With the growing demand for cloud computing technology, the use of traditional servers to process, configure, manipulate and store data drastically came down. Cloud computing is an on-demand computing service over the Internet (‘the cloud’) that includes servers, storage, networking, software, databases, intelligence, and analytics. It is a shared resource kept at some place and used by companies from different locations to run their applications. In simple words, a cloud is a server or data center managed by a company to run applications for other organisations remotely.
What is Cloud Computing Technology?
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The term Cloud means a Network or Internet. It is present at a remote location and provides services over public and private networks, i.e., WAN, LAN or VPN.
To make cloud computing achievable and accessible to end-users, some services and models work behind the picture. The two working models for cloud computing are:
- Deployment Models
- Service Models
Deployment models describe the different types of access to the Cloud. Means, how the Cloud is located? The four types of access for the Cloud are – Public, Private, Hybrid, and Community.
The public Cloud is a third-party computing service that allows systems and services to be easily accessible over the public Internet. This makes the public Cloud available to anyone who wants it. One can either access it for free or can even purchase it as per requirement. Users can pay as per their usage the CPU cycles, storage or consumption of bandwidth. The public Cloud is believed to be less secure because of its open access.
The private cloud is more secure because of its private access. It allows access to systems and services within an organisation. It is a service used exclusively by a single entity or organisation. It can be physically placed on a company’s on-site data centre(s). One can also hire third-party service providers to host their private Cloud. In a private cloud, services and infrastructure are managed on a private network.
The Hybrid Cloud is a combination of public and private clouds. The private Cloud is used to perform critical activities, while the public Cloud performs non-critical activities. The two are combined by technology, which allows data and applications to be partitioned between them. It also allows data and applications to flow between private and public clouds. With hybrid cloud, your business gets increased flexibility, broader deployment possibilities and helps optimise your current infrastructure, security, and compliance.
The community cloud provides access to systems and services to a group of organisations.
There are three main cloud service models: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Let’s know what they are and how they are different in achieving your business goals.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
This is the fundamental category of cloud computing services. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) enables you to rent IT infrastructure, whether one needs servers and virtual machines (VMs), operating systems, storage, and networks. You can rent the services from a cloud service provider and pay according to your usage.
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform as a service (PaaS) attributes to cloud computing services that provide an on-demand environment to develop, test, deliver and manage software applications. Using PaaS is developers can easily and quickly create web or mobile applications.
- Software as a service (SaaS)
Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on-demand, and typically on a subscription basis. Cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure with SaaS and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing has numerous advantages. Some of them are listed below –
- Applications are accessible as utilities over the Internet.
- Online manipulation and configuration of the applications at any time
- It does not require the installation of software on local systems to access or manipulate cloud applications.
- Cloud computing offers online development and deployment tools, programming runtime environments through the PaaS model.
- Cloud resources are accessible over the network in a way that provides platform-independent access to any user.
- It also offers on-demand self-service. The resources can be utilised without the intervention of the service providers.
- You get a highly cost-effective operational solution because of its high efficiency with optimum utilisation. Only an Internet connection is required.
- You also get load balancing making it more secure and reliable.
Risks Related to Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is one of the most advantageous innovations with various benefits in computer technology, but it also comes with many risks. Some of them are listed below:-
Security and privacy are the primary concerns when we talk about cloud computing. Due to the involvement of third-party in data management and infrastructure management, it is always seen as a risk factor to give access to sensitive and private information to cloud service providers.
- Complicated Vendor Lock-In
Switching from one cloud service provider (CSP) to another is difficult. Therefore, it leads to dependency on one CSP for service, resulting in severe consequences later.
There is every chance of data loss in the Cloud for reasons other than cyber attacks. For example, a cloud service provider can accidentally delete your data, or a natural/man-made disaster, like a flood/earthquake/fire, can lead to the permanent loss of data.
- Compromise of Management Interface
Management interfaces are compromised, as in the case of the public cloud providers. One can access the customer management interfaces via the Internet.
In a cloud environment, data is spread over several storage devices within the service provider’s infrastructure. Therefore, consumers have limited visibility and access to where information is physically stored in the Cloud. In such cases, it is pretty possible that the data requested for deletion is not deleted.
Key Features of Cloud Computing
Below-mentioned, you will find four key features of cloud computing:-
With cloud computing, your users get access to web services and resources on demand. Users can log in to a website at a convenient time and work on them.
- Widespread Network Access
Cloud computing is an entirely web-based service. Hence it can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
Cloud computing enables multiple users to share a multitude of resources at the same time. For example, one can share a single physical instance of hardware, database, and basic infrastructure simultaneously for different tasks. The purpose is to increase reliability, flexibility, and efficiency.
Rapid elasticity allows easy scalability of the resources, be it vertically or horizontally, at any time. It increases the ability of resources to manage increasing or decreasing demand. The use of resources by customers is automatically monitored at any given point in time.
Measured service enables service providers to control and monitors all the characters of cloud service. Starting from resource up-gradation, billing, and capacity planning, everything depends on it.