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Cloud computing is a trend that has been around for quite some time now. Many of us are already familiar with this term and are already implementing it in our organizations. However, though many of us have heard about it. Do we really know what exactly is cloud computing? Before we can decide whether it is a fuss or a force to be reckoned with, let us familiarize ourselves with what is cloud computing? According to the latest tech blogs and news, cloud computing is defined as the delivery of on-demand computing services usually over the internet in a pay-as-you-go manner. These services include everything from applications to storage and processing power.
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
The ideology behind this concept is that it is the location of the service, and many of the other details like hardware, the operating system it is running on, are not important for the user. The concept of this technology is borrowed from old telecoms network schema.
It is easy to confuse ‘cloud’ with the general internet because various components that form a part of the cloud can be accessed via the internet. To simplify it, cloud computing allows companies, service providers and individuals to supply the right amount of computer resources dynamically for their requirements. Application services can then be accessed over a network which may not always be a public network.
History of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing term has been around since the early 2000s, yet the concept of computing-as-a-service has existed for much longer. This concept has been around since the early 1960s. This concept came into action when computer agencies started allowing companies rent time on a mainframe, instead of having to buy one for them. Thus began the evolution of this concept. However, cloud computing became popular much later when tech giant Amazon introduced software as a service concept through technology such as Amazon Web Services.
Applications of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing can be seen in a host of applications. A more common application of cloud services in our daily lives would be using services such as Gmail or to back-up the photos on our smartphones. Another common application is Netflix. Netflix makes use of cloud computing services to run its video streaming service.
Along with all of this cloud service is also becoming a default option for various apps software vendors. Rather than offering standalone services, many apps prefer offering their services as an application as services over the internet. To sum it up, we can easily say that cloud computing is more prominent in our everyday lives more than we realize. Apart from this, various companies make use of cloud computing to store their data, for communication within team members, for the deployment of projects and much more. However, there is a downside to using cloud services which we will discuss further in our tech blog.
What Are the Different Types of Cloud Computing Services?
Cloud computing can easily be broken down into three main cloud technology models namely, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Read the following to understand the three main types of cloud computing services:
Infrastructure-as-a-Service in Cloud Computing
IaaS is considered as a fundamental building block and can include rented virtual or physical servers, storage, and networks. This concept is ideal for organizations that wish to build applications from the base. The main attractive feature about this cloud computing type is that it allows companies to control nearly all the elements on their own. Yet, a drawback of this type is that companies that choose to implement this cloud technology need to have the technical skills demanded by IaaS. Sadly, many companies that used this technology reported that IaaS did not feel secure enough for critical data.
Platform-as-a-Service in Cloud Computing
What differentiates PaaS from IaaS is that along with underlying storage, networking and virtual servers it also includes tools and software that developers can utilize for building applications on top of.
Software-as-a-Service in Cloud Computing
SaaS is also known as delivery-as-a-service is the most commonly used version of cloud computing. What makes this cloud computing technology unique is that end users don’t need to be concerned about the underlying hardware and operating system. They can access the service via a web browser or application. In today’s day, the variety of applications delivered through SaaS is humongous. Right from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) this model of cloud computing can be seen everywhere.
Based on these classifications, cloud technologies can also be divided into the following main categories:
Public cloud computing is one of the classic computing models. It allows users to access a large pool of computing power over the internet, irrespective of IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. What makes this model significant is its ability to rapidly scale a service. This service can be useful for less-sensitive applications that demand a varying amount of resources.
Private computing offers some of the advantages seen in public computing. Yet, what separates this model from public computing is end users can make use of this service without relinquishing their control over data and services. Companies have the power to build the infrastructure on their own and can control where their data is being held. This method of computing hides the data behind a corporate firewall making this method more secure.
Hybrid cloud computing, as the name suggests, offers a little bit of both private and public. Companies can store some data in the public data and some sensitive data over a private cloud. Hybrid cloud computing is becoming a favorite among many since it offers the best of both worlds. A research by Tech Republic shows that some of the main reasons behind preferring this model are disaster recovery planning and avoiding hardware costs.
Why is There So Much of Fuss over Cloud Computing?
Before you even begin understanding that why is today’s digital world so crazy about cloud computing, you need to understand the importance of this technology. Cloud computing is important for the following main reasons:
- You can enhance your business agility
- You can deploy your projects on this technology easily
- It can help you manage allocated resource
- It is important for reducing your capital expenses and optimize your budget
- By adding cloud computing in your infrastructure you can reduce expenses on hardware, data center, and networking
- It can accommodate your varying requirements
- It can be used for transforming how you deliver services
- It is useful for reducing your operational costs as well as you need to pay for only services that you have used
Apart from all of this, cloud computing has helped increase the power of the internet. As computers and technology began evolving, so did cloud computing. Cloud technology is beneficial for preventing software piracy, reducing costs, increasing productivity, acting as a storage and a backup option and speeding up processes amongst other things. You can even use this technology for automating maintenance, scheduling updates and for auto-scaling. All these factors explain what all the fuss is about but like every coin, cloud computing has two sides as well.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
Sometimes we buy furniture rather than renting it because it seems like a more economical solution in the long run. Similarly, cloud computing may not necessarily be cheaper than other forms of computing. Yet, the advantages of this technology might make it worth every penny for some. Following are the two sides of a coin for cloud computing technology.
The most significant feature of cloud computing is that in terms of IT expenses, you will end up saving a lot. Cloud computing can help you save substantial capital costs and operational expenses. Due to the lack of on-premises infrastructure companies could end up saving a lot of operational costs like power, administration, and air conditioning. Cloud computing is also affordable for all types of businesses irrespective of their size. You also have to pay for only those services that you have used. Its pay-as-per-use feature also makes it attractive for many companies.
This technology operates on a managed platform making it more reliable and consistent than in-house IT infrastructure. Another best feature is that if a server fails then all the hosted applications and services can easily be transited to any of the available servers.
If you have an IT infrastructure then one of the biggest issues is hiring a team to manage this infrastructure. With cloud computing, you can forget about administration and management hassle. The management of cloud infrastructure is solely the responsibility of the cloud provider saving you any management expenses.
Almost unlimited storage
Cloud technology has almost unlimited storage capacity thus, helping you store without worrying about the available space.
Backup and Recovery
Since all your data is stored in the cloud, backing it up and restoring it becomes a very simple process. Along with this many cloud service providers are equipped to handle recovery of information making the entire process of backup and recovery easier than any traditional method of data storage.
Last but not the least, provides advantages such as quick deployment. You can make use of this technology for deploying projects.
Requires good internet connection
In order to access cloud services, it is necessary to have a good internet connection. Along with this, it is also important to have good bandwidth to download or upload files to the cloud.
Limited control of infrastructure
Since the infrastructure of this technology is at the cloud service provider’s side, end users may not have any control over the infrastructure of the cloud.
You may have saved your cost by not spending on the entire infrastructure and management. Yet, on the cloud, you need to keep paying for services as long as you use them. Cloud computing is not a onetime expense but a recurring one due to which many companies may prefer investing in their own infrastructure.
Vulnerable to cyber attacks
Storing crucial information in the cloud exposes your company to external hack attacks and threats. One of the biggest downside of internet being that nothing is secure on the net, there is a lurking possibility of stealth of sensitive data.
Another major concern of cloud computing is security. Adopting this technology would mean surrendering all your company’s sensitive information to a third-party cloud service provider. This also puts your company at great risk. Due to this, it is crucial to choose a reliable service provider. So in spite of all these cons what makes cloud computing a force to be reckoned with?
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How is Cloud Computing Becoming a Force to be Reckoned with?
With the evolution of cloud computing, many tech giants have come up with innovative and attractive cloud computing solutions that help overcome the challenges faced in this technology. With the entry of these tech giants in the cloud computing technology, businesses have become optimistic and more confident about adopting it. Many companies have even realized how beneficial this technology can be for their business.
With access to unlimited data storage, businesses are able to story large heaps of data on the cloud without having to worry about lack of space. Along with this cloud computing has also become known for keeping mobile workforce engaged. So who are the tech giants that have helped cloud computing become a force to be reckoned with?
The Tech Giants of Cloud Computing
With cloud computing becoming a force to be reckoned with it is no surprise that many tech giants have dipped their hands in the cloud technology pie. Following is a list of tech giants that provide cloud computing solutions.
Amazon was the first company that launched cloud computing technology in the year 2006. Its Amazon Web Services provides a variety of services like on-demand cloud computing, storage, and networking resources. Amazon is not only applaudable for being the first company that launched cloud, but its technology has continued evolving and redefining trends in the industry.
After releasing Microsoft cloud services to the public in the year 2010, Microsoft Azure redefined computing. When it came to spending the big bucks, Microsoft has spared no expenses while investing in cloud technologies and it clearly shows. Hence, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft is currently the second largest cloud service provider following Amazon.
If you had to find a company that has tremendously evolved in this technology then Google is your best example. Google Cloud Storage that was the foundation of the Google Cloud Platform was however not introduced in the market for the public before 2010. With its photo storage for smartphones, Gmail, and many such features, Google remains a strong competitor in the field of cloud services.
It wasn’t until 2012 that IBM announced its ambitions to enter the cloud technology business. With an emphasis on security, hybrid deployments and AI technology in computing, IBM has remained a strong competitor in this technology.
Apart from these tech giants, there are many other reputed companies that offer cloud services for businesses to help them grow. With integrations such as AI technologies, what can we expect in the future of cloud computing?
Future of cloud computing
Cloud computing is still at a relatively new concept, despite its long history. Many companies are still skeptical due to migration and security concerns. However, as organizations familiarize themselves with the cloud computing concept, the increase of dependency on this technology may increase. There are many companies that are making use of modern concepts such as block chain technology, machine learning, and other AI technologies for making cloud services more reliable and optimal. In the near future we could expect AI technologies integrated in the solutions offered by your cloud service providers.
Cloud technology is here to stay and definitely a force to be reckoned with. With the vast amount of data that is available today, there is no doubt that many businesses will have to look up to cloud computing for free space. For companies that are reluctant to switch to cloud computing due to hefty prices, the good news is that due to excessive competition in the market they can expect competitive prices.
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