic definition of cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet. Computing services may include servers, databases, software, analytics, storage, networking, and intelligence. The cloud helps deliver these services quickly, reliably, and affordably. Below you’ll find definitions and examples for a brief guide to cloud computing.

Cloud Computing Defined

Cloud describes a network of computers, operating programs, and applications. Known as virtual hosting solutions, they operate on connected servers instead of a local machine. The software, processing power, and data storage are provided from a remote location. All information files and application programs in cloud computing remain secure at remote data centers.

Sharing and collaboration can be done seamlessly and effortlessly regardless of user location or device.

Types of Cloud Computing

To start this guide to cloud computing, we need to mention the various types. Many different cloud computing models exist, and they serve the diverse needs of different businesses. Certainly, over the years, various models, types, and services have evolved in cloud computing. So, determine your cloud computing architecture to enjoy optimal cloud services.

Public Cloud

The public cloud is owned by third-party cloud service providers. They also own the resources, such as the hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure. Additionally, these services can be accessed and managed through the web browser. The public cloud follows the multi-tenant architecture supported by the pay-as-you-go pricing model.

Private Cloud

The private cloud offers a series of cloud computing resources. They are exclusively used by a business or organization. The cloud may be located in an on-site data center of the user. Also, a private network manages and maintains the services and infrastructure. Only the user can directly access and control the underlying cloud infrastructure.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud services. The data moves between both clouds if desired. A key aspect of this solution is its greater flexibility and broader deployment options. It also optimizes the user’s existing infrastructure and security. It also ensures total compliance.

Types of Services Offered by Cloud Computing

IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service]

IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service is provisioned and managed over the Internet. Additionally, users scale it up and down as needed. You can save heavily on the investment for buying and managing physical servers and other infrastructure. The cloud computing service provider manages the infrastructure, software system and OS middleware, and applications. Also, you only pay rent to use the service component you need.

PaaS [Platform as a Service]

PaaS offers a development and deployment environment in the cloud. Resources can be purchased on a pay-as-you-go model. Indeed, this service includes IaaS, middleware, Business Intelligence services, database management solutions, and deployment tools. You don’t have to invest in expensive software licenses. When you subscribe to PaaS, the cloud service provider manages everything.

SaaS [Software as a Service]

SaaS offers a comprehensive software solution on a pay-as-you-go basis. Users can connect to the system and access the cloud-based applications over the internet. The provider also offers SLAs or Service Level Agreements to allow access to leased software and hardware.

Serverless Computing

Serverless Computing is a plan in which developers build applications faster. They don’t have to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure. Also, the tasks associated with infrastructure provisioning and management are the provider’s responsibility.

Benefits of Using Cloud Computing

Cloud computing and its various deployment models have helped streamline or eliminate many commonly-faced business hassles.

  • Businesses need not invest in high-capacity servers or equipment rooms. They can manually store and back up data on hard drives and external devices.
  • They don’t have to hire expensive in-house experts to manage and troubleshoot the server systems.
  • The provider or vendor handles all the backups, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
  • Access to resources is not affected by the geographical location of users.
  • You don’t have to forcibly but the original software systems and keep updating the latest versions manually. The cloud-based software customizes to meet user needs.
  • With cloud computing, your data remains fully secure and protected at all times. There is zero risk of losing crucial business data even during major disasters.
  • Sharing and working on cloud-based files is the best way to achieve perfect coordination between remote workers and teams.
  • Cloud computing saves you money as you don’t need to buy high-priced software or hardware systems. If completed by the vendor, you potentially also save on the salaries of IT experts for installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Anyone using the internet will most likely be already using cloud computing in some ways. We use the system when we send emails, visit multimedia platforms, store away files or play online video games. Cloud computing has many other interesting uses. These include

  • Storage, backup, and recovery of data
  • Creating, testing, and building applications
  • Data analysis
  • Creating content for social media and other entertainment platforms
  • Mobile banking
  • Customer relationship management
  • Inventory management and logistics
  • Accounting

Misconceptions about Cloud Computing

In our guide to cloud computing, we want to mention the numerous technical and economic benefits provided by cloud computing, but there are still some trust issues with the acceptance and implementation of the technology. People keep some misconceptions associated with cloud computing.

Certainly, the cloud provider can have access to all the data.

Fact: All information stored in the cloud remains fully encrypted. They are also encrypted when in transit. There is no way anyone can access or decode the data.

The cloud takes away your control over your data and processes.

Fact: Cloud services can be used on a pay-as-you-go basis. So, you can scale usage based on your requirements. Data migration to and from the cloud is also easy and quick. You can download the information whenever you need it.

Cloud solutions are risky as they are prone to security breaches.

Fact: It’s quite the opposite. Security improves once data migrates to the cloud. A two-factor authentication method is used to verify user identity and enhance security. Security breaches generally occur due to human errors.

Transitioning to the cloud can cost you time and money.

Fact: Cloud migration happens quickly and is cost-effective as well. You don’t need the support of IT experts during and after the migration.

Conclusion

This is a technology that’s here to stay for a long time, so this is merely a brief guide to cloud computing. Indeed, you can enjoy the whole range of benefits if you apply the best practices for leveraging cloud computing services. But, your cloud computing experience will be only as good as the reputation and efficiency of the cloud service vendor you are using. So, make sure you research extensively and choose the best cloud computing service provider to get the most out of your investment.

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