In this article, I will be explaining to you about the theory, concepts and benefits behind cloud computing. Also, some insight on why and when to use such technology, how does it differ from traditional storing concepts and so on. So, let’s jump in.

The Cloud — Why?

In the past times organizations generally did maintain their hardware and software assets in their own data centers within the organization’s premises, often called as on-premises data centers. Maintaining these types of data centers require huge infrastructure services. Also, the high cost of this method limited the organization’s ability to do experiments.

As the use of the Internet increased, so did the demand for computing, storage, and networking devices. For the majority of the companies and organizations, it became inefficient and costly to maintain a major physical data center. Now you can understand why this concept of Cloud Computing was invented.

“Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.”

What is meant by the above phrase?

Well, it simply means that the companies no longer need to maintain the hardware or software resources in their physical data centers, and they only have to pay these cloud services based on the usage of the resources.

Companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) own and maintain these data centers and provide virtualized resources and services to users over the Internet.

Now let’s differentiate between on-premise data centers vs. the cloud,

So, now let’s take a look at the most commonly discussed topic, the Cloud Computing Service Models!

There are three main types of Service Models out there.

1. IaaS — Infrastructure as a Service

This service model provides the basic infrastructure or the computing resources like virtual servers, networks, operating systems, databases plus maintenance and support along the way. AWS and Microsoft Azure are among the most popular IaaS providers among the community.

2. PaaS — Platform as a Service

This service facilitates development, testing and organizing of various applications for a business. It comes with a Virtual Runtime Environment to support the above-mentioned tasks. The Google App Engine and the AWS Elastic Beanstalk (EB) are two common examples of PaaS.

3. SaaS — Software as a Service

As the name indicates this service mainly provides cloud-based web applications. This service model has the largest market share compared to other two service models in cloud computing. Microsoft Office 365 and Dropbox are popular examples for SaaS.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Here are some of the key benefits we can get from cloud computing.

1. Pay as you go — most of the cloud resources are based on this. There we only need to pay for the computer resources when we use it and the amount we used from it.

2. Increased speed — The resources are more closer to the organization, which means less time to deliver those resources to the clients within minutes.

3. Globally available — With a few clicks, an application can be deployed to several regions around the world. This results in less delays and a better customer experience at a lower cost.

4. Cost effective — There is no need to spend money on maintaining data centers and there is no need to empower physical infrastructure.

Cloud computing has been around for a long time now. It will continue to evolve as faster and more reliable networks providing greater benefits to the parties involved.

So, I hope you got some sort of understanding of what this cloud computing really means. If you are interested in it, below are some links that can provide you further on the topic.

That’s all for this one. Hope to meet you again in another reading, take care!

Undergraduate at University of Moratuwa.

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