In Simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing the data and programs on remote servers that are hosted on the internet instead of the computer’s hard drive or local server. Cloud computing is also referred to as Internet-based computing.
Cloud Computing Architecture: Cloud computing architecture refers to the components and sub-components required for cloud computing. These components typically refer to:
- Front end(fat client, thin client)
- Back-end platforms(servers, storage)
- Cloud-based delivery and a network(Internet, Intranet, Intercloud).
Hosting a cloud: There are three layers in cloud computing. Companies use these layers based on the service they provide.
At the bottom is the foundation, the Infrastructure where the people start and begin to build. This is the layer where the cloud hosting lives.
Now, let’s have a look at hosting: Let’s say you have a company and a website and the website has a lot of communications that are exchanged between members. You start with a few members talking with each other and then gradually the number of members increases. As the time passes, as the number of members increases, there would be more traffic on the network and your server will get slow down. This would cause a problem. A few years ago, the websites are put on the server somewhere, in this way you have to run around or buy and set the number of servers. It costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time. You pay for these servers when you are using them and as well as when you are not using them. This is called hosting. This problem is overcome by cloud hosting. With Cloud Computing, you have access to computing power when you needed. Now, your website is put in the cloud server as you put it on a dedicated server. People start visiting your website and if you suddenly need more computing power, you would scale up according to the need.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting:
- Scalability: With Cloud hosting, it is easy to grow and shrink the number and size of servers based on the need. This is done by either increasing or decreasing the resources in the cloud. This ability to alter plans due to fluctuation in business size and needs is a superb benefit of cloud computing, especially when experiencing a sudden growth in demand.
- Instant: Whatever you want is instantly available in the cloud.
- Save Money: An advantage of cloud computing is the reduction in hardware costs. Instead of purchasing in-house equipment, hardware needs are left to the vendor. For companies that are growing rapidly, new hardware can be large, expensive, and inconvenient. Cloud computing alleviates these issues because resources can be acquired quickly and easily. Even better, the cost of repairing or replacing equipment is passed to the vendors. Along with purchase costs, off-site hardware cuts internal power costs and saves space. Large data centers can take up precious office space and produce a large amount of heat. Moving to cloud applications or storage can help maximize space and significantly cut energy expenditures.
- Reliability: Rather than being hosted on one single instance of a physical server, hosting is delivered on a virtual partition that draws its resource, such as disk space, from an extensive network of underlying physical servers. If one server goes offline it will have no effect on availability, as the virtual servers will continue to pull resources from the remaining network of servers.
- Physical Security: The underlying physical servers are still housed within data centers and so benefit from the security measures that those facilities implement to prevent people from accessing or disrupting them on-site.
- Outsource Management: When you are managing the business, Someone else manages your computing infrastructure. You do not need to worry about management as well as upgradation.
To more clarification about how cloud computing has changed the commercial deployment of the system. Consider above the three examples:
- Amazon Web Services(AWS): One of the most successful cloud-based businesses is Amazon Web Services(AWS), which is an Infrastructure as a Service(Iaas) offering that pays rent for virtual computers on Amazon’s infrastructure.
- Microsoft Azure Platform: Microsoft is creating the Azure platform which enables the .NET Framework Application to run over the internet as an alternative platform for Microsoft developers. This is the classic Platform as a Service(PaaS).
- Google: Google has built a worldwide network of data centers to service its search engine. From this service, Google has captured the world’s advertising revenue. By using that revenue, Google offers free software to users based on infrastructure. This is called Software as a Service(SaaS).
- IBM Cloud is a collection of cloud computing services for business provided by the IBM Corporation. It provides infrastructure as a service, software as a service, and platform as a service.
- Oracle Cloud is a collection of cloud services offered by Oracle Corporation, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).
- Alibaba Cloud is the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, providing a comprehensive suite of global cloud computing services to power both their international customers’ online businesses and Alibaba Group’s own e-commerce ecosystem.
- Tencent Cloud is a cloud service platform provided by Tencent. It provides a range of services such as virtual machines, storage, databases, and analytics.
- Rackspace is a provider of hybrid cloud computing, founded in 1998. It provides managed hosting, cloud hosting, and email and apps services.
These are just a few examples of the wide range of applications for cloud computing. As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for cloud computing will continue to expand.
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