Tech

What Is Cloud Computing?

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We all actively use some form of cloud computing. When you make use of an online service to edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games, or store files, it is likely made possible with cloud computing.

Definition

Cloud computing, in simpler terms, is the delivery of computing resources, which may include servers, storage, software, analytics, and computing power to many users over the cloud (the internet).

They are accessed via a Pay-as-you-go basis. In other words, you only pay for the cloud services you use. This helps you manage your costs and business efficiently.

Types Of Cloud

There are three different ways of deploying cloud services. They include:

1. Public Cloud

These are cloud services owned by third-party providers and are offered over the internet, making them accessible to those who intend using them. They may be free or sold, giving customers the flexibility of paying only for the service they use

2. Private Cloud

There are cloud services offered solely to a specific user or organisation, instead of the general public. They offer businesses the benefits of a public cloud, plus additional control and customisation, a higher level of security through firewalls and internal hosting to ensure sensitive data isn’t accessible to third-party providers. They are maintained on a private network.

3. Hybrid Cloud

It is a computing environment that combines the features of a public and private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared between them. This gives businesses more data deployment options and helps optimise existing security and infrastructure.

Types of Cloud Services

Cloud computing services fall into four major categories. They are also known as being part of the cloud computing stack since they build on each other.

a. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This is the most basic category since it offers basic tools such as virtual servers, operating systems and data storage. It is highly scalable, letting you pay only for what you utilise and helps avoid the complexity and expense of buying and managing a physical server

b. Platform as a Service (IaaS)

It is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, offering resources that help you to deliver simple cloud apps and enterprise-level cloud-based applications. It includes not just the basic infrastructure that IaaS provides, but also middleware, database management systems, and Business Intelligence (BI) services.

c. Software as a Service (SaaS)

It involves the deployment of software over the internet to users/businesses who pay on a subscription basis. With SaaS, you don’t need to be bothered on how the software is maintained, but only on how it’ll be used. Here is a quick introduction to SaaS.

d. Functions as a Service (FaaS)

FaaS adds an extra layer of abstraction to PaaS and offers a serverless way to execute grouped pieces of code. It lets developers build applications faster by removing the need for them to manage infrastructure. With FaaS, the cloud provider automatically scales and manages the infrastructure required to run the code.

Uses Of Cloud Computing

Here are major situations where cloud computing is utilised:

  • Create applications
  • Test and development
  • Big data analytics
  • Analyse data
  • Video/Audio streaming
  • File storage & sharing
  • Website Hosting

Benefits Of Cloud Computing

Despite the efficiency cloud computing offers, there are few individuals and organisations who are hesitant in implementing it. Here are the reasons why they should be implemented:

1. Cost Savings

For start-ups, cloud computing is highly advantageous as it offers easy access to a company’s data, thereby saving time and money. Running physical on-site data centres consume a large amount of a company’s capital expenses. Cloud computing aids in reducing these costs, and since most services are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis, you get as much computing power and space as you need, and not be charged for any other service you don’t use.

2. Security

Every business deals with data. With the rise of data breaches and cybercrimes, such businesses need the most efficient and secure way of storing data. Major cloud computing services utilise a wide and effective range of technologies and control for their platforms such as authentication, encryption and access control.

3. Scalability

Different businesses have different requirements and require a flexible infrastructure, fully customisable to their needs. Integrating cloud computing in business enables it to have an efficient scalable system, that is, giving them the ability to increase or decrease its resources according to their customer’s needs.

4. Mobility / Flexibility

In recent times, the way we work has been geared toward working remotely. Cloud computing brings flexibility and mobility to the workplace by allowing the storage, retrieval, processing, and recovery of data to be performed with just a couple of clicks, wherever teammates are, as long as they’re connected to the internet

Conclusion

This article serves as a basic overview of what cloud computing means, its types, what it’s used for, and its benefits. Just like Artificial Intelligence, it is an on-demand field as fast emerging businesses find it valuable. And with its global market size expected to reach $760.98 billion by 2027, it’s evident that it will be a vital part of IT and businesses in general.

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Joseph David is a FrontEnd Developer and Technical Writer
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