Cloud computing is a term that involves the delivery of hosted services, be it applications or processing power, over the internet. Instead of manual provisioning, the provider fulfills the requests of the customers requesting for cloud services with advanced automation. Cloud services are divided into three categories namely- Infrastructure as a service, Software as a service, Platform as a service.
Let’s peek into the distinct characteristics of a cloud service to distinguish it from traditional web hosting:
A massive amount of computing power can be accessed by the user.
The user can take advantage of as much or as little service as per their needs without any time limitations.
The consumer of cloud services needs to worry about nothing as everything is completely managed by the service provider.
A cloud can either be public, private or hybrid.
A public cloud is accustomed to no particular person. It can sell services to almost anybody on the internet. It allows the customers to grab new capabilities without any hardware/software investment. The most important advantage it provides is the rapid scalability of a service. The cloud computing suppliers follow a multi-tenant architecture.
The services that are delivered from the data center of business to internal users are called private cloud services. The organization uses a private cloud in order to maintain its underlying cloud infrastructure and provides on-scale demand of computing power to the developers without any risk of security. The private cloud acts as a stepping stone for the companies that want to shift to the public cloud by helping them to rebuild internal applications and understand the features of cloud services.
The hybrid cloud is the talk of reality. It is a combination of some projects in the public cloud, some data in the private cloud, and automation between them. The aim of a hybrid cloud is to scale the environment such that it can offer all the infrastructures of a public cloud. The main reason to choose a hybrid cloud is disaster recovery planning.
Characteristics of cloud computing:
A cloud computing service provides the following benefits to its end-users:
Pay as per your use: Depending upon the usage of resources and workload, users can pay the amount for the services.
Flexible migration: Companies can prefer to move the workload to or from the cloud or even to other cloud platforms. This automatically initiates the days of better cost savings or the use of new emerging technologies.
Broad network access: With the help of an internet connection and a device, the users can enjoy the access of cloud data or upload it anywhere as per their choice from the cloud itself.
Provisions of self-service: Businesses and end-users can provision different computing capabilities like network storage, server time, and manage computer resources.
Resource pooling: From the same physical resource, providers can serve numerous customers. These resource pools need to flexible and large enough to meet the needs of multiple customers.
Different types of cloud computing services:
Infrastructure as a service: For meeting multiple workload requirements, IaaS providers grant customized instances along with small, large, medium, extra-large, memory instances. With an allocated storage capacity, users can start, stop, and configure the Virtual Machine (VM) as well as storage as per their desire. IaaS providers enable the users to move workloads to a VM.
Software as a service: SaaS distribution model delivers software applications called web services over the internet. With the help of a computer or a mobile device supporting internet access, users can access SaaS services irrespective of the location. Microsoft Office 365 supports productivity as an example of a SaaS application.
Platform as a service: The PaaS distribution model is used for the purpose of general software development and their providers host the software. Google App Engine is one such name among the common PaaS providers.
Security of cloud computing
The most vital concern of businesses is its security. Since the public cloud features a multi-tenant architecture, the service providers share their infrastructure with multiple customers. This demands complete isolation and security between computing resources. The security access to the storage of the public cloud is protected by account login credentials.
Some organizations that are bound by the government standards feel hesitant to keep data in the public cloud because of the fear of theft or loss. As the isolation is proving itself reliable with the role of data encryption techniques and identity management tools coming into play, the resistance of these enterprises seems to fade.
Benefits of cloud computing:
The usage of cloud infrastructure reduces the huge amount of costs spent by the organizations on the purchase of equipment and its maintenance. The cost of investment in hardware and construction of big data centers is also reduced which ultimately promotes the growth of the business.
Recovery from disasters:
Even if the devices like smartphones, I-pads or laptops fail to operate, there is no space for fear if the organizations store their data in the cloud memory. With the growing pace of cloud-based services, it enables organizations to be able to afford quick recovery of data in case of power outages or natural disasters.
Cloud storage allows the access of information from any location possible just with a mobile handset or computer/laptop supporting an internet connection. This implies there is no need of carrying hard drives, USB or multiple CDs from place to place. It enables the end-users to easily process and store the resources in the cloud alongside its recovery. It provides a hassle-free service to the employees to remain connected with their co-workers, saving enough time and effort.
Future of cloud computing:
Among the top names of giant cloud service providers, Amazon Web Services leads the way. Google, IBM, Alibaba, and Microsoft’s Azure are some names that serve a sizable cloud business.
Still, there are a number of enterprises, who fear to adopt the public cloud services but with 2020, there comes a greater expectation of migration of mission-critical applications to the cloud platform. The reason behind this shift would probably be because the business authoritative would feel the need to be able to compete in the world of digital transformation.
With one-step forward to embrace the public cloud, IT executives can willingly migrate their mission-critical workloads into the cloud platform. By adopting the services of cloud computing, companies can accelerate their business and scale their applications dynamically.