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Cloud Computing 101: The basics of Cloud

by Noyal S
Cloud 101

In recent years, cloud computing has become an increasingly popular way to store and access data and applications. In the Cloud, users can access their personal files on any computer with the internet without installing any external software or applications. The centralized data storage, processing and bandwidth makes this technology more efficient.

At its core, Cloud computing involves using a network of remote servers to store, manage, and process data. Large cloud-based companies, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure, usually provide these servers through their vast network of data centers worldwide. 

Let take a look at Cloud Computing in detail:

Cloud Service Models

There are three different types of cloud computing services, namely Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Each of these services provides a different level of abstraction and control over the underlying infrastructure, depending on the needs of the user:

Infrastructure As a Service (IaaS)

This is the basic cloud computing model. The cloud providers offer computers, as physical or virtual machines. In this the virtual machines are run by a hyper-visor such as XEN or KVM. Cloud operational support system can manage a pool of such hyper-visors which leads to the ability to support a large number of virtual machines.

To deploy the applications, the cloud users have to install operating system images on the system as well as the application. The cloud user is responsible for patching and maintaining the operating systems and application software.

Platform As a Service (PaaS)

In this model, cloud providers deliver a computing platform which includes operating system, programming language execution environment, database, and web server. Application developers need not to buy hardware and software layers to develop and run their software solutions on cloud platform.

Software As a Service (SaaS)

In the SAAS model, the cloud users need not to install and run the application on their computers because, the cloud providers install and manage the cloud infrastructure and platform on which the application is running and the cloud users can access the software from the cloud clients. The main difference between the cloud application and other application is its elasticity. Load balancers distributes the work over the group of virtual machines. Cloud applications can be multitenant, to accommodate a large number of cloud users.

What is a Cloud clients?

Users can access cloud computing using networked client devices, like desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Cloud applications can use a web browser to interact with the cloud application

Cloud Deployment Models

Cloud Deployment Models refer to the different ways in which cloud computing services can be delivered and accessed. Here are four main deployment models:

  1. Public Cloud: This model is the most common type of cloud deployment, in which a service provider makes computing resources such as storage, servers, and applications available to the general public over the internet. Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud providers, who maintain the infrastructure and manage security, maintenance, and upgrades.
  2. Community Cloud: In this model, the cloud infrastructure is shared between several organizations within a particular community, such as a group of companies with similar ownership, security or compliance requirements. The infrastructure can be owned and managed by one or more of the community members or a third-party provider.
  3. Hybrid Cloud: This model is a combination of two or more clouds (public, private, or community) that remain separate but are bound together, providing benefits such as workload flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Organizations can use public clouds for non-sensitive data and applications while using private clouds for mission-critical workloads.
  4. Private Cloud: In this model, the cloud infrastructure is operated solely for a single organization, which can be managed internally or by a third-party provider. Private clouds are often used by companies that require a high level of control over their data and infrastructure, such as government agencies or financial institutions.

Each deployment model has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on an organization’s specific needs and requirements. For example, public clouds are generally the most cost-effective and scalable option, while private clouds offer greater control and security. Hybrid clouds provide the best of both worlds, while community clouds can offer shared resources and cost savings for a group of organizations with similar needs.

Overall, the choice of deployment model depends on factors such as an organization’s budget, security and compliance requirements, workload demands, and IT infrastructure capabilities.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

The benefits of cloud computing are many. Because data is stored on centralized servers across remote locations, it can be accessed from anywhere and is often faster and more secure than local storage. Cloud computing is also highly scalable and helpful for businesses and organizations with fluctuating workloads or seasonal demand. Let’s look at the benefits of Cloud Computing in more detail:

  1. One of the key benefits of cloud computing is the use of visualization technology, which allows servers and storage devices to be shared among multiple users. This enables organizations to increase utilization rates and reduce the number of underutilized servers or storage devices.
  2. Cloud computing enables organizations to centralize their IT infrastructure in locations with lower costs. This can help reduce operational expenses, as cloud providers can leverage economies of scale to offer lower prices for their services. 
  3. Cloud providers typically use multiple redundant sites to ensure high availability and reliability of their services. This means that if one site goes down, the workload can be shifted to another server, minimizing downtime and disruption to business operations. 
  4. Cloud providers often have dedicated security teams that are responsible for implementing and maintaining security protocols and technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and data encryption. 
  5. Cloud providers take care of hardware and software maintenance, including upgrades and security patches, so that organizations don’t have to worry about these tasks. This can save time and resources and allow organizations to focus on other aspects of their business. Cloud providers can also provide 24/7 technical support and troubleshooting, which can further simplify organizational maintenance and support tasks.

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