What is cloud computing?
There are the following operations that we can do using cloud computing:
- Developing new applications and services
- Storage, back up, and recovery of data
- Hosting blogs and websites
- Delivery of software on demand
- Analysis of data
- Streaming videos and audios
Where is the cloud?
What is a cloud based solution?
Characteristics of Cloud Computing
The cloud works in a distributed computing environment. It shares resources among users and works very fast.
2) High availability and reliability
The availability of servers is high and more reliable because the chances of infrastructure failure are minimum.
3) High Scalability
Cloud offers "on-demand" provisioning of resources on a large scale, without having engineers for peak loads.
With the help of cloud computing, multiple users and applications can work more efficiently with cost reductions by sharing common infrastructure.
5) Device and Location Independence
Cloud computing enables the users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they use e.g. PC, mobile phone, etc. As infrastructure is off-site (typically provided by a third-party) and accessed via the Internet, users can connect from anywhere.
Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier, since they do not need to be installed on each user's computer and can be accessed from different places. So, it reduces the cost also.
7) Low Cost
By using cloud computing, the cost will be reduced because to take the services of cloud computing, IT company need not to set its own infrastructure and pay-as-per usage of resources.
8) Services in the pay-per-use mode
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are provided to the users so that they can access services on the cloud by using these APIs and pay the charges as per the usage of services.
Top benefits of cloud computing
- Cost: Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site data-centers—the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It adds up fast.
- Speed: Most cloud computing services are provided self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.
- Global scale: The benefits of cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically. In cloud speak, that means delivering the right amount of IT resources—for example, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth—right when it is needed and from the right geographic location.
- Productivity: On-site datacenters typically require a lot of “racking and stacking”—hardware setup, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.
- Performance: The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacenters, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
- Reliability: Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
- Security: Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies and controls that strengthen your security posture overall, helping protect your data, apps and infrastructure from potential threats.
Types of cloud computing
First, you need to determine the type of cloud deployment or cloud computing architecture, that your cloud services will be implemented on. There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.
- Public cloud: Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service providers, which deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.
- Private cloud: A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organisation. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
- Hybrid cloud: Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimise your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.
- Community Cloud: Community cloud is a cloud infrastructure that allows systems and services to be accessible by a group of several organizations to share the information. It is owned, managed, and operated by one or more organizations in the community, a third party, or a combination of them.
Components of Cloud Computing Architecture
There are the following components of cloud computing architecture -
1. Client Infrastructure
Client Infrastructure is a Front end component. It provides GUI (Graphical User Interface) to interact with the cloud.
The application may be any software or platform that a client wants to access.
A Cloud Services manages that which type of service you access according to the client’s requirement.
Cloud computing offers the following three type of services:
i. Software as a Service (SaaS) – It is also known as cloud application services. Mostly, SaaS applications run directly through the web browser means we do not require to download and install these applications.
Typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC.Some important example of SaaS is given below –
Example: Google Apps, Salesforce Dropbox, Slack, Hubspot, Cisco WebEx.
ii. Platform as a Service (PaaS) – It is also known as cloud platform services. It is quite similar to SaaS, but the difference is that PaaS provides a platform for software creation, but using SaaS, we can access software over the internet without the need of any platform.
PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.
Example: Windows Azure, Force.com, Magento Commerce Cloud, OpenShift.
iii. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) –The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis
Example: Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Cisco Metapod.
4. Runtime Cloud
Runtime Cloud provides the execution and runtime environment to the virtual machines.
Storage is one of the most important components of cloud computing. It provides a huge amount of storage capacity in the cloud to store and manage data.
It provides services on the host level, application level, and network level. Cloud infrastructure includes hardware and software components such as servers, storage, network devices, virtualization software, and other storage resources that are needed to support the cloud computing model.
Management is used to manage components such as application, service, runtime cloud, storage, infrastructure, and other security issues in the backend and establish coordination between them.
Security is an in-built back end component of cloud computing. It implements a security mechanism in the back end.
The Internet is medium through which front end and back end can interact and communicate with each other.
Uses of cloud computing
You are probably using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realise it. If you use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games or store pictures and other files, it is likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes. The first cloud computing services are barely a decade old, but already a variety of organisations—from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits—are embracing the technology for all sorts of reasons.
Here are a few examples of what is possible today with cloud services from a cloud provider:
Create cloud-native applications
Quickly build, deploy and scale applications—web, mobile and API. Take advantage of cloud-native technologies and approaches, such as containers, Kubernetes, microservices architecture, API-driven communication and DevOps.
Test and build applications
Reduce application development cost and time by using cloud infrastructures that can easily be scaled up or down.
Store, back up and recover data
Protect your data more cost-efficiently—and at massive scale—by transferring your data over the Internet to an offsite cloud storage system that is accessible from any location and any device.
Unify your data across teams, divisions and locations in the cloud. Then use cloud services, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to uncover insights for more informed decisions.
Stream audio and video
Connect with your audience anywhere, anytime, on any device with high-definition video and audio with global distribution.
Use intelligent models to help engage customers and provide valuable insights from the data captured.
Deliver software on demand
Also known as software as a service (SaaS), on-demand software lets you offer the latest software versions and updates around to customers—anytime they need, anywhere they are.
For more: RTU Important Questions Paper