18 Jan What Is Cloud Computing? Everything You Need To Know
Cloud computing is the instant delivery of IT resources or computer systems through the internet on-demand, specifically computing power and cloud/data storage, without the direct active management by the user. Such resources generally consist of applications and tools like servers, networking, data storage, databases, and software.
Unlike local storage devices or proprietary hard drives, cloud-based storage saves the files on the remote database. After the electronic device has access to the web, it also reaches out to the database and the software programs to operate it.
Cloud computing has immense benefits like increased productivity, performance, cost savings, efficiency and speed, and security. Cloud computing can generally be in three ways; private, public, and hybrid. Private cloud services only give services to a specific number of people. Whereas, public cloud system render services through the internet for a fee. These are basically hosted services. Also, there is a Hybrid classification that merges the characteristics of both private and public services.
TYPES OF CLOUD COMPUTING
The cloud computing system comprises of three main categories as following:
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This provides companies with computing resources like networking, data center space, servers, and storage. All these services are on a pay-per-use basis. Famous examples of this system are Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud.
Few benefits of IaaS are:
- Innovative and flexible services are available on demand.
- Investing in your own hardware is not required.
- Dynamic workloads are supported by on-demand infrastructure scales.
2. Software as a Service (SaaS): These applications are operated on remote computers present in the cloud. Such distant computers are run and owned by others and that connect to users’ computers through a web browser and the internet. The main example is Microsoft Office 365.
Few benefits of SaaS are:
- Data and apps are reachable from any connected computer.
- The services are dynamically scalable as per user needs.
- Innovative business apps are easy to start and sign up for.
- Since the data is saved in the cloud, the risk of losing it is negligible.
3. Platform as a Service (PaaS): It is one of the most complex layers of cloud-based computing. It has similar features as that of SaaS except that rather than delivering software online, It is in fact a channel to build software that is delivered through the internet. This model is found in Heroku and salesforce.com.
Few benefits of PaaS are:
- By using middleware as a service, complexity is reduced.
- Faster application development and hence the marketing too.
- Deploying new applications to the cloud in no time.
ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD COMPUTING
Following are the major pros of cloud computing:
– Mobility improvement: With cloud services, data and apps are accessible anytime, anywhere. This is encouraged by the massive usage of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
– Economies of scale: It helps cost reduction by leveraging economies of scale. A study by Booz Allen Hamilton stated that with a deployment of 100 servers, the cloud service can reduce cost by 50-60%. It reduces the investments of cloud customers in on-premises infrastructure.
– Flexible costs: Cloud computing has an advantage over traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX), however, the major spend by the cloud is operational expenditure (OPEX). The company need not worry about the funding support team, as a third-party vendor takes care of the maintenance.
– Rising collaboration: It improves work processes, that consider data flows between business partners and coworkers. Businesses now seek more apps for streamlined workflows and file sharing. It is easy to connect with important clients and fellow employees, remotely.
– Operational: Third-party vendors usually run the infrastructure of cloud computing on separate servers. During any problem fixation, on-site IT staff are not required, as the vendor handles everything.
DISADVANTAGES OF CLOUD COMPUTING
With pros, comes a set of cons too as written below:
– Security: There are loopholes even in storing sensitive data in external cloud systems. Public clouds don’t have foolproof measures and they are open to careless users, hackers, and other vulnerabilities.
To control it, there must be restricted data access based on user context.
– Downtime: There is a risk of technical stoppages due to the overloading of excessive client requests on third-party vendors. The business can come to halt with no access to data, apps, and servers, even due to a lost internet connection or any other outage. Service Level Agreement (SLA) can be demanded from providers to ensure uptime.
– Limited control: Since everything is managed by cloud service, the application leader of the company will not have access to the backend infrastructure. Still, there is always a possibility of more visibility into the functioning of cloud service providers.
In the coming years, more than half of the IT expenditure is expected to be cloud-based and is only set to grow. Moreover, the cloud will be the central objective to reform the business IT structure more than just a consumption model.