Introduction to Cloud Computing
Before cloud computing came into the picture, many companies used traditional servers to carry out operations, processes and data storage. Eventually, it became challenging and costly to completely rely on other companies later, for computing, data processing and storage. But thanks to the big giants today, for creating advanced cloud computing services for making computing and storage more convenient and manageable.
Cloud computing is a leading edge technology that stands for the delivery of high-demand computing services including applications, storage, and power processing, entirely over the internet. It means that instead of using external computer hardware and software, cloud computing offers the entire computing and data storage and processing service over the internet only.
In simpler terms, cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers that are hosted on the internet. The purpose is to store, manage and process data effortlessly rather than relying on a local server or personal computer system.
For decades computer industries used to work by storing data and running programs from the hard drive. But ever since businesses have adopted the cloud computing service, with the help of online connection, it has become flexible to manage resources anytime and anywhere.
Cloud computing gives users easy access to use online services that are available through any device with an internet connection. Users don’t require to be in a certain location to utilize this service as ‘The Cloud’ is almost everywhere these days. In fact, here are some examples of companies that provide their services online through cloud services:
Understanding How Cloud Computing Works
Here is a layman’s guide to how to understand cloud computing works. Basically, cloud has two main sections: the front-end and the back-end. These sections are connected to each other through the internet network. The front-end is the user or client-side of the computer whereas the back-end includes ‘The Cloud’ section of the computer system.
The front-end that consists of the client’s computer enables the user to access data stored in the cloud with the help of the internet browser or with a cloud software. Although, all cloud computing systems do not necessarily have to use the same user interface.
On the other hand, the back-end of the cloud technology system is responsible for storing data and information securely. It includes servers, computers, data storage systems, and central servers. The central server uses a certain set of rules called protocols to facilitate operations. To ensure seamless connectivity between computers or devices that are linked through cloud , it uses middle-ware software.
Apart from these two main section components, the cloud computing services fall under three broad models:
- Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS):
In this most basic service model of cloud computing, where the user can rent network connectivity, IT infrastructure resources like data center, servers, storage networking hardware and cloud computing security compliance from a cloud service provider. The enterprise can use the IaaS and customize it accordingly so as to build a cost-effective software offering.
- Platform as a Service(PaaS)
This cloud computing service offers an on-demand environment to develop, test, deliver and manage software applications. The PaaS is designed for developers to make it easier for them to promptly develop websites or mobile applications without having to worry about the setup or management of underlying infrastructure resources.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)SaaS is the largest model in the cloud market that is growing rapidly today. This model uses the web browser to deliver applications to clients that are managed by the third party vendor. Whereas, its interface is accessed to the client side. Most of the SaaS applications do not require to be downloaded as these directly run from the web browser but some plugins are required to be installed.
The Virtualization in Cloud Computing
Just like its name, cloud computing is very vast as it holds various processes, operations, and management. Similarly, it involves a process of cloud computing virtualization. The cloud computing virtualization allows a user to utilize the same server to run multiple applications and operating systems, thus providing an efficient utilization of resources as well as reducing costs.
There are four main cloud computing virtualization types:
- Application Virtualization:
The application virtualization helps users to have remote access to the application from a server. The server stores the personal information and other application characteristics but still holds the potential to run on a local workstation with the internet connection.
- Network Virtualization:
It is the ability to run multiple virtual networks that individually have a separate control and data plan. Network virtualization provides the facility to create and provision virtual networks such as logical switches, routers, firewalls, VPN, and workload security, either within days or even within weeks.
- Desktop Virtualization:
This desktop virtualization enables users to emulate a workstation load in place of a server. It allows users to access their desktop remotely regardless of any location by a different machine. It offers the benefit of user portability, mobility, effortless management of software like installation, updates, and patches.
- Server Virtualization:
This is more of a technique to mask server resources. Server virtualization stimulates physical servers by altering their identities, numbers, processors and their operating systems. This spares users from the burden of continuously managing complex server resources.
How does Cloud Computing Benefit an Organization?
Cloud computing is just not about trendy applications that people use for storing photos and videos online. It plays a major part in the business model nowadays and has taken the world by storm! With the help of cloud servives, businesses are not only getting the benefit of storing and accessing data but also the benefit of operating businesses innovatively.
Following are the advantages that cloud computing benefits organizations with today:
- Cost Saving
It has been really expensive to run, manage, and deploy local systems for a long time and not to forget how much capital it has cost. With cloud computing, a user doesn’t require going through monthly expenditure of maintenance as everything is handled by the service provider itself.
Managing resources becomes quite easier with cloud computing as one has to simply pay for the resources that are being used each month. It offers the ease of process and operation as the Cloud storage providers offer flexible packages in which one can add or reduce the amount of storage that one pays to use.
- Data Recovery
Cyberattacks can destroy a huge amount of data if everything is stored in physical servers and hard drives. As a result, it will not only lead to data loss but also to customer trust in the organization. With cloud computing, these issues are less likely to happen and even if it happens, there are massive storage locations where the data will always be safely present as a copy at another location.
- Increased Security
With cloud hosting, your organization is always protected against hacking and internal data thefts. It offers a robust firewall technology that offers features like intrusion prevention systems and in streaming virus protection.