Everyone has heard about “cloud computing”. If you wonder what cloud computing is concretely or if you want to understand cloud computing in depth, you are at the right place!
Let’s first start with a short definition of what cloud computing is.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. It follows the pay-as-you-go model, meaning that you pay exactly for what you need and use.
How does Cloud Computing Work?
Rather than buying your own computing infrastructure and maintaining it ( i.e. hardware and software ), companies and individuals can rent access to a cloud service provider for any type of service. These services can include storage, computing power, databases, applications, and networking, just to name a few examples.
The only thing required is an Internet connection to access it. Cloud computing is operated from giant datacenters all around the world. Thus, it implies that according to the number of datacenters, some zones are not available.
The History of Cloud Computing
The history of cloud computing dates back to the 1950’s with early developments of the required technical components. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s/early 2000’s in which cloud computing services became widely available in the market. You can see a brief history of cloud computing in the timeline below.
Cloud Computing Services based on Deployment Types
You can perform any business task on the cloud. Cloud computing exists in different forms with different services. There is no best model for cloud computing, but there is a model that best fits your needs. Learn more about it here:
Public Cloud: cloud computing owned by a third-party cloud-service provider, which is the owner of all hardware, software, and infrastructure. The user accesses these services and their account through a web browser.
Private Cloud: the set of resources used by an organization or a company, which decides whether or not to have the private cloud physically located in the local enterprise data center. Some companies decide to pay service providers to host their private cloud. Services and infrastructures are located on a private network, where the staff can share sensitive data such as emails, online gaming, and Facebook, to name a few.
Hybrid Cloud: a mix of public and private cloud. Data and applications can switch from private to public clouds and vice-versa, which brings more flexibility and optimization to your infrastructure.
Community Cloud: similar to the private cloud, only this model implies that customers share a dedicated hardware instance, depending on their activity and interest. The goal is to save money, in comparison to spending money on several private cloud computers.
Cloud computing Services based on Service Models
IaaS: Infrastructure as a service: the most basic category of cloud computing. You rent an IT infrastructure from a cloud service provider depending on your needs (e.g. servers, networks, operating systems, virtual machines, storage). This is very useful for companies that want to build applications from scratch.
PaaS: Platform as a service: an environment designed to help developers create web or mobile applications without worrying about storage, upgrades, network, databases and infrastructure.
SaaS: Software as a Service: distributed software applications that users access via the Internet. Cloud service providers take care of everything else (e.g. maintenance, upgrades, and security).
Serverless: Create an environment to develop applications without wasting time connecting with the permanent managers of servers and the infrastructure required for the applications’ purpose.
Who are the top cloud computing providers?
There are plenty of cloud computing providers, the most known being: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM, and Alibaba. Many companies are using cloud computing. For example, Netflix uses it to run its video streaming service and video game developers use it to deliver online games to millions of players all around the world.
What are the pros and cons of cloud computing?
Cost: cloud computing eliminates the capital expense (i.e. hardware and software, electricity to cool down the machines, IT teams to solve issues, maintenance, storage, security, and so much more). IT teams can spend their time doing other tasks to achieve more important business goals, increasing productivity..
Flexibility: with a pay-as-you-go model, you can increase or decrease the storage used depending on your needs. It promotes cost efficiency for enterprises.
Performance and effectiveness: it allows the creation of a common environment for every employee, which is easier to understand and manage to develop new applications. Employees have access to tools such as virtual desktops, software development, big data analytics, and others.
Speed: vast amounts of computing services can be provisioned in minutes. In addition, every software is automatically updated and upgraded continuously
Security and Reliability: security is the first concern of cloud computing providers. An enterprise very rarely reaches the same level of security. Cloud computing providers have a broad set of policies, technologies, and controls to strengthen the protection of your data, applications, and infrastructure. In addition, your data are permanently saved and highly secured which allows disaster recovery and data back-up.
Globalization: you can deploy your service all around the world in a short time allowing you to scale and reduce costs.
Internet onnection: to access your cloud computing services or applications, you need a stable Internet connection.
Security concerns: storage of data depends on cloud providers. Privacy issues can be another concern as the availability of information can be breached.
Service provider dependency: you lose some control as everything depends on your cloud computing provider (e.g. services, applications, resources available).
Can cloud computing be hacked?
Security and data protection are a big concern for everyone. To keep data secure, the front line of defense for any cloud system is encryption.
Encryption methods use complex algorithms to protect information. Your cloud-stored data is generally safer than your locally stored data, as cloud services use more complex security methods than the average computer owner.
To answer the question, hacking the cloud is impossible as cloud providers have good security and don’t fall for phishing tricks.
However, users using the cloud can be hacked. To minimize the risks, we advise you to frequently change your passwords and complexify them with letters, symbols, and figures.
Why cloud computing is the future?
Cloud computing is an opportunity for businesses to save money, grow their business and meet their business goals. With the increasing development of the Internet of Things and globalization of Internet access, Cloud computing is bound to develop, gaining in security, power, and efficiency.
Cloud computing has become a key part of enterprise digital transformation strategy, with cloud services projected to become a $300 billion market by 2021.
Furthermore, there is an increasing demand for cloud-computing related jobs. In short, cloud computing is a win-win deal between the host and the customer, as it provides benefits to both parties.
Now that you have a good understanding of what cloud computing is, meet vagon to enhance your workflow capacities!