Cloud Computing – An Overview

 

Cloud computing is an IT service delivery model that enables users to access software, storage and other services from a cloud-based provider. Users can access these services from anywhere, as and when required, without the need for setting up their own servers or data centers. In simple words, Cloud computing refers to the provision of computer software or services over the internet. It enables users to access applications and data stored in remote servers rather than on their own computers or laptops. The users only need to log into a website or server to access these programs and files, which remain stored in remote locations and are accessed through the internet when needed. In this article, we will see an overview of Cloud Computing with its different models such as SaaS, IaaS and PaaS along with its Pros and Cons.

 

What is Cloud Computing?

 

Cloud computing is a service that delivers computing services, such as virtualization, server management, software as a service (SAAS), platform as a service (PAAS), and storage as a service (STaaS), from a shared pool of servers that are managed remotely by an outsourced third-party company. Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or interaction. This cloud model may be deployed in public, private, hybrid, or community networking environments. The essential characteristics of cloud computing are on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. Central to the idea of cloud computing is the notion of “shared responsibility”, whereby the provider and the user both contribute to the execution and management of the application. This is a departure from the traditional approach, where the provider is responsible for everything, including all application- and network-related issues, while the user has no control or responsibility other than to determine when to actually use the application.

 

Cloud Service Models

 

Shared-access model - In this model, a single cloud resource is shared among multiple customers, and each customer has administrative control over the resource.

Shared-ownership model - In this model, multiple customers share the investment in a single physical resource, but may have administrative control over the resource, or have limited administrative control over the resource.

Hybrid-access model - In this model, customers have a dedicated and exclusive use of a cloud resource, but the cloud provider offers other customers the ability to use the same physical resource as needed.

Hybrid-ownership model - In this model, multiple customers share an investment in a physical resource, and may have administrative control over the resource.

 

Pros of Cloud Computing

 

Scalability - The biggest benefit of using cloud computing is scalability. You can easily add resources when workload increases and, similarly, remove them when it’s not being used.

Cost Efficiency - Cloud computing has a low upfront cost, which means you can easily scale up and down. You pay only for the resources that you’re using, no matter how many there are.

24/7 Availability - Cloud computing works on a large scale, which means that you can benefit from the resources of thousands of other companies. In case one of them is down, you can easily switch to another one.

Security - The security of the data you store in the cloud is divided into two parts: administrative security and data security. Administrative security is controlled by you and your team, whereas data security is controlled by the cloud provider. 

Ease of Use - Cloud computing requires fewer resources from your IT department. You don’t have to hire IT professionals to manage and maintain the platforms.

Easy Scalability - If you need more computing power for a few hours, days or months, you can easily scale up the servers.

Reputation - Cloud computing has a reputation for being reliable and secure. Many companies are using cloud computing because it’s a good way to protect sensitive data. 

No Hardware - Cloud computing doesn’t require you to buy hardware and install programs on your machines. You can easily rent the necessary resources from an external company.

No Over-Investment - You can easily predict how much money you’re going to spend on your IT infrastructure because it’s all in a cloud computing platform.

Innovation - Cloud computing allows you to be innovative since you don’t have to buy hardware and software. You can easily rent them when you need them.

Easier Development - If you’re developing an app, you don’t have to buy and install the necessary resources. You can easily rent them from the cloud provider.

Collaboration - Cloud computing allows you to collaborate with other companies. You can easily share data and information with external users.

Security - Cloud computing platforms have security protocols in place to protect your data from cyber threats.

 

Cons of Cloud Computing

 

Resource Limitation - The number of resources you can use may be limited. If you need to scale up or scale down, you might have to wait a while before it happens.

Risk of Vendor Lock-in - You can get locked into a vendor if you use a proprietary platform. If you decide to switch to another vendor, you may face difficulties.

Potential Privacy Issues - Some companies may not have the same data protection and privacy policies as yours. If you combine your data with theirs, your data protection might be compromised.

Security Issues - It’s harder to keep your data secure if you use a third-party vendor. You have to trust them with your data and find out if they have the necessary security protocols in place.

Data Location Risks - You have to understand that your data is stored in the cloud vendor’s data centers. If a natural disaster or human error happens, you might lose your data.

No Direct Access - You can’t access your data directly, but only through a vendor’s user interface.

Lack of Control - You don’t have full control over your data because it’s hosted by a vendor. You can’t install software, change the configuration or do anything that could potentially harm the data.

 

Conclusion

 

Cloud computing is an IT service delivery model that enables users to access software, storage and other services from a cloud-based provider. Users can access these services from anywhere, as and when required, without the need for setting up their own servers or data centers. The essential characteristics of cloud computing are on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. Central to the idea of cloud computing is the notion of “shared responsibility”, whereby the provider and the user both contribute to the execution and management of the application.

 

Our Technology Partners