Cloud computing involves computing services on the Cloud or the internet. It means that the entire gamut of computing services that include servers, databases, networks, storage, software, analytics, etc., are all available on the Cloud. Cloud computing has grown in popularity because users can access services and facilities on the go, from anywhere, anytime. All of it is in the virtual mode, which is a big contrast to how traditional systems used to work, i.e., on the premise.
Cloud computing encompasses the delivery of hosted services through the internet. There are two parts to the entire infrastructure to enable seamless delivery of cloud computing services:
- The Cloud, and
Let us understand these two terms first.
The Cloud is broadly speaking; there are three categorizations of cloud services –
- Public Cloud – In this case, the services are entirely on the Cloud, with all aspects of the application running on the Cloud. A cloud service provider offers this type of service. The benefit is that the enterprise or the business entity enjoying the public cloud service is not liable for server maintenance.
- Private Cloud – This type of cloud service is also referred to as an on-premise cloud. In this ecosystem, the business that avails the service is responsible for the end-to-end management of the cloud services, data, Hardware, and software. Compared to a public cloud, this service is way more securer.
- Hybrid Cloud – The best aspects and deployment strategies of both services above are blended. The on-premise resources and apps on the Cloud are interlinked and seamlessly accessed by users. Through cloud integration services, users can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Besides these categorizations, there are other modifications too. Some of these are:
- Community Cloud – in this type of infrastructure, several organizations can access data and information, systems and services on the same Cloud.
- Distributed Cloud – in this infrastructure, public cloud services are distributed to varied physical locations. The public cloud service provider is responsible for the operations, maintenance, governance, and updation of the services.
- Big Data Cloud
The Computing Services
Cloud computing has been around ever since 1986. However, it is only in recent years that cloud computing has garnered attention. In 2012, this niche experienced a boom, and there has been no looking back ever since. In fact, during the pandemic, a lot of work, learning, gaming, etc., could happen because of cloud computing services. There are varied types of cloud computing services. The main ones are:
- Software as a service or SaaS: Different business entities can access software and data on the Cloud without investing in the management or maintenance of the infrastructure in this type of service. The cloud service provider offers hardware installation and maintenance, software licensing, installation, and support.
- Platform as a service or PaaS: in this infrastructure, businesses have the permission to control applications or the software but no control over the ecosystem where the apps are hosted. Thus, companies do not have control over the hardware components of the infrastructure like the servers, network, storage, or operating system. The management of these components lies with the cloud service provider while developers can create their apps and run them on the platform at cost-effective prices.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This infrastructure is also popularly known as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). In this case, the cloud service operator offers business clients essential IT features in the virtual world, for example, Hardware, servers, storage, data centers, networking elements, etc. The rest is handled and taken care of by the client that operates its enterprise operations via the delivery of the infrastructural services on the Cloud.
Why is cloud computing so popular?
Cloud computing offers financial gains to businesses. One of the foremost things is the decrease in upfront capital expenses. For example, companies can avoid investing in expensive hardware components required in the traditional model. Similarly, there are no hefty software license fees, maintenance and upkeep costs, etc.
The other distinct advantage for business organizations is that cloud systems take less deployment time and can be custom-tailored quickly. This, in turn, impacts costs.
Here are some of the reasons for deploying cloud computing services:
- 50% decrease in labor and development costs
- 10% decrease in software testing costs
- 40% decrease in maintenance and support costs.
- 15% decrease in backup management costs, and
- Approximately 40% decrease in project costs.
Besides costs, cloud computing facilitates on-the-go access is available 24×7. All updates are automatic and real-time, and businesses do not have to lose their sleep over up-gradation and security. This is because data stored on the Cloud is saved from cyber crimes as the service provider is liable for audits and compliances.