What is Cloud Computing?

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Cloud Computing is the on-demand delivery of IT services through the Internet. These services can include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more. Cloud Computing allows you to provision resources as you need them and decommission them when you no longer do.

Cloud Computing means that you are no longer required to procure hardware like hard drives yourself, but instead are “renting” those provided by Cloud Providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and many more.

Who Uses Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is popular amongst individuals and businesses for many reasons such as cost savings, efficiency and scalability. Organizations of every size, type and industry are already in or moving into the cloud for a wide variety of use cases. This can include data backup, application hosting, virtual desktops and more.

Some of the biggest companies in the world frequently utilize Cloud Computing to scale their businesses and improve operations. Examples include Netflix, Pinterest, Twitter, Coca-Cola and Etsy.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cost Savings

Utilizing Cloud Computing allows you to trade capital expenses like data centres and hardware for variable expenses. You pay only for resources that you use. This reduces the cost of buying hardware, setting them up and maintaining them.

Furthermore, cloud providers are able to further reduce costs due to economies of scale.

Agility

Cloud Computing allows you to quickly and easily provision a broad range of services and technologies in minutes. This allows you to innovate faster and quickly spin up resources as required.

This convenience provides a lot of flexibility and allows rapid development and deployment of products and applications. Changes can also easily be made and resources can be decommissioned as required.

Elasticity

Cloud Computing allows you to quickly scale up and down as required and protects you from the risk of over or under-provisioning resources. You can easily scale up during peak periods and scale down to save costs during downtime.

Cloud providers also typically provide services like Load Balancing and Auto Scaling to help make this process automatic.

Reliability

Cloud Computing makes data backups, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive through mirroring of data and environments. This way, even if one site goes down, you can quickly reroute traffic to the working environment.

Data centres owned by the cloud provider are also typically located in different continents, regions and zones, further improving redundancy and reliability.

Security

Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies and services that help strengthen your security posture. These services typically cover a wide variety of use cases like encryption, web application firewalls, instance-specific firewalls and more.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are 3 primary types of cloud computing, based on the required needs of the organization. The three types are Public, Private and Hybrid cloud.

Public Cloud

Public Clouds are owned and managed by third-party cloud providers like Azure or AWS. They own the hardware, software and supporting infrastructure and rent these for your usage. These resources are “shared” and used by the public, hence the term.

Private Cloud

Privates Clouds are owned entirely by the company that utilizes it. Usually, this refers to data centers and clouds physically located on land owned by the organization. Some third-party cloud providers also offer hosting for private clouds.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Clouds combine both private and public clouds and integrates them using technology such as VPNs and Gateways. This allows data to be stored and moved between both environments based on requirement. This set up provides the most flexibility, deployment options and optimizes areas like security and compliance.

Type of Cloud Services

Most cloud services are served in 3 main categories, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). These types determine how much control, flexibility and management you have over your services to suit your needs.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS is the most basic of cloud computing services. It provides access to networking features, virtual machines, data storage, drives and more. It gives you the highest level of flexibility and control over your IT resources. However, it also requires you to maintain the entire resource such as operating systems. Some examples of IaaS include Amazon EC2 and Digital Ocean Droplets.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS removes the need for your to manage underlying infrastructure and allows you to focus on deployment and management of your applications. This maintenance is handed over to the cloud provider, so that you do not need to worry about software maintenance, resource procurement and other heavy lifting. Examples of PaaS include AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Heroku.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS provides you with a complete product that is managed and maintained fully by the cloud provider. You are effectively the end user and only need to think about how you will utilize the software, not how to maintain it. Some examples of SaaS include Microsoft 365 and G Workspace Apps.

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Cloud Digests

Cloud Digests

Making Cloud Computing easy to learn and adopt for everybody, tech trained or otherwise. Simple and quick to understand content