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Introduction to Cloud Computing: An Overview

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05th Sep, 2023
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    Introduction to Cloud Computing: An Overview

    It would be difficult to overstate the impact of cloud computing on business and end users, as many elements of daily life revolutionizes by the widespread use of cloud-based software. Start-ups and companies can save costs and expand their offerings without having to buy and maintain the gear and software themselves by utilizing cloud computing.

    With the increase in technology, the need of cloud computing has increased a lot. Even on google stats, there are maximum searches for what is cloud computing with examples and searches related to cloud computing. Independent developers have the authority to release internet services and programs that are accessible to everyone. Data sharing and analysis are now possible at scales previously only available to well sponsored projects. Go for online certification courses in Cloud Computing and boost your knowledge.

    What is Cloud and Cloud Computing?

    The distribution of computing resources as a service, or "cloud computing," means that the cloud provider, rather than the end user, owns and manages the resources. These resources could be anything from web-based software programs (like Tik Tok or Netflix) to third-party data storage for pictures and other digital media (like iCloud or Dropbox) or third-party servers used to support the computing infrastructure of a company, a research project, or a personal undertaking.

    The definition of cloud computing is the storage and use of data and computing resources via the Internet. It doesn't keep any data on the PCs of users. Computer services including servers, networking, databases, data storage, etc. are available on demand.

    Giving multiple users access to data centers so they may access data from distant servers is the primary objective of cloud computing. Before the widespread use of cloud computing, companies and regular computer users were often required to purchase and maintain the software and hardware they desired to utilize.

    Businesses and consumers now have access to a variety of on-demand computing resources as internet-accessed services because to the rising availability of cloud-based apps, storage, services, and equipment.

    Users of cloud services are no longer obliged to commit the time, money, or skills necessary to purchase and manage these computing resources themselves thanks to the shift from on-premises software and hardware to networked remote and dispersed resources. Additionally, internet users can easily access programs and storage to produce, distribute, and save digital media in volumes that greatly exceed the capabilities of their personal computing machines.

    Cloud computing has lowered prices and expanded offerings for all types of enterprises, from start-ups to well-established corporations. This is so they don't need additional hardware and software. However, the world of cloud computing continues to be mysterious and frustrating for many. You can check the introduction to cloud computing and demonstrate how it may be used in a variety of industries, from development to cyber security.

    Cloud Computing Examples

    Some cloud computing examples are- Azure, AWS, Digital Ocean, IBM Cloud, Dropbox, Gmail etc. Several educational institutions in India and abroad are now taking the online way to demonstrate learning in students through several courses and certifications. These courses help people understand the fundamentals by providing an in-depth understanding of the most used platforms and hybrid technologies in this field.

    History of Cloud Computing

    When colleges and businesses leased out computation time on mainframe computers in the 1950s, many characteristics of cloud computing may be traced back to that era. At the time, renting was one of the only options for gaining access to computing resources because personal ownership or management of computing technology was prohibitively expensive and complex. When mainframe computers were introduced in 1950 and made accessible by thin/static clients, the idea of cloud computing origin was started.

    Cloud services like Amazon Web Services and Simple Storage Service (S3), Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud, Windows Azure (now Microsoft Azure), SmartCloud by IBM, and DigitalOcean were all introduced during this decade. By moving their internal IT infrastructure to cloud-based resources, these services helped established organizations reduce expenses.

    They also gave independent developers and small developer teams access to resources for building and delivering apps. SaaS expanded the availability of programs by enabling users to access them from a variety of devices on demand, in contrast to on-premise software, or software that users need to physically install and maintain on their PCs.

    Today, both enterprises and individual users are choosing cloud-based IT infrastructure and apps, and their market share is anticipated to increase.

    Cloud Computing: Basic Concepts

    Let us get onto the below cloud computing basic concepts:

    Cloud Delivery Models

    Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Serverless, and Software as a Service (SaaS) make up most cloud computing services. Because they are built on top of one another, these are frequently referred to as the cloud computing stack. Realizing what they are and how they differ from one another makes it simpler to achieve your business objectives.

    Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    The infrastructure-centric IT services that comprise the IaaS delivery model's self-contained IT environment may be managed and controlled using tools and interfaces based on cloud services. Hardware, networks, connections, operating systems, and other "raw" IT resources might be a part of this ecosystem. With IaaS, IT resources are often virtualized and packaged into bundles, which makes up-front runtime scalability and customization of the infrastructure simpler than in traditional hosting or outsourced setups.

    An IaaS environment's main goal is to give cloud users extensive control and responsibility for the configuration and use of the system. IaaS typically does not pre-configure the IT resources it offers, leaving the administrative burden on the cloud user.

    Therefore, cloud users who need a lot of control over the cloud-based environment they want to build utilize this model.

    IaaS services from other cloud providers may occasionally be contracted by cloud providers in order to scale their own cloud infrastructures. Different cloud providers may offer IaaS products with a variety of IT resource types and manufacturers. IT resources are typically made available through IaaS environments as newly created virtual instances. The virtual server is a key and essential IT resource in a typical IaaS system. Specifying server hardware specifications, such as CPU speed, memory size, and local storage space, allows for the leasing of virtual servers.

    Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    PaaS uses an operating system or server that is hosted by a third party. As it often includes everything a developer needs to create an application, it is also referred to as a "solution stack".

    PaaS enables companies to create and execute apps on a platform that is offered by a third party. The platform is supported by the third-party provider by doing away with the necessity to install some on-premise software and hardware. PaaS makes application management and development simpler because it relieves businesses of the need to maintain on-site infrastructure.

    Since PaaS already permits the use of a solution stack, which includes many of the tools and software programs that developers use every day, it is also scalable and enables more economical development.

    These three models for delivering cloud computing services each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, as well as varied degrees of adaptability and control over the cloud's architecture. When scaling operations, specifically, cloud service models bring a number of additional resources for organizations that increase efficiency while reducing costs. This is because these platforms frequently do away with the requirement for in-house hardware and software. 

    Cloud service demand is not about to decline any time soon. Most firms will eventually rely on employing one or all three models to keep up with the arrival of new technology, depending on their needs. Therefore, cloud services are the answer for expanding service offerings, empowering workers, and adding greater flexibility, regardless of how big or little a firm is.

    Software as a Service (SaaS)

    The standard profile of a SaaS offering is a piece of software presented as a shared cloud service and made accessible as a "product" or general utility. A reusable cloud service is often made broadly accessible (often economically) to a variety of cloud consumers via the SaaS delivery paradigm. SaaS goods, which may be rented and utilized on various periods and for a variety of reasons, have their own market. 

    Most of the time, a cloud user has very little administrative power over a SaaS implementation. Although it is typically delivered by the cloud provider, it might legally belong to whichever organization fills the function of cloud service owner.  

    A business can create a cloud service that it decides to deploy in the same environment as a SaaS product while functioning as a cloud consumer while utilizing and working with a PaaS environment, for instance. When the SaaS-based cloud service is made available to other companies, who function as cloud consumers when using that cloud service, the same firm essentially takes on the position of cloud provider.

    Those who wish to follow a career in cloud computing should take AWS certified Cloud Practitioner training to help them develop these crucial skills. Taking this first step promises a bright future in cloud computing. 

    Cloud Environments

    For the benefit of the users, many cloud service types, also known as cloud deployment, are divided into categories. Cloud platform implementation, access, and hosting are called "cloud coding environments." Based on their unique needs, as well as where and when they wish to use the cloud model, customers can choose among the common forms of cloud environment: 

    Private Cloud

    The term "private cloud" describes cloud services that are used by an organization but are exclusively accessible to its own customers and workers. Private clouds give businesses more control over their computing environment and data storage, which can be important for businesses operating in tightly regulated sectors. Because they may only be accessible through private networks and give the company complete control over cloud security, private clouds are occasionally thought to be more secure than public clouds. 

    Public Cloud

    Massive storage space found in public clouds enables simple scalability. Infrastructure and services offered by public cloud providers are available to all clients. For businesses like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, the advantages of multi-tenancy in a cloud computing environment are particularly advantageous. Applications can be deployed to the private cloud for production if they are created to be portable. 

    Hybrid Cloud

    Many businesses employ a hybrid cloud system, which blends resources from public and private clouds, to satisfy their computing requirements while remaining in compliance with industry rules. Multiple public cloud providers are used in multicloud systems, which are also widespread. One of the largest providers of hybrid cloud services is Amazon Web Services or AWS.

    Data Security and Privacy

    Information technology has frequently faced serious problems with data security. Because the data is dispersed throughout the globe in the overview of cloud computing environment, it becomes especially serious. The two main reasons users have privacy and data security concerns with cloud technology are data security and privacy protection.

    Data security and privacy protection are becoming more crucial for the future of cloud computing technology in government, industry, and business, even if numerous techniques on the issues of cloud computing have been researched in both academics and industries. Both the hardware and the software in the cloud architecture are affected by difficulties with data security and privacy protection.

    Benefits of Cloud Computing

    A significant change from how organizations have traditionally viewed IT resources is cloud computing. The following benefits of cloud computing are popular for businesses to use cloud computing services: 

    1. Cost

    With cloud computing, there is no longer a need to invest in hardware, software, or the infrastructure needed to set up and maintain on-site data centers, including server racks, 24/7 electricity for power and cooling, and IT professionals to oversee the infrastructure. It quickly adds up.

    2. Speed

    The majority of cloud computing services are self-service and on-demand, making it possible to provide even large quantities of computing resources quickly and generally with only a few mouse clicks. This gives enterprises a great deal of flexibility and relieves the burden of capacity planning.

    3. Worldwide Scope

    The flexibility of elastic scaling is one of the advantages of cloud computing services. In the context of the cloud, this refers to providing the appropriate level of IT resources at the appropriate time and location, such as more or less processing power, storage, and bandwidth.

    4. Productivity

    Hardware installation, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management tasks are frequently needed for on-site data centres. Many of these duties are no longer necessary thanks to cloud computing, freeing up IT employees' time to focus on more crucial business objectives.

    5. Performance

    The largest cloud computing services are powered by a global network of safe data centres routinely updated with the newest models of quick and effective computing gear. Compared to a single corporate data centre, this has several advantages, including lower network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.

    6. Reliability

    Since data can be duplicated across numerous redundant sites on the network of the cloud provider, cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity simpler and less expensive.

    Risks, Costs, and Ethics in Cloud Computing

    Even if the cloud has numerous advantages, there are several risks of cloud computing, expenses, and moral dilemmas that need to be considered. All cloud users must consider some of these challenges, whereas corporations and organizations that use the cloud to store client data may find some of them more relevant:

    Data Loss

    Just like with physically owned or managed equipment, stored data in cloud services may be permanently lost as a result of flaws, accidental synchronization, user error, or other unanticipated problems. Find out what backup services the provider offers before deploying cloud services, and be aware that these might not be offered automatically or for free. You could also decide to perform backups on your own.

    Data Persistence

    At times, cloud users may want to make sure that the personal information they have provided to cloud service providers is deleted. However, erasing data from cloud resources and verifying such erasure can be laborious, challenging, or even impossible tasks.

    Security

    Given their usage of APIs, cloud-based credentials, and on-demand services that make it simpler for attackers to get unauthorized access, cloud resources may have more security vulnerabilities than traditional on-premises data centres.

     Find out what security precautions the cloud service provider takes to protect client data from theft and other attacks, as well as what steps or extra services clients can take to protect their data.

    Costs

    Although using the cloud can offer computing capabilities at a fraction of the price of buying them outright, costs for cloud services can rise sharply as consumption increases. Check the billing information before signing up for a cloud service to understand how services are metered and whether you may set caps or receive notifications when usage exceeds your preferred limits.

    Data Used by the Company

    Cloud service providers may utilize client data to train machine learning algorithms, sell or customize adverts, understand how customers use their products and more. Find out the service provider's policies for data use if you are worried about how your data or the data of your company is being used.

    Company Ethics

    Cloud customers may want to consider the ethics of the company that their business is sponsoring given the significant influence that some cloud service providers have over international politics. A cloud user may find it more enlightening to consider a provider's policies with relation to issues like data collecting, advertising, hate speech, politics, misinformation, the environment, and labour after examining a company's business operations in these areas.

    Conclusion

    In the upcoming years, cloud computing technology will undoubtedly continue to advance. This is partly due to the potential it can present to businesses, independent developers, researchers, educators, and even students in addition to businesses. We have discussed various pros of cloud computing, but there are some cons of cloud computing too.  

    You will be able to decide how cloud computing could ultimately benefit you and your needs by having a better understanding of the various cloud computing types and environments. Why not check out KnowledgeHut online certification courses in Cloud Computing and start expanding your knowledge right away. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is cloud computing by definition?

    The distribution of various services, such as data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software, through the Internet is known as cloud computing. Cloud storage has become more and more popular among people who need more storage space and among companies looking for a reliable off-site data backup option.

    2Who uses cloud computing?

    A wide range of use cases, including data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer-facing web apps, are being used by businesses of every size, type, and sector.

    3What is an example of cloud computing? 

    Dropbox is a mechanism for sharing and storing files. Microsoft Azure, which also provides hosting, backup, and disaster recovery services. Data, security, and infrastructure services are provided by Rackspace.

    Profile

    Abhresh Sugandhi

    Author

    Abhresh is specialized as a corporate trainer, He has a decade of experience in technical training blended with virtual webinars and instructor-led session created courses, tutorials, and articles for organizations. He is also the founder of Nikasio.com, which offers multiple services in technical training, project consulting, content development, etc.

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