Cloud Computing definition
Cloud Computing lets the firms to use a computing resource, storage or an utility just like you would use electricity instead of having to build and maintain in house computing resources. Said in another way it is the delivery of on-demand computing infrastructures from applications to data centers from the internet on a pay-for-use basis. These resources include servers, compute instances, databases, networking, software, analytics over the internet are what is used for. It is therefore a boom for startups and large firms alike who needn’t invest in large infrastructures when starting out. They can instead invest in other areas of their work to expand their operating base. They can outsource all the IT admins expertise needed to manage their infrastructure and focus on what they do best.
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Introduction to Cloud Computing
Cloud customers can access a compute resource like a VM machine, storage, an application, or a utility just the same way one would use electricity. Customers can choose this method instead of building and maintaining on premise computing infrastructures. Instead of building their own IT infrastructure which takes a huge amount of time companies can seek cloud services for their infrastructure needs and save great amount of capital. The things which are required are hardware, software, and services.
“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
With on premises IT infrastructure the scaling process is very gradual. And only rarely ever is there an optimal utilization of such an infrastructure. Cloud Computing is a pioneering solution that provides computing over the internet. A Cloud Computing service consists of highly optimized virtual data centers that provide various hardware, software and information resources for use when needed. Organizations can therefore simply connect to the cloud and use the available resources on the pay-per-use basis. We’ll discuss pay-per-use model shortly.Watch this 5-minute video which will get you started on the basics of Cloud Computing :
Understanding Cloud Computing
Imagine you have empty space in front of your house where you want to play badminton. You have to draw all the lines, set up the net between two equal portions of the land and procure all the necessary items to play the game like shuttle, cock (set up an infrastructure). The problem with this set up is the empty space in front of your home is sufficient for one court (lack of infrastructure capabilities). Items like shuttle and cock (IT hardware and software) has to be brought every time it goes bad. Also no badminton coaches (services and guidelines from CSP) will be there to help you play better. But assume if a group of people go to a dedicated sports club(cloud service provider) which hosts the badminton court they can play on as many courts as they want(scaling the infrastructure). Obviously there are a lot of shuttle and cock (IT hardware and software) available in the badminton court (cloud provider) which you will get to play the game which you needn’t buy. Other users also share these shuttle and cock items (like a multi-tenant service in Cloud Computing environment). There will be dedicated badminton coaches (IT experts) who will teach you all about the game (Cloud Computing). We have made an effort to familiarize you about Cloud Computing through this analogy.
“The cloud services companies of all sizes…The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.” – Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce
Cloud Computing architecture
In this Cloud Computing tutorial you’ll get to know the architecture underlying the Cloud Computing system. Many loosely coupled cloud components constitute cloud architecture. One can divide the cloud architecture into two parts namely front-end and back-end.
That which is visible to the clients and where there is an interface it called as the front end of Cloud Computing system. Cloud Computing platforms are required to access interfaces and applications. Various Cloud Computing systems are possessed with differing UI. A typical example is a web browser.
“With the cloud, individuals and small businesses can snap their fingers and instantly set up enterprise-class services.” – Roy Stephan, Founder and CEO of Pierce Matrix
The cloud itself is the back end. It comes with all the networking, storage, computers, virtual systems that constitute the computing services. For every application there is a dedicated server which reflects the responsibility the CSP has for the clients.
Comparison of Cloud technology with traditional computing
We have made an effort to show how Cloud Computing trumps over the traditional computing. You can see how the CSP is virtually taking care of all the responsibilities we have mentioned below.
|Parameters||Traditional computing||Cloud Computing services|
|Pricing||A firm would need huge upfront cost for both hardware and software||Economical and predictable|
|Security||To ensure security the firm’s IT experts should be better than hackers||Cloud services are regularly checked for any security fault lines|
|Technical support||Contractual or per instance billing of any technical glitches||Unlimited technical support which comes within the ambit of subscription fee|
|Infrastructure||Standalone server hardware and server software which is pricey||Multi-tenant systems shared by multiple cloud customers|
|Reliability||Depends on backup and in-house IT skills||Professional technical expertise included within the subscription fee|
|Accountability||After initial setup, provider is not typically bothered with accountability||The cloud provider can be held fully accountable for any misgivings in the cloud services|
Watch this video which clearly differentiates between traditional computing and cloud computing :
Cloud services deployment model
Let’s look into the types of Cloud Computing in the deployment arena:
Public cloud – It is owned and operated by companies to provide affordable computing resources and rapid access over a public network. Users don’t need to purchase supporting infrastructure, hardware, and software which is typically owned and looked after by providers. One can get within a short time fast scalable infrastructure as a service (IaaS) storage and compute services. For cloud-based application development and deployment there are powerful PaaS applications. Public cloud services can be purchased by the customers on demand and usually the pricing is based on hourly and on a minute basis. One can also make long term commitments with major cloud providers and get stupendous discounts. Azure and AWS provide upto 75% discount if a customer commits to their services for 1-3 years. Other prominent Cloud Computing companies are Google and IBM who also have robust Cloud Computing infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud – When there is a combination of private cloud deployment along with public cloud services then hybrid cloud results from it. This cloud is suitable in the sense that mission critical applications can work on private cloud and heavy workload can run on public cloud. It is here where one can fully leverage the uses of Cloud Computing.
Private cloud – When through business’s data center services are delivered to internal users then the discussion is about private cloud. One gets the versatility and convenience of cloud but on the other hand he will also get control, security and management that is unique to exemplary local data centers.
Cloud services delivery model
Software as a service (SaaS) – When software applications are provided over the internet then the delivery model in questions is that of SaaS. Customers can access any applications of SaaS through a computer or mobile phone through an internet connection. According to your needs cloud based service can scale and even if the connection breaks between the connected computer and the cloud no data is lost as it is safely housed in the cloud.
Platform as a service (PaaS) – When development tools are hosted on the cloud by CSPs on their infrastructures then the delivery model is that of PaaS. APIs, web portals are used by the customers to access these services. Within minutes new web applications can be deployed to the cloud. With middleware as a service you can greatly reduce complexity.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – On a pay-per-use basis computing resources like networking, storage, servers, data center is provided by the companies to the customers through IaaS model. Save money required for hardware and also the infrastructure required can be scaled to support the workload required through IaaS in Cloud Computing.
Go through this video to know about the delivery models:
A new perspective on Cloud security
You’ll now get to know what cloud security is. Identity management, access control and privacy are some of the main concerns of the Cloud security because of the simple reason that the cloud is a shared resource. Various organizations use different services from cloud providers for doing their data operations. Hence proper security regulations have to be in place to protect vulnerable areas of the organizations.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Let’s now look into the benefits of Cloud Computing:
Elasticity – Companies can scale up when he sees an increased demand and when that demand decreases he can scale down. Therefore this eliminates the need of local infrastructure investments in massive proportions. It is simply an organization’s capacity to expand or cut back services without hindering the IT infrastructure’s performance, security, and reliability. It also means the ability with which the service can be modified in real time using Service level agreements (SLAs) instead of relying on human administrators.
Pay-per-use – This is where a customer has unlimited access to cloud services. But typically the customer pays for only what he uses. Metered services (another name for par-per-use services) are being increasingly used in enterprise information technology environments. A company with utility computing can buy computing resources to match their computing requirements. This is obviously gaining huge popularity in the market. Based on usage several internet service providers (ISPs) are charging fee to customers instead of charging a flat monthly subscription fee. Microsoft Azure, AWS and also Google cloud platform all provide pay-per-use model of pricing.
Self-service provisioning – It is also known as cloud self-service where users can in a Cloud Computing environment setup and launch applications and services. It is supported in private, public and hybrid cloud. There is no need of IT administrators to provision and manage resources related to compute.
Workload resilience – It’s not that the service of cloud service providers (CSPs) is sacrosanct that nothing wrong can happen. Often outages happen on the data in a data center of a region but good CSPs store the copies of same dataset in varied geographic regions to ensure availability. So even if the workload pertaining to a cloud customer gets destroyed then from the other regions this same data is retrieved. Netflix has practically moved their infrastructure to AWS. There have been instances that due to certain natural disasters the data was destroyed. But AWS has made good to Netflix and they are happily continuing their infrastructure marriage.
Migration flexibility – Certain workload can be moved to and from the cloud by the customers to different cloud platforms. This is done to get cost savings or use new services as and when they emerge.
Better security – Identity management, access control and privacy are some of the main concerns of the Cloud security because of the simple reason that the cloud is a shared resource. Various organizations use different services from cloud providers for doing their data operations. Hence proper security regulations have to be in place to protect vulnerable areas of the organizations.
“Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.” – Vivek Kundra, Executive Vice President at Salesforce.com
Maintenance – If you prefer the on premise way then you have to upgrade your software, hardware. Making systems anti-malware, troubleshooting systems along with many other things have to be taken care of by you. But if you move to cloud all this will be accomplished by your CSP. This is one of the applications where potential and meaning of Cloud Computing becomes clear.
Applications of Cloud Computing
Big data analytics – Garnering valuable business value from vast amount of unstructured and structured data is all possible through Cloud Computing technology. Retailers are deriving value from customers’ buying patterns. This they leverage to produce efficient marketing and advertising platforms. Social networking platforms are analyzing behavioral patterns of millions of people across the world to get meaningful information.
IaaS and PaaS – Instead of investing in an on-premise infrastructure, firms can instead use IaaS services on a pay-per-use model. AWS is undisputedly the leading provider of IaaS services with its IaaS cloud being 10 times bigger than its next competitors combined. PaaS is used to enhance the development cycle on a ready-to-use platform. IaaS and PaaS are among the best Cloud Computing examples.
“Cloud computing is a great euphemism for centralization of computer services under one server.” – Evgeny Morozov, author and technology skeptic
Test and development – Doing this process is tedious. First you have to set up a budget, environment, manpower and time. Then you have to install and configure your platform. You can instead opt for cloud services where already existing environments can serve you well in this regard.
File storage – Imagine a web interface through which you can store all the data you need and expect it to be there safe and secure. That’s what organizations are considering where they pay only for the amount of storage they put into the cloud. Multi tenant storage in the cloud infrastructure makes all this possible.
Backup – Traditional backup practices had problems like running out of backup media, heavy time required to load backup devices for a restore operation. Backup in Cloud Computing technology doesn’t compromise on security, availability, and capacity and it is seamless.
Cloud Computing is emerging as one of the defining innovations in the field of technology. Did you know it is the base through which IoT technology is set to grow massively big in the time to come? Tech savvy people know cloud and DevOps are inseparable. Without the support of cloud, Agile implementation in software development process is futile. Cloud Computing market is set to grow $162 billion in 2020. Cloud Computing spending has grown 6 times than IT spending and is set to continue that trajectory in the period of 2015-2020. In IT as a service, spending on data centers, services, and software is predicted to reach $547 billion by the end of 2018. We needn’t put out anymore stats to say that Cloud Computing has a bright future. The continual rapid growth of Cloud Computing platforms like Azure, AWS and other players is a standing witness to this. Through our Cloud Computing tutorial we have elucidated on the importance of cloud technology. You can infer that expertise in Cloud Computing concepts will not go unrewarded. We at Intellipaat provide competent training on the subject and you would do well if you opt for it.
Become a master of Cloud Computing through Intellipaat’s Cloud Computing training! The Cloud Computing projects we provide will imbue hands-on experience to you.
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