The Virtual Warehouse of scalable, unlimited resources! — Cloud Computing
Imagine sitting at home and watching Netflix. Your favorite show is on and you keep streaming for hours on end. Most of us focus on the series and the story, not the working of the streaming service itself. Notice that? Netflix is a streaming service, not a website, not a link, and not an app. So, How are you streaming it? You might’ve heard the buzz word behind it — Cloud Computing.
It is a virtual warehouse that helps you store and use services without owning them, like renting an apartment.
To put it in simple words — Cloud computing lets you use computer resources without installing or maintaining them. You only pay for the resources or services you use, which helps you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and provide greater scale for business. If you live in the 20th century, you are using the cloud every day — from Gmail to Dropbox, Netflix etc. According to the latest survey, 94% of organizations use the cloud. So, why is it considered to be a leading force in the IT Industry?
Why Cloud Computing?
The benefit of this virtual warehouse is in its definition itself — usage of resources without installing them. But memory space is not the only aspect that makes it a boon for mankind.
1. Cost — It eliminates the need for buying hardware and software, servers, power usage and electricity usage for cooling the devices, and IT experts for managing the infrastructure.
2. Agility — It offers you speed, making it possible to implement ideas faster and at a larger scale. This will also give time to experiment and gain new insights into improving businesses.
3. Global Scale — It can provide resources at the right time with the correct amount of infrastructure needed at any geographical location.
4. Reliability — It provides a backup of data and resources, for damage control. When a company has a lot of data on various laptops, the loss of any one would just be an inconvenience, not a potential disaster.
5. Productivity — It eliminates the need for extra mildly skilled employment for managing these resources.
Cloud Service Models
By now, all of us know what cloud computing does and why it is necessary. But, how are these features given to us by the Cloud?
Cloud computing is offered in three different service models which each satisfy a unique set of business requirements.
Software As A Service
Zoom, Google Meet, Google Docs, Gmail have become a great part of our day-to-day lives.
Did you know that these are the basic examples of SaaS!
SaaS is a software distribution model in which services are hosted by a cloud service provider. As these services are available to end-users over the internet, they do not need to install any software on their devices to access these services. SaaS providers deliver many services such as business services, document management, social networks and mail services.
Platform As A Service
PaaS provides a runtime environment which allows programmers to easily create, test, run, and deploy web applications. It delivers a framework for developers that they can build upon and use to create customized applications. It can streamline workflows when multiple developers are working on the same development project.
Google App Engine and AWS Elastic Beanstalk are two typical examples of PaaS.
Infrastructure As A Service
It allows customers to outsource their IT infrastructures such as servers, networking, processing, storage, virtual machines, and other resources. These cloud servers are typically provided to the organization through a dashboard or an API, giving IaaS clients complete control over the entire infrastructure. IaaS providers deliver many services such as compute, storage, network and load balancers.
Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine are some of the leading IaaS cloud service providers.
Cloud Deployment Methods
Knowing the features and the way in which the cloud service providers give them to us, it is highly important to know the different types of cloud in order to take enormous leverage of the cloud platform. That is where cloud deployment comes into the picture!
A cloud deployment model is the type of architecture a cloud system is implemented on. These models differ in terms of management, ownership, access control, and security protocols. The three most important cloud deployment methods are Private, Public and Hybrid.
Private cloud provides computing services to a private internal network (within the organization) and selected users instead of the general public. It provides a high level of security and privacy to data through firewalls and internal hosting. More control, security & privacy, improved performance are the major merits of the private cloud
Public Cloud provides a shared platform that is accessible to the general public through an Internet connection. The same storage can be used by multiple users at the same time. Public cloud is owned, managed, and operated by businesses, universities, government organizations, or a combination of them. Low cost, time saving, quick and easy setup, business agility, scalability and reliability are some of the advantages of public cloud.
The main aim of hybrid cloud is to create a unified, automated, and well-managed computing environment. In this, non-critical activities are performed by the public cloud and critical activities are performed by the private cloud. Flexible, secure, cost efficient, secure, better risk management are the key features of hybrid cloud.
What is new in Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is the most flamboyant technological innovation of the 21st century! There are always constant improvements and innovations in this technology.
What are the recent buzzwords related to Cloud Computing??
Right now, Serverless Computing, Docker and Kubernetes are the trending topics when in the Cloud domain.
Let’s have a quick glance of what these terms actually mean!
Serverless computing is an execution model for the cloud in which a cloud provider dynamically allocates and charges the user only for the compute resources and storage needed to execute a particular piece of code. The prime advantages of serverless computing include lower costs, simplified scalability, simplified backend code and quicker turnaround
Docker is a tool designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications by using containers. Containers allow a developer to package up an application with all of the parts it needs, such as libraries and other dependencies, and deploy it as one package.
Kubernetes is an open source container orchestration platform that automates many of the manual processes involved in deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications. The main difference between docker and kubernetes is that, kubernetes are meant to run across a cluster while docker runs on a single node.
How do we use cloud computing in our daily lives?
Almost every single thing we do on the internet today has something to do with the Cloud!
Some of the very vast applications of Cloud Computing include :
Video streaming platforms — Cloud computing helps video streaming platforms increase bandwidth to provide better performance and viewing experience
Software development — Developers prefer cloud due to better data integrity, data recovery and cost efficiency.
Travel and Hospitality — This industry uses cloud computing to increase mobility, security and scalability according to the season.
Social media — Various social media platforms use cloud computing due to its ability to handle multimedia-rich with ease.
Automotive Industry — Companies collect sensor data from cars to give drivers dynamically updated map information and process it using cloud computing for better results.
Natural Language Processing bots — In order to provide customized solutions, products and messages based on the behaviors of the users, voice assistants and other NLP bots use cloud computing.
Data science — Cloud computing is used to analyze the pattern of organizational data to give insights and make predictions.
Healthcare — These services use cloud computing for electronic medical records, mobile apps, patient portals, devices with IoT, big data analytics.
Management tasks — Cloud computing is used in apps to perform time tracking, organizing notes, income, expenses, profits and losses in real time.
Humanity has reached great heights by sharing and maintaining symbiotic relationships. A decade ago, we couldn’t even imagine sharing resources or opening a digitally supported organization within minutes or seconds. Today, we have an abundance of enterprises waiting to be discovered or already on the run to be a successful corporation. The amount of growth we have seen is tremendous.
This is just the beginning of an era that ensues more collaboration and less competition.
What we just saw, is the foundation for more colossal projects and endeavors. Cloud Computing is an ever-growing domain that has a hand in any venture that can and will be taken by organizations or individuals in the coming years.
So, before you dig in, skim through the basics!