Cloud Computing is the practice of storing and managing resources in remote servers that are hosted on the Internet. It is the delivery of on-demand computing resources over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis.
enables organizations to consume resources based on their requirement, where the consumer can make payment for the actual resource they use. These resources include data, software, virtual machines, storage, applications, development platforms, or even a server. Generally, the cloud vendor/cloud service provider handles all the back-end maintenance and infrastructure costs.
Characteristics of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing exhibits 7 key characteristics that are as follows:
- Maintenance – Ease of maintenance is an attractive characteristic of cloud. The cloud service provider is responsible for the management of resources and services. The installation of resources need not be done in individual systems.
- Multi-tenancy – The characteristic of a software that allows an instance of the program to serve several isolated consumers is called as multi-tenancy.
- Resource Pooling – It allows cloud vendors to pool large-scale IT resources to serve multiple users; done using a multi-tenant model, where the resources are assigned and reassigned based on the user demand.
- Security – Cloud computing enhances the security of the resources, as the resources are placed in a centralized server. When compared to traditional systems, cloud computing offers better security for data and other resources stored in it.
- Productivity – Since multiple users can work on same resource simultaneously, the productivity of the organization will be increased significantly.
- Elasticity – Based on the requirements, the organization can automatically stretch the resources dynamically, maximizing the usage of resources.
- Scalable – It refers to the ability of the cloud to increase the workload size by provisioning manually within the existing infrastructure. This does not affect the performance of the cloud and is done to handle the growing amount of demand for a resource/service.
Cloud Computing Deployment Models
Cloud computing services can be deployed 3 ways based on the importance of certain criteria.
- Private Cloud
- Public Cloud
- Hybrid Cloud
Private Cloud – This cloud infrastructure is solely operated for a closed group/domain and not meant for external users. Though private clouds are quite expensive, it offers a complete security by keeping the resources within company’s firewall.
Public Cloud – The services offered by the public cloud are available for public use and can either be free or can be a metered service. Public cloud offers best economy of scale to its customers and are inexpensive to set-up.
Hybrid Cloud – It is a composition of two or more types of clouds that remain distinct but are bound together. Hybrid clouds offer the benefits of multiple cloud services that are bound together. Hybrid cloud adoption depends upon many factors like requirements, data security, and level of control required over data.
Cloud Computing Service Models
Cloud computing services are mainly classified into 3 types, namely,
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service: IaaS allows you to rent IT infrastructure like servers, virtual machines, networks, storage, installation of operating systems in VM – from a cloud service provider.
Software as a Service: SaaS refers to a cloud computing service that delivers software applications over Internet, based on demand and subscription.
Platform as a Service: PaaS offers development platform/environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing offers several benefits for both the businesses and end-users. The key benefits of cloud computing are as follows:
- Metered Services - The resources are measured at a granular level, and this enables the users to pay only for the resources they use.
- Self-Service Provisioning - Allows end-users to provision computing capabilities on demand and eliminates the need for direct intervention of IT administrators.
- Workload Resilience - Implements redundant resources to ensure resilient storage and helps users to run their workloads continuously with minimal breakdowns.
- Migration Flexibility - Allows organizations to move certain workloads to or from the cloud for cost savings or to utilize new services.
- Maintenance & Accessibility – Maintenance of resources can be done easily, and the resources can be accessed from different locations.
Though cloud computing is still an emerging technology, it has been a boon for several organizations as it helps in reducing the cost and overall investment. Several organizations have started investing in cloud-based research and development. Indeed, it not only simplifies the processes but also reduces your overheads to a significant extent.