Cloud Computing [Definition,Types,Application,Uses,Example,Benefits]
Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services — from applications to storage and processing power — typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Cloud computing is usually described in one of two ways. Either based on the cloud location, or on the service that the cloud is offering.
Based on a cloud location, we can classify cloud as:
>>public, >>private, >>hybrid >>community cloud
Based on a service that the cloud is offering, we are speaking of either:
>> Storage, Database, Information, Process, Application, Integration, Security, Management, Testing-as-a-service
How does cloud computing work?
Rather than owning their own computing infrastructure or data centers, companies can rent access to anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider.
One benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it.
In turn, providers of cloud computing services can benefit from significant economies of scale by delivering the same services to a wide range of customers.
Cloud computing offers scalable resources through various subscription models. This means that you will only need to pay for the computing resources you use. This helps in managing spikes in demands without the need to permanently invest in computer hardware.
The expanded computing power and capacity of the cloud enables us to store information about user preferences. This can be used to provide customized solutions, messages and products based on the behaviour and preferences of users.
The cloud allows users to enjoy network-based access to communication tools like emails and calendars. Most of the messaging and calling apps like Skype and WhatsApp are also based on cloud infrastructure. All your messages and information are stored on the service provider’s hardware rather than on your personal device. This allows you access your information from anywhere via the internet.
Whether you are developing an application for web or mobile or even games, cloud platforms prove to be a reliable solution. Using cloud, you can easily create scalable cross-platform experiences for your users. These platforms include many pre-coded tools and libraries — like directory services, search and security. This can speed up and simplify the development process. Amazon Lumberyard is a popular mobile game development tool used in the cloud.
Cloud computing is becoming the default option for many apps: software vendors are increasingly offering their applications as services over the internet rather than standalone products as they try to switch to a subscription model. However, there is a potential downside to cloud computing, in that it can also introduce new costs and new risks for companies using it.
What is Software-as-a-Service?
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the delivery of applications-as-a-service, probably the version of cloud computing that most people are used to. The underlying hardware and operating system is irrelevant to the end user, who will access the service via a web browser or app; it is often bought on a per-seat or per-user basis
How safe is the cloud?
Service providers assure that they can treat security as a resource using virtualisation technologies and channel security resources where they’re needed on demand. But fears of cloud computing security risks still hold many from using cloud services.
Treating security as a resource allows providers to offer varied levels of security. This means when systems and applications come under attack, the provider can divert more resource to protect the element that’s under attack.
Most Uses of cloud computing
1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS)
When it comes to IaaS, using an existing infrastructure on a pay-per-use scheme seems to be an obvious choice for companies saving on the cost of investing to acquire, manage and maintain an IT infrastructure. There are also instances where organizations turn to PaaS for the same reasons while also seeking to increase the speed of development on a ready-to-use platform to deploy applications.
2. Private cloud and hybrid cloud
Among the many incentives for using cloud, there are two situations where organizations are looking into ways to assess some of the applications they intend to deploy into their environment through the use of a cloud (specifically a public cloud). While in the case of test and development it may be limited in time, adopting a hybrid cloud approach allows for testing application workloads, therefore providing the comfort of an environment without the initial investment that might have been rendered useless should the workload testing fail.
3. Test and development
Probably the best scenario for the use of a cloud is a test and development environment. This entails securing a budget, setting up your environment through physical assets, significant manpower and time. Then comes the installation and configuration of your platform. All this can often extend the time it takes for a project to be completed and stretch your milestones.
4. Big data analytics
One of the aspects offered by leveraging cloud computing is the ability to tap into vast quantities of both structured and unstructured data to harness the benefit of extracting business value.
Cloud computing benefits
If you are worried about the price tag that would come with making the switch over to cloud computing, you aren’t alone; 20 percent of organizations are concerned about the initial cost of implementing a cloud-based server.
One major hang up that many organizations have when it comes to adopting a cloud computing solution is the issue of security.
Your business has only a finite amount of focus to divide between all of its responsibilities.
Cloud computing allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and devices, which, considering over 2.6 billion smartphones are being used globally today, is a great way to ensure that no one is ever left out of the loop.
As we move ever further into the digital age, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the old adage ‘Knowledge is power’ has taken on the more modern and accurate form.
If your business has two employees or more, then you should be making collaboration a top priority.
The exact benefits will vary according to the type of cloud service being used but, fundamentally, using cloud services means companies not having to buy or maintain their own computing infrastructure.