An Introduction to Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is one of the most important and rapidly growing fields of information technology. The growth of this market can be attributed to the increased adoption of cloud-based services by all types of businesses. Cloud computing has revolutionized the working experience in every business sector. It enables us to access computing resources whenever and wherever we need them. it denied the dependencies on traditional infrastructure and made us more productive instead of fearing and bearing the prices & maintenance of infrastructure. In general, we define cloud computing as “The computing resources and services like Storage, Web Hosting, Web Servers, Databases, processing power, etc. being sold over the internet called cloud computing”. Instead of owning and maintaining the physical hardware, businesses can avail resources online by paying an amount to cloud services providers. In return, the cloud delivers them affordability, scalability, and flexibility.
A Short History of Cloud Computing
Before the cloud computing technology, if any business needed more resources like storage or processing power, they had to install on-premises hardware. For example, if a company ran out of storage they had to buy a hard disk drive to store more data similarly if they need more processing power they’d install another computer which of course increases the cost and energy consumption. Here the need for a system like Cloud Computing was absolute.
In the 1960s, An American computer scientist and psychologist Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider was working on ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), which developed a system to access the data from anywhere at any time. In 1972, IBM developed a virtual machine that could communicate with the mainframe computers and used their resources remotely. In 1983, a company named CompuServe offered a small amount of disk space to be used remotely. In the 1990s, cloud computing evolved slowly and the term “Cloud Computing” was coined in 1997 by a computer scientist named Ramnath Chellappa. The word cloud was being used to represent the processing power or storage available & accessible online.
The real evolution of cloud computing started rapidly after many of the cloud service providers came into the market. Amazon launched Amazon Web Services, Google launched Google Engine, Microsoft Azure was also launched and these services provided the solution to a bundle of problems to online businesses.
Types of Cloud Computing (Deployment Models)
There are three types of cloud computing:
1. Public Cloud: This is the most common type of cloud computing deployment model. All of the resources are shared with the public; it is deployed globally and managed by a third-party cloud service provider. For example, traveling on an airplane or a train, here you are using the service as a particular seat and when you needed it you booked it but when you don’t have to travel you won’t pay anything. Similarly, the public cloud provides you with this type of flexibility. The cost is very less whereas the scalability is very high. Maintenance and reliability are ensured by the cloud service provider.
Example of Public Cloud:
Microsoft Azure is one of the great examples of the Public Cloud.
2. Private Cloud: This type of cloud service is owned by a business or hosted by any third party but its usage is dedicated to a single business or person, no resources are shared with others in the private cloud. In other words, the computing service used within the organization is called a private cloud. It can’t be accessed outside of the organization and is deployed locally. Yet it is much more costly than the public cloud, but it provides high-level security and privacy, efficiency, and reliability. Private cloud infrastructure provides more control over resources that can be customized to achieve more scalability. Private cloud in cloud computing can be related to a private jet in real-life although it is expensive to buy, it provides more control over traveling time, security, and privacy.
Examples of Private Cloud:
• Microsoft Azure
• IBM Cloud Private
• Dell EMC
• Google Virtual Private Cloud
3. Hybrid Cloud: The combination of both Private and Public Cloud is known as hybrid cloud. The hybrid cloud contains all of the advantages of the both private and public cloud. Hybrid Cloud is used to overcome the disadvantages of private cloud because it has less versatility and is much more costly. Whereas the organizations are not supposed to publicly present their confidential information therefore they use the Hybrid Cloud deployment model for smoother cloud computing.
Examples of Hybrid cloud:
• Google Anthos
• Azure Stack
• Azure Arc
• AWS Cloud Computing
Types of Cloud Computing Services (Services Models)
There are three types of cloud computing services:
1. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): It provides the whole infrastructure to its customers like operating system, computing resources, networking technology, storage, etc. It offers all of these services & resources to be accessed on-demand. The IaaS customers have the freedom to utilize the cloud resources as they want, they are not bounded to use a specific operating system or other application instead they are independent to utilize their cloud resources as they want. Let’s discuss a non-technical and real-life example IaaS: a house owner (considered as IaaS cloud service provider) is offering his empty house (Infrastructure) for rent and his customer (considered cloud service customer) acquires that empty house on rent. Now it is the customer’s choice, how he fills up his house which material is being used to be placed in that house. The house owner is providing the infrastructure and the maintenance only. This is the whole concept behind Infrastructure as a Service.
• Google Compute Engine
• AWS EC2 (AWS IaaS)
• Digital Ocean
2. PaaS (Platform as a Service): PaaS cloud services are mostly used by developers because it provides the runtime environment and platform to them. In this service, the customer has no choice to choose the operating system, instead, the development and deployment tools and access to UI (user interface) are provided. The customer (developer) is not supposed to purchase the expensive development tools, hardware, and software separately, all of this stuff is provided by the PaaS service provider.
• Google App Engine
• Unity 3D
• 3Ds Max
• Microsoft Windows Azure
• AWS Elastic Beanstalk PaaS
• Apache Stratos
• Magneto Commerce Cloud
3. SaaS (Software as a Service): This type of cloud service model only provides software services to its clients. This can be used by any type of user such as technical or non-technical, businesses or individuals, etc. The SaaS makes the cloud-based application accessible for the users, whereas the SaaS providers in cloud computing are responsible for the availability and maintenance of the hardware and software. SaaS-enabled us to use cross-platform applications like the windows applications can be used from a browser where a decent internet speed is the only requirement.
• Microsoft Office Online
This image illustrates the various functionalities and controls over the cloud services here the accessibility of the client is denoted in white color in IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS cloud services. Whereas the red color denotes the cloud service providers’ responsibilities.