Cloud Computing: An Overview

The computing power is overgrowing every day. We hear so many new terms in the industry, and if we are not updated, we may get confused. One of the very well sought terms is “Cloud computing” this article aims to provide a brief overview of cloud computing. Many people think that cloud computing is different from traditional computer architecture. But in reality, it is not that different. Cloud computing is still based on the same physical server hardware that is present in any computer network. The only difference is that cloud computing architecture makes the processing power and storage capacity of this hardware available over the internet.

What is cloud computing?

In simple terms, It is the on-demand availability of platform, infrastructure and applications. Cloud computing aims to offer businesses a cost-effective solution to increase their IT capacity and functionality.

Top Cloud Providers

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Microsoft Azure

Google Cloud Platform

Alibaba Cloud

Salesforce

IBM Cloud

Oracle Cloud

Digital Ocean

Dropbox

VMWare

Type of cloud computing:

There are mainly three types of cloud computing:

  1. Public Cloud – The public cloud is provided by third-party service providers, which offers their computing resources such as server, services, storage, etc. on the pay-per-use model. It is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. The benefits of public cloud platforms are easy & quick scalability, cost-effective, easy to manage, reliability and without any geographical restriction.
  2. Private cloud – Private clouds are architecture owned by a single business entity. It is a more controlled environment where the resources are shared amongst different entities of the same business. The architecture can be managed externally as well as in-house. The private cloud provides a high level of security and customization as per the requirement of the business.
  3. Hybrid Cloud – The hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private clouds. The deployment usually happens using a virtual private network. These days most businesses are using this model. It helps in the scalability of the in-house capability of storage or services.

Apart from the above, there is one more type emerging named “Community cloud”. The community cloud is like a private cloud that operates as a public cloud. It is used in a collaboration of different companies.

Types of Cloud Computing Services

There are mainly three types of cloud computing services:

  1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – IaaS provides virtualized computing infrastructure to the user, which can be used over the internet. The providers of IaaS manage the physical end of the server, storage etc., in a data centre. Still, at the same time, it allows the customer to customize those virtualized resources as per their need. Under this service, a customer can purchase, install, configure, and manage any software they want to use. Examples of IaaS: Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine, Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 Instance, Cisco Metacloud, Google Compute Engine (GCE)
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Unlike IaaS, which provide tools through the cloud, the PaaS offers the framework to build, test, deploy, manage and update software applications. Like IaaS, it uses the basic infrastructure and includes the operating system, development tools, database, and middleware required for Software development. Examples of PaaS: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Microsoft Azure Web Apps, Google Cloud SQL, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos
  3. Software as a service (SaaS) – in SaaS, the cloud service providers provide ready to purchase software that can be used over the internet. The service providers manage the infrastructure, Operating System, middleware and storage. The user gets access to software anywhere and whenever required. Examples of SaaS: Microsoft Office365, Google GSuite, Salesforce, Slack, DocuSign, MailChimp, Dropbox, Cisco WebEx

 Would you please share your view and let me know if this article helps you understand cloud computing in brief?

Disclaimer: All views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author and don’t represent any organization that he is/has been a part of.

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