Cloud Computing Architecture - Everything You Need to Know

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10th Aug, 2022
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06th Sep, 2019
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Cloud Computing Architecture - Everything You Need to Know

What is Cloud Computing Architecture?

One of the biggest tech trends to emerge in recent years is cloud computing. Of course, there is a good reason behind that. There are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud. To name a few, it offers easy accessibility, flexibility, storage, and sharing. Companies of all sizes can utilize cloud to their advantage. In fact, cloud is even being used for day to day activities. Services like Spotify and Google Docs are provided via virtual networks.

Why Cloud Computing?

Over the years, there has been a significant increase in users of computers and mobile devices. With such increase, data storage requirements have also gone up. Businesses of all sizes make use of data for understanding day-to-day operations, making business decisions and learning about their customers. They even spend a huge amount of money for the maintenance of this data. This requires a storage hub as well as sufficient IT support.

However, it is not possible for all businesses to be able to afford the expenses of having an IT infrastructure in-house and availing support services. Here, cloud computing serves as a more inexpensive solution. In fact, even the big businesses are attracted to cloud, probably because of less maintenance cost and data storage efficiency it provides.

Implementation of cloud computing means there would be a decreased software and hardware demand from the user end. For the users, the cloud computing systems interface software is the only thing that needs to run. Even something like a Web browser can serve as this software. For the rest of it, the Cloud network does its job. Whether you realize or not, you have used cloud computing in one form or the other. Some of the most commonly used cloud services are mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.

When you use email services, your data is not stored on your computer. Instead, your data is on a cloud server. The infrastructure and technology behind the cloud are not visible. As far as cloud services remain functional and user-friendly, what mostly matters whether it is based on PHP, HTTP, Ruby, XML, or other technologies. Individual users can connect to the cloud system directly from their own devices, be it a mobile, a desktop or a laptop.

Small businesses have limited resources and they can harness cloud computing effectively to their advantage. With the cloud, small businesses get access to the kind of technologies which weren’t accessible to them before. These companies can actually make profits out of the maintenance cost by using cloud computing.

If you have an in-house IT server, there would be a need to pay specific attention to make sure that the system operates smoothly without any flaws. In case a technical error does occur, it will be completely your responsibility. Resolving such errors is likely to cost you a lot of money and time as well. On the other hand, with cloud computing, the entire responsibility of any technical fault or complication is on the service provider. This allows you to operate without any distraction.

Benefits Offered by Cloud Computing

The main reason why so many organizations have incorporated cloud services is the potential it offers in terms of cost savings. Cloud computing offers the flexibility of using services only according to the requirement of the user. The user pays only for what they use. It is mainly cloud computing that has provided the freedom of outsourcing IT operations without the need for in-house resources. Some major benefits of cloud computing include:

  • Lower IT infrastructure
  • Lower computer costs for users
  • Fewer issues with maintenance
  • Better performance
  • Better compatibility between Operating systems
  • Instant software updates
  • Easier backup and recovery
  • Improved storage capacity
  • Scalability and Performance
  • Improved data safety

What is Cloud computing architecture:

Cloud architecture basically refers to the different components engineered for solving business problems by leveraging the power of cloud resources. These components can be related to software capabilities, databases, applications, etc. It is the cloud architecture that defines the components and relationships between them. The different components of cloud architecture include:

  • Cloud resources
  • On-premise resources
  • Middleware
  • Software services and components

The main objective of the complete cloud architecture is to provide high bandwidth to the users, which will provide them with uninterrupted access to applications and data. Users get an agile on-demand network that offers the possibility of moving efficiently and quickly between servers and even clouds. More important than anything else, users get network security.

The file system is distributed by cloud computing and it spreads over multiple systems and hard drives. The storage of data is never done at a single place. Different units serve as a backup when one of the units fails. This distributed file system has allocations of user disk space. As far as resource allocation is concerned, another crucial component is the algorithm to allocate resources. Since cloud computing is a strongly distributed environment, it depends heavily on a strong algorithm.

Primary Components of Cloud Architecture

When it comes to cloud computing architecture, the main concern is the different components as well as the sub-components of clouds that form the part of the system structure. The cloud computing architecture mainly includes:

  • A front-end platform that includes all types of clients and mobile devices
  • Back-end platforms such as storage and servers
  • Cloud-based delivery
  • A network, usually the internet or intranet

Primary Components of Cloud Architecture

In its most basic form, there are primarily two sections of classification of cloud architecture: the front end and the back end. The internet or a virtual network connects the front end with the back end. Cloud architecture also has other parts such as cloud resources, middleware, etc.

In a sense, cloud computing can be considered to be the building block of the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows anything to be connected to the internet. The architecture of cloud system combines both event-driven architecture and service-oriented architecture. The complete cloud architecture encompasses all the elements that form the cloud environment.

Businesses make use of cloud infrastructure for working with applications. The payment structure provided by the cloud is a lot different from the conventional pricing model that is based on subscription. This payment model allows users to subscribe to vendor services and a “pay per use” basis is used for paying cloud infrastructures.

Front end cloud computing

It is the front-end side of cloud computing that is visible to users, customers or clients. The main part of the front end is the user interface as well as the network and computer system of the client that is used to access the cloud system. You will likely have noticed that the user interface is usually different from different systems of cloud computing. As a most basic example, various web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. all have a unique user interface of their own. Not just that, the user interface of Salesforce is noticeably different from that of Google Docs.

The front-end platform of cloud computing technology is also called cloud client and it consists of servers, fat and thin clients, mobile devices and tablets. The interaction takes place through a web browser or a middleware or even virtual sessions.

Back end cloud computing

As far as the back-end side of cloud computing is concerned, it is the side that the service provider uses. This includes the different servers, data storage systems, computers, programs and virtual machines that together form the cloud of computing services. It is the back-end cloud computing that is responsible to provide security mechanisms, the protocol for communication for connecting networked computers, and traffic control. The back-end provides data security to users.

The server also employs specific protocols called middleware that allow connection between devices, facilitating communication between them.

Different Types of Clouds
Different Types of Clouds in cloud computing

A user can subscribe to any of four different cloud models as per the needs of the business:

  • Private Cloud: In this case, the deployment of computing resources is done only for one specific organization. It is the method that is primarily used for interaction within the business.
  • Community Cloud: The computing resources, in this case, is deployed for community and organizations
  • Public Cloud: It is a type of cloud that is typically used for interaction that takes place from business to customer. In this case, a business or academic organization or the government owns, operates and governs the computing resource.
  • Hybrid Cloud: It is a type of business that can be used for a different type of interactions, be it from business to customer or among different businesses. This method of deployment binds computing resources together with the use of different clouds, hence it is called hybrid cloud.

Types of Cloud Computing Services
Types of Cloud Computing Services

The different cloud-based services have their own unique and distinct architectures. The major offerings include:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): This involves software being hosted and maintained on the internet, with there being no requirement for software installation on behalf of the user. SaaS is the preferred underlying delivery model for supporting Web Services or SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). Users from any part of the world can access this service via the internet.
  • Development as a Service (DaaS): It involves web-based development tools being shared across different communities.
  • Platform as a Service: In this case, users are provided databases and platforms, similar to middleware services. PaaS includes management services and software support, storage, deploying, collaborating, networking, testing, maintenance and hosting applications.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): With IaaS, hardware and infrastructure like servers, storage devices, networks, etc are provided and these run in the cloud. The users can avail the infrastructure on a pay per usage basis. The hardware resource pool is formed of multiple networks and servers that are distributed over different data centers, thus providing reliability and redundancy.

Cloud computing and security concerns

The main cause of concern for users when it comes to cloud computing is its security. The most common concern is that the cloud services providers may themselves get access to the unencrypted data of the customers, be it in memory, on disk or even over network transmission.

The government of some countries may even decide on searching through data and wouldn’t probably even notify the user who owns the data. This is certainly not acceptable and is a breach of the privacy of the concerned user.

For providing security for data, networks, and systems, cloud providers are working with a non-profit organization TCG (Trusted Computing Group). TCG provides certain specifications for securing hardware, improving network security and creating self-encrypting drives. These specifications protect data from malware and rootkits. With different devices being used for computing, the security measures provided by TCG also include these devices, thus providing a unified policy for data protection. When it comes to security, Gmail and Amazon are examples of cloud services that you can trust.
Hope this article was able to answer all your queries on the Amazon Web Services. Now that you are familiar with the fundamentals of AWS that will help in expanding the infrastructure of your organization, you can get started with KnowledgeHut’s AWS certification course.

Profile

Joydip Kumar

Solution Architect

Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.