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What is Cloud Computing? Definition, Introduction and Benefits

What is Cloud Computing? Definition, Introduction and Benefits

These days, people are moving all old systems to the cloud, so the need for Cloud Solution Architects is growing. In the future, all web or mobile applications will be available on the cloud.

Cloud computing has almost changed the business landscape in recent years, and the tech sector totally relies on cloud vendors to manage their infrastructure. To store, manage, and process a huge amount of data, organizations are migrating to cloud-based solutions. According to a recent forecast, the cloud computing market is expected to grow from USD 371.4 billion in 2020 to USD 832.1 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.5%. As compared to IT industry spending, the growth rate has increased nearly five to six times.

Tech jobs have been significantly influenced by the cloud-computing trend, and cloud technology aspirants who are planning their careers in the cloud domain are on the right track because the demand for cloud experts is on the rise.

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So, why do businesses opt for Cloud Computing rather than building their own infrastructure? Let us take a look at this in detail.

What is meant by Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a way of delivering IT resources over the Internet. In cloud computing, you don’t need to buy data centers and servers. Instead, you can use technology services from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure in the cloud.
If you look at it simply, Cloud Computing lets you store and access your applications or data over remote computers instead of your own. In a way, it outsources software, storage, and processing power. The applications and files are available for access through logins from any connected device.

Outside parties host programs and information that reside on a global network of secure data centers. Since physical hard drives are not of use in this scenario, it frees up the processing power, enables sharing as well as collaboration, and allows for secure access from any location, regardless of the device used as long as it is connected to the internet.

Cloud Computing has proven to be a more efficient method when it comes to delivering computing resources. The software and service environments are entirely subscription-based, i.e., instead of having to buy licenses, users are charged a monthly fee.

The platform and software are managed by the provider. They are regularly updated to ensure optimum security and performance. The remote computing power makes it easy for users to tap into extra capacity if the need arises. Programs and files can be shared with multiple users and they can collaborate from separate locations in real-time.

Virtualization has made it possible for Cloud providers to make the most of their data center resources. Most corporations have now begun to adopt Cloud delivery models for their on-premises infrastructure. Unlike the traditional IT infrastructure, Cloud Computing helps with maximum utilization and cost savings but with the same self-service and agility to the end users.

People often use some form of Cloud Computing almost every day in the age of computers and mobile devices. Google, Gmail, Netflix, Salesforce, ChatGPT, etc., are all great examples of day-to-day applications and use of Cloud Computing.

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global market size of Cloud is expected to reach US$1,251.09 billion by 2028 from US$36,700 million in 2019. This growth is mainly due to the contribution of several factors such as digital transformation across various industries, big data consumption across various verticals, sudden growth in internet penetration, etc.

Additionally, the increased adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to further promote the growth of the Cloud market.

Businesses are adopting Cloud Computing services because they offer valuable insights into go-to-market approaches, alliance and acquisition strategies, investments, partnering tactics, and best operational practices to adopt.

Furthermore, Cloud Computing services play a big role in the measurement, correlation, and analysis of business activities. On top of that, this technology is able to ensure that the operations of the business align with the demands of the customer.

Major Cloud vendors spend much of their time focusing on introducing new Cloud services, solutions, and workloads. The vendors also focus on releasing upgrades of their current offerings that can further strengthen their foothold in the market.


‘I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster … carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison.’– Steve Jobs, Former CEO of Apple

Also, look into the Cloud Computing Tutorial by Intellipaat.

Cloud Computing EPGC IITR iHUB

History of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing was first thought of as a far-off idea in the 1960s. They suggested an “intergalactic computer network.” They didn’t know this technology would revolutionize suppliers and enterprise IT.

JCR Licklider, the person who suggested the “intergalactic computer network” wanted everyone in the world to be interconnected and access programs and data regardless of location. It subsequently became the footing for grid computing, which connected geographically dispersed computers and created a loosely coupled network.

The evolution of cloud computing can be seen in the table below:

YearEvolution of Cloud Computing
1960sCloud computing concept conceived with “intergalactic computer network” proposal.
1970sVirtualization technology emerges as a precursor to cloud computing.
1990sTelecommunications companies begin offering virtual private network (VPN) services.
2000sAmazon Web Services (AWS) introduces Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a key milestone in modern cloud computing.
2006Google launches Google Apps (now G Suite) for cloud-based office applications.
2008IBM and Google collaborate on cloud computing research.
2009Microsoft introduces Azure, its cloud computing platform.
2010OpenStack, an open-source cloud computing platform, is launched.
2011The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) releases a formal definition of cloud computing.
2013Docker, a containerization technology, is released, simplifying application deployment in the cloud.
2015Alibaba Cloud becomes a significant player in the cloud computing market.
2017AWS Lambda introduces serverless computing to the mainstream.
2020sOngoing advancements in cloud computing, including edge computing and hybrid cloud solutions.

Interestingly, the term, “cloud” was actually adapted from telephony. The telecommunication companies that offered VPN used the cloud symbol to mark the demarcation point that was their sole responsibility.

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Who Is Using Cloud Computing?

An enormous range of individuals and businesses from different industries use cloud computing.

Managing an on-premise data center is a major use case for the industry, which is why cloud computing is chosen. When it comes to scalability, cloud computing offers incredibly flexible solutions. 

The most widely used cloud computing application is social media networking sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter.

For businesses, the cloud can transform operations and overcome heavy costs to manage the infrastructure. Offices running computer networks would no longer have to worry about licensing and software installation for every computer.

In addition to all the uses of cloud computing, from an IT or administrative point of view, cloud computing is quite easy to manage. Cloud computing reduces the burden on servers and IT hardware. The industries that are fully dependent on cloud computing are multinational companies like Apple, small and medium-sized businesses like Philips, startups like Paytm and Ola, government agencies like IRCTC, educational platforms like Udemy, and non-profit organizations like UNESCO.

Know the Future Scope of Cloud Computing in this blog.

Virtualization in Cloud Computing

Virtualization is the technology that assesses the ability to deploy a virtual box of servers, storage, networks, and other physical machines that run on the hypervisors, which is the underlying technology behind virtualization. To run multiple virtual machines simultaneously on a single physical machine, virtual software replicates the operations of physical hardware. 

Virtualization helps to run services using resources that are already in existence such as memory, storage, and operating systems. It allows users to use the existing machines to their fullest capacity, thereby improving business agility where the capabilities of services are distributed.

The device on which the virtual machine is to be created is known as the host machine, and the virtual machine itself is known as the guest machine. The architecture of a virtual machine provides an environment that is logically separated from the existing hardware. It makes it possible for companies to share a single physical source among many users.

Virtualization allows for the separation of an application, a guest operating system, or data storage from the underlying software or hardware. Virtual machines, created by virtualization, provide their customers with additional isolation, flexibility, and control once the majority of systems and applications are fully utilized. 

Examples of Cloud Computing

When it comes to the applications of Cloud Computing at home, local computing can, sometimes, make that line blurry. That is because the Cloud, these days, is, undeniably, an integral feature of almost everything on our computers.

Any local piece of software, such as Microsoft Office, utilizes at least one form of Cloud Computing. In this case, it is Microsoft OneDrive for the purpose of storage. Microsoft also has a range of web-based apps, called Office or Office for the Web, that are web-only versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. They are accessible via web browser without the need for installing anything.

Listed below are some of the major examples of Cloud Computing that you are most likely using:

  • Google Drive: This is a pure Cloud Computing service that offers online storage for use with various Cloud productivity apps such as Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, etc. Google Drive can also be used on tablets, such as iPad, as well as smartphones that have Docs and Sheets as separate apps. As a matter of fact, most Google services, such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, etc., are based on Cloud technology.
  • Apple iCloud: The primary application of Apple’s Cloud service is online storage, backup, and synchronization of your contacts, mail, calendar, etc. All the data that you need is accessible from your iOS, macOS, iPad OS, or Windows devices (after installing the iCloud control panel.) Apple iCloud offers Cloud-based versions of Word Processors (Pages), Spreadsheet (Numbers), and Presentations (Keynote.) iCloud also has the Find My iPhone feature that enables one to find their device when the same goes missing.
  • Dropbox: It is a simple, reliable file-sync and storage service that is, now, enhanced with a number of paid collaboration features and services.
  • Social Media: Even though its power is undeniable, yet social media is the most overlooked example of Cloud Computing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., keep communities connected. They have network-based storage that holds personal data on the Cloud. Since the Cloud can extend its resources based on demand, it can easily store enormous amounts of data.

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Types of Cloud Computing Service Models

Cloud Service Models - What is Cloud Computing - Intellipaat

Basically, cloud services are divided into three categories:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS):

Also known as Cloud infrastructure services, IaaS is responsible for the management of applications data, middleware, and runtime environments. A Cloud provider provides a user with a virtual machine or any other resource without letting the user worry about the physical aspects of the machine. More importantly, a user gets access to the operating system in IaaS. Therefore, you can install or uninstall any software on these servers. Example: AWS EC2, GCE, and Cisco Metapod.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS):

SaaS is also known as Cloud application services. Most of the time, these applications run directly through the web browser and need not be downloaded and installed. A user just gets access to the software that is installed on the server. No dashboard is provided, and no access to the operating system is given. Example: Google Apps, Dropbox, Netflix, Slack, Salesforce, Hubspot, Cisco WebEx, etc.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS):

These Cloud platform services are quite similar to SaaS. PaaS, however, provides a platform required for software creation. In this service, one does not get access to the operating system. If a user needs a web server with PHP installed on it, the user will get the web server without getting access to the OS. What a user gets is a dashboard through which they can upload and deploy their files; the rest is managed by the Cloud provider, i.e., software installation, security patch on OS, etc. Example: Windows Azure, OpenShift, Magento Commerce Cloud, Force.com, etc.

Confused between Grid and Cloud, get to know the difference from our blog on Grid Computing vs Cloud Computing.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Let’s discuss some of the characteristics of cloud computing:

1. Resources Pooling – Cloud providers pull computing resources with the help of a multi-tenant model to provide services to multiple customers. These resources can be physical and virtual and are assigned and reassigned depending on the requirements of the customer.

2. On-Demand Self-Service – A user can continuously monitor the allotted network storage, server uptime, and computing capabilities.

3. Easy Maintenance The maintenance of servers is very easy and the downtime is low, so much so that sometimes, there is no downtime at all. Regular updates gradually aim to make Cloud Computing better with each update.

4. Large Network Access – The user can upload data to the cloud and access data from the cloud from anywhere with the help of a device that has an internet connection.

5. Availability – The capabilities of the cloud can be extended and modified as per use. It analyzes the storage usage and gives the user the option to buy extra cloud storage.

6. Automatic System – Cloud computing is capable of automatically analyzing the data required and supports a metering capability at some level of services. Users are able to monitor, regulate, and report the usage thus providing transparency for the host as well as the customer.

7. Economical – It is a one-time investment and saves the host from heavy costs as parts of the storage that have been bought can be provided to many companies. The only expense is on basic maintenance and a few other light expenses.

8. Security – Cloud security is one of the best features of Cloud Computing. The data storage and backups are automated and are less vulnerable to physical damage or hackers.

9. Pay-as-you-go – The user has to pay only for the service or the space they have used. There are no hidden costs to be paid. Most of the time, some of the space is allotted for free.

10. Measured Service – The resource utilization is analyzed by supporting charge-per-use capabilities. The resource usage gets monitored, measured, and reported by the service provider.

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Learn what MNCs ask in interviews with these Top Cloud Computing Interview Questions!

How does Cloud Computing work?

We are already aware that Cloud Computing is a software infrastructure that is application-based and stores data on a remote server accessible through the Internet. Let us now understand how it actually works. Cloud Computing can be divided into front end and back end.

The front end is what enables users to access data that is in the Cloud with the help of a Cloud Computing software or internet browser. However, the main component of Cloud Computing that is responsible for storing data securely is the back end. These components are computers, servers, databases, and central servers.

Operations are facilitated by the central server by following a set of protocols. It employs a middleware for ensuring seamless connectivity between devices that are linked via Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing service providers usually maintain multiple copies of the data to quickly address situations in the event of security threats, data breaches, data loss, etc.

Discover the differences and choose the best fit for your business: Explore Public Cloud vs Private Cloud today!

Cloud Computing Architecture

Cloud Computing architecture is a blend of event-driven architecture and service-oriented architecture. It is divided into:

  • Front End – The front end contains the client-side interfaces and applications that allow users to access the cloud computing platforms. It includes web servers, thin & fat clients, tablets, and mobile devices.
  • Back End – The back end is for use by the service provider and helps manage all the resources to provide cloud computing services. It includes huge data storage, virtual machines, servers, deploying models, security mechanisms, traffic control mechanisms, etc.

Both the front-end and back-end are connected to others through a network.

Cloud Computing Architecture

Cloud Computing architecture has the following components:

1. Client Infrastructure – Client infrastructure is part of the front end that provides GUI to interact with the cloud.

2. Application – Application may be any software or platform that a client wants to access.

3. Service – A cloud service manages the type of service that can be accessed as per the client’s requirement.

4. Runtime Cloud – It provides the execution and runtime environment to the virtual machines.

5. Storage – An important component of cloud computing that provides a huge capacity of storage in the cloud for data.

6. Infrastructure – Cloud infrastructure provides services on three levels—host, application, and network level. It includes both hardware and software components like storage, servers, network devices, virtualization software, and other storage resources to support the cloud computing model.

7. Management – It is used for the management of Cloud Computing components and establish coordination between them.

8. Security – Security is part of the back end and an in-built component that implements a security mechanism.

9. Internet – Through the Internet, front end and back end are able to communicate with each other.

Cloud Computing vs. Traditional Method

CategoryCloud ComputingTraditional Method
InfrastructureThe infrastructure of cloud providers is on-demand, highly scalable, and manages virtualized servers.The traditional method of managing infrastructure is on-premises, fixed to certain limits, and difficult to manage on physical servers.
Pricing The pricing model for cloud providers is the pay-as-you-go, OpEx model.Capital and operational costs, CapEx model, and OpEx model
MaintenanceMaintaining and monitoring the cloud resources, such as servers, serverless servers, storage, databases, content delivery networks, and applications.In-house maintenance and monitoring of servers, serverless servers, storage, databases, content delivery networks, and applications.
AccessibilityAs long as the internet is available, the connection and accessibility won’t be a problem because cloud providers spend on their platforms to allow people to access their data and applications from anywhere with an internet connection. In the traditional method, it is limited to on-premises networks. Enabling remote access to applications and data is a challenge for traditional computing, which restricts users’ ability to work remotely. 
ScalabilityIt is easily scalable to meet clients’ demands without having to buy and manage additional hardware. It can automatically scale up or down when it is required.It necessitates the addition of new hardware or software to the environment, traditional computing can be challenging to scale up or down to meet changing needs. Traditional computing doesn’t allow for easy scaling. 
Storage CapacityCloud providers offer unlimited storage capacity, archive older data content at a lower price, and can be available in milliseconds when it’s required.Traditional computing environments may have limited storage capacity, requiring organizations to periodically purchase additional hardware to accommodate growing data volumes.
DisasterA cloud provider manages a disaster recovery strategy for securely replicating and backing up critical data and workloads to a secondary location or multiple locations.It is very difficult to manage or recover from disaster on-premises infrastructure in traditional.

Is Cloud Computing Really Safe?

Cloud computing is normally considered safe, as cloud vendors implement sturdy security measures and compliances like HIPAA and GDPR requirements to shield data and infrastructure from cyber threats. However, when you choose to store your data in the cloud, you are giving the information to a third-party service provider. Therefore, before planning to migrate, discuss with the solution architect.

A cloud provider offers security mechanisms to protect secret keys using encryption, multi-factor authentication, managing backup services, access controls, identity and access management (IAM), risk detection, data breaches, and compliance with regulatory necessities. Hence, it is considered safe and useful.

How Can Cloud Computing Help the Organization?

The main reason why cloud computing is crucial for companies is because it allows them to scale up the servers, maintain flexibility and storage capacity, and focus their efforts on business operations.

The cloud has emerged as an equalizer medium for companies of all sizes, from global businesses to startups, providing an equal opportunity to innovate and maximize workloads. Big IT firms have used cloud technologies to improve scalability, simplify operations, and reduce expenses. For startups, the cloud provides an environment for experimentation because, in the beginning, there might be a chance they pivot their technologies or programming stacks, deployment process, and rapid scaling up for servers and storage capacity. 

Future of Cloud Computing Trend in 2027

Technology is essential for digital businesses to provide competitive operations and customer experiences. Most current and developing technological innovations, such as the following, revolve around the cloud:

  • Quantum computing
  • Generative Artificial intelligence
  • Event-driven architectures in cloud computing
  • Cloud services for the Internet of Things (IoT) 
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the Next-generation user interfaces
  • Distributed information technology (IT) architecture is Edge computing  
  • Continuous Migration of Organization Data to the Cloud
  • Rapid Increase in Hybrid Multi-Cloud Solutions
  • The next wave of cloud computing will be dominated by AI

Migration in Cloud Computing

Cloud migration is the process of transferring computing resources, like data and applications, into a cloud computing environment. Usually, resources are moved from an on-premises data center to a cloud service provider.

Migrations are happening more frequently within the cloud as more businesses switch between different cloud providers as more businesses have already made the shift to the cloud.

While conducting a migration process, the business or company’s whole infrastructure application and data transferred from the on-premises server to a cloud provider’s server need proper planning and execution. This encompasses choosing the right cloud services, migrating and testing data, and making sure the users get a smooth transition.

Working Process 

Assessment > Planning > Data Migration > Application Migration > Testing > Optimization

  • Assessment: Before starting the migration process, it is a mandatory step to assess the fresh data, applications, and infrastructure.
  • Planning:  The migration strategy should be well planned. The objective of the migration should be clear, including determining which type of deployment model should be selected and choosing the best cloud provider.   
  • Data Migration: Transfer of data from on-premises to cloud servers, which includes databases, files, and other types of data.
  • Application Migration: Moving applications from on-premises to cloud servers requires re-hosting, re-platforming, and re-designing to create a suitable environment.  To enhance the compatibility and performance of the newly deployed application.
  • Testing: This is an iterative step; once the migration is completed, testing can be done to make sure the data and applications are performing properly in the cloud environment.
  • Optimization: In order to achieve maximum performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, it is necessary to do continuous optimization and monitoring of the infrastructure.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

Running your website or application on virtual servers in the cloud is known as cloud hosting. A cloud hosting service is defined as hosting and providing storage for a website on the internet, where users can easily access the website’s content. It offers to create and maintain a site and make it accessible on the World Wide Web.

Traditionally, businesses host their applications on physical servers bought from on-premises data centers or rented from cloud providers. In cloud hosting, the cloud provider is paid to host applications across a huge network of physical and virtual servers distributed around geographical locations.

Comparing this method to other traditional methods, it is far more flexible. You can quickly scale your applications up or down by using an existing resource pool to access computing resources. Additionally, you do not need to worry about allocating the appropriate number of resources.

What Is a Data Center in Cloud Computing?

Computing machines and the hardware that is connected to them are physically stored in a data center. In simple terms, a data center is nothing but a physical facility that is geographically located worldwide and allows companies to house their critical applications and data. 

A data center’s architecture is based on a computing network and storage resources that allow the delivery of shared applications and data. The key elements of a data center architecture comprise routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application delivery controllers.

Data centers bring several advantages, such as: 

  • To handle power outages and have backup power sources.
  • Data replication for disaster recovery across multiple computers
  • Facilities with temperature control to increase equipment longevity
  • Security measures that are easier to implement and follow compliance standards with data laws

Cloud Computing IITM Pravartak

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Following are the benefits of Cloud Computing:

1) Back-up and restore data – Data back-up and restoration is a piece of cake once the data is in the cloud.

2) Improved collaboration – Cloud applications make it easy to quickly share information via shared storage.

3) Excellent accessibility – It is possible to quickly and easily access stored information from anywhere and anytime.

4) Low maintenance cost – It reduces hardware and software maintenance costs significantly.

5) Mobility – All cloud data is easily accessible via mobile.

6) Services in the pay-per-use model – Cloud Computing offers APIs to users for cloud services and charges are as per the usage.

7) Unlimited storage capacity – Cloud offers huge storage capacity for storing data in one place.

8) Data security – Cloud offers many advanced security features and ensures the security of the data stored.

However, Cloud Computing is not without its disadvantages:

1) Internet Connectivity – It goes without saying that If you do not have good internet connectivity, you cannot access data in the cloud. There is no other way to access it without internet connection.

2) Vendor lock-in – As different vendors provide different platforms, it can cause difficulty for organizations to move their services from one cloud to another.

3) Limited Control – Cloud users have limited control over the functions and execution of services within a cloud infrastructure.

4) Security – One should be aware that an organization’s sensitive information is shared with a third party, i.e., a cloud computing service provider. While sending the data to the cloud, it is possible that hackers might try to gain access of that information.

That will be all in the section on the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Computing. Next, we will learn about the types of Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing Deployment Models

There are three basic cloud deployment models:

  • Public Cloud
  • Private Cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud
Types of Cloud - What is Cloud Computing - Intellipaat

Public Cloud

In a public cloud, your applications would reside on a shared infrastructure. Although Cloud Providers provide complete isolation from other users who co-exist on the same hardware, it is advisable not to store any sensitive documents or information on it when using a public cloud.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is not very different from a public cloud, only that the security features vary. In a private cloud, your infrastructure or server will just have your applications. It will be completely isolated from public cloud servers. These servers are commonly used by companies which have sensitive information to store. A private cloud can either be provided to you by your Cloud Provider or you can create your own private cloud by buying your own stack.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a combination of a public cloud and a private cloud. It provides functionalities of both public and private clouds.

So, if a company wants to keep its mission-critical data in a private cloud and run its services and applications on a public cloud, it can make a hybrid integration.

Apart from the three basic cloud deployment models, there is multi-cloud and hybrid multi-cloud.

Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Multi-cloud

Multi-cloud is when two or more clouds are used from two or more different providers. A multi-cloud environment can be as simple as using an email SaaS from one vendor and sourcing an image editing one from another.

However, enterprises are typically more about using multiple cloud services like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS services from multiple leading public cloud providers.

Hybrid multi-cloud, on the other hand, is the use of multiple public clouds together with a private cloud environment.

Organizations opt for multi-cloud in order to have more services to choose from, prevent vendor lock-in, and have access to more innovation. But with the increasing number of clouds used, it becomes more and more difficult to manage the environment since each comes with its own set of management tools, data transmission rates, and security protocols.

Multi-cloud management platforms have a central dashboard that provides visibility across multiple provider clouds. Here, the development teams can view their projects and deployments, the operations teams can monitor the clusters and nodes, and the cybersecurity team can keep an eye on potential threats.

Get to know about the connection between Data Science and Cloud Computing with our insightful blog.

Cloud Computing Applications

1. Art Applications – Art applications in Cloud Computing are used for conveniently designing attractive cards, creatives, images, etc. Some commonly used cloud art applications are Vistaprint, Adobe Creative Cloud, Moo, etc.

2. Business Applications – Business applications are used to grow businesses and ensuring that they are 24*7 available to users.

3. Data Storage and Backup Applications – Cloud Computing allows storage of information on the cloud and access to it whenever required. There are various Cloud backup recovery applications provided for retrieving lost data as well.

4. Education Applications – Cloud Computing in the education sector includes various online distance learning platforms and student information portals. It offers strong virtual classroom environments, ease of accessibility, scalability, greater reach for the students, minimal hardware requirements for the applications, and secure data storage.

5. Entertainment ApplicationsIn theentertainment industry, a multi-cloud strategy is used to interact with the target audience. Online games and video conferencing are different types of entertainment applications.

6. Management Applications – Various cloud management tools that are available help admins manage resource deployment, disaster recovery, data integration, along with administrative control over the platforms, applications, and infrastructure.

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Top Cloud Providers: AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP

Amazon’s market share in the worldwide cloud infrastructure market amounted to 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, down from 33 percent a year earlier. Meanwhile, Amazon’s main rival Microsoft slowly edges closer, growing its market share to an all-time high of 24% in Q4 2023. Combined with Google at 11% market share, the “Big Three” now account for two-thirds of the ever-growing cloud market.

Over the course of the year, the market for cloud infrastructure increased from $212 billion in 2022 to a jump of $270 billion in 2023.

Source: Synergy Resource Group and Statista

Comparison between top cloud providers: AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP

CategoryAmazon Web ServicesMicrosoft AzureGoogle Cloud Platform
Authentication and AuthorizationIAMAzure Active DirectoryCloud IAM
ComputeElastic Cloud ComputingVirtual MachinesGoogle Cloud Engine.
DatabaseRelational Database ServiceSQL DatabaseCloud SQL
Storage Simple Storage ServiceAzure BlobCloud Storage
Virtual NetworkVirtual Private CloudAzure VnetVirtual Private Network
Content Delivery NetworkCloudFrontAzure CDNCloud CDN
Domain Name SystemRoute53Traffic ManagerCloud DNS

Cloud Use Cases

With more and more organizations planning to make the move, all their applications to the cloud use cases for cloud computing seems to be limitless. But even for enterprises that have no plans to make a complete shift to the cloud, certain initiatives and cloud computing are nothing less than a serious improvement.

Disaster recovery and business continuity is, for obvious reasons, a walk in the park with cloud capabilities because of the cost-effective redundancy of data protection against system failures as well as the physical distance required for data and application recovery in the event of a local outage or disaster. All major public cloud providers offer Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).

Cloud Computing is the ideal solution for anything that requires storing and processing of massive volumes of data at high speeds or more storage and computing capacity than possible on-premises. Take, for example:

Development teams that are adopting Agile, DevOps, or DevSecOps for the purpose of streamlining development, will benefit from cloud due to the on-demand end-user self-service that prevents operations tasks from becoming development bottlenecks.

Cloud Security

Naturally, security concerns have been a key reason keeping organizations from considering cloud services, particularly the public type. However, the security offered by cloud service providers is easily surpassing on-premises security solutions.

According to McAfee, 52% of companies currently are benefiting from better security in the cloud than on-premises.

Despite all that, maintaining cloud security definitely, demands a variety of procedures and skillsets than in traditional IT environments. Following are some of the best practices in cloud security:

  • Shared Responsibility: Generally, cloud service providers are the ones responsible for cloud infrastructure security and customers protect its data within the cloud. It is good practice to have a clearly-defined data ownership between private and public third parties.
  • Data Encryption: Data should be encrypted whether it is at rest, in transit, or in use. Customers should maintain complete control over security keys and hardware security modules.
  • User Identity and Access Management: Customers and IT teams need to have full understanding of and visibility into devices, applications, networks, and data access.
  • Collaborative Management: There should be proper, clear, and understandable communication and processes between IT, operations, and security teams for seamless, secure, and sustainable cloud integrations.
  • Security and Compliance Monitoring: Understanding all regulatory compliance standards applicable to the specific industry and active monitoring of all connected systems and cloud-based services is essential for maintaining visibility of all data exchanges in public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.

The Top Cloud Computing Vendors

Here is a brief look at a few of the top Cloud leaders in the world.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

It all started with AWS. It was the standalone leader in public Cloud Computing. It quickly became a major player in database, serverless deployments, machine learning, and AI. AWS was the first one that came up with Cloud Computing IaaS and has, since then, become this Cloud Computing goliath.

AWS’s new services are getting introduced and released at a breakneck pace. It is also building its own compute stack with an aim to be more efficient and cost-effective. AWS has progressed and grown beyond Cloud Computing and storage.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft is a close second option when it comes to enterprises picking their preferred Cloud vendor despite AWS occupying 32 percent of the cloud market in 2021 as compared to Microsoft’s 19 percent. Microsoft Azure, with Microsoft’s efforts with SaaS, catapulted the company to a strong second rank after AWS. Azure is a tremendous player in the field with its history in enterprise, machine learning, and AI.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Google Cloud Platform along with Anthos is trying hard to break into the digital transformation budgets. GCP is constantly expanding its key verticals—retail and financial services. However, the necessity that arose out of the COVID-19 situation, drove Google Meet to tackle multi-cloud workloads. It is not a stretch to expect this leading Cloud provider to continuously expand its footprint in new regions and with new data centers.

Know about the difference between AWS, Azure, and GCP in the blog by Intellipaat.

Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba has undergone rapid scaling with support from a host of enterprise partners. What everyone is curious to know is whether it can make its mark significantly, beyond China, due to its promising potential to reach the global level. If a company has dealings or operations in China, Alibaba is highly likely to be a key option for any Cloud-based activity.

According to Statista, Alibaba Cloud generated US$9.18 billion in revenue worldwide in the fiscal year of 2021. It has forged alliances with major enterprise vendors and is considered the leading cloud service provider in Asia. The most notable mention is that 59 percent of China-listed companies are Alibaba Cloud customers.

This Chinese Cloud vendor is shifting its focus and efforts to the next-gen Cloud and capacity in China, EMEA, and other regions.

Also, check our blogs on Cloud Computing Course Eligibility Criteria and Requirements!

Future of Cloud Computing

Over the past decade, Cloud Computing has significantly changed the way businesses operate. It has accelerated digital transformation and companies are using web applications to manage teams and automate processes.

Traditional infrastructure can’t keep up with the market change speed and takes weeks or months to allocate resources. Whereas, cloud resources take less than an hour.

Cloud computing is more efficient than on-premise IT infrastructure in the sense that it helps to quickly develop new products and services, assess their market potential, and implement them. This helps the company stay competitive.

Companies relying on cloud resources only have to bear the operating costs. Predictable pricing helps plan the IT budget.

For cloud providers, client service resiliency should be high because many clients focus on SLA first. Competition between suppliers makes it so that they have improved infrastructure quality and reliability.

There are over 265,000 Cloud Computing jobs in the USA listed on LinkedIn. The average annual salary for Cloud Computing professionals in the USA is about US$126,300 as per PayScale. Clearly, there is a very high demand for professionals in this field.

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Conclusion

A company offering cloud solutions allows for computing to be done in a much more collaborative and shared manner. It works with a service rather than a product. Through the cloud, users can easily and conveniently share information with the whole world or specific groups of people within the cloud network.

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About the Author

Application Architect

Rupinder is a certified IT expert in AWS and Azure, working as a DevOps Architect and specializing in cloud and infrastructure. He designs and builds entire IT setups for important apps in banking, insurance, and finance.