Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. Instead of storing data on a local storage device, the data will be stored online. It is often referred to as just “The cloud”.
Although the name sounds like data is being stored in the air, every provider of these services must have a large number of physical devices available. The objects that host the servers are called server farms. Providers often have server farms spread around the world, and many companies place them in satellite locations to reduce costs. Data is always backed up to more than one location in order to secure data in cases of failure or naturals disasters. Reputable companies have created and tested a security system, so they guarantee that only the owner can access their data.
Some of the major providers of the cloud are Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Microsoft Azure), IBM (IBM Cloud), Google(Google Cloud platform), Digital Ocean.
We can talk about types of cloud computing based on deployment or service model.
Based on the deployment model, the cloud can be:
- PUBLIC – the cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public over the internet and is owned by a cloud provider. It is accessible to anyone and you will pay in proportion to how much resources you use.
- PRIVATE – it provides unlimited access and spending, better data security, but the costs are higher because one person/company pays for everything.
- HYBRID – a combination of private and public. Company shares information on the public network, but have the possibility to keep part of data for itself.
- COMMUNITY – infrastructure is shared among multiple organizations that share a common interest. The cloud can be managed by an organization or by a third party.
Based on the service model, there are the following types of clouds:
- INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE – IaaS – provides companies with computing resources — including servers, networking, storage, and data-center space — on a pay-per-use basis. Users of it are IT, administrators.
- PLATFORM AS A SERVICE – PaaS – provides cloud platforms and runtime environments for developing, testing and managing the application, it allows software developers to deploy applications without requiring all the related infrastructure. Users are software developers.
- SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE – SaaS – if you don`t want to maintain any IT equipment, all software and hardware are provided and managed by the vendor so you don’t have to maintain anything. Users are end customers.
Advantages of the cloud:
- Cost efficiency – you will pay proportionally with how much you spend. There is no unused resources that you need to pay.
- You don’t need space for server
- If you want to manage software, you can get access, but there are no experts required for hardware maintenance
- Better data security that provider provides
- Data recovery is possible in case of disaster
- High flexibility – if the number of users of your application changes, you can easily to scale up or down.
- Automatic software updates
- Teams can collaborate from remote locations using technologies that enable data sharing between team members or customers
- Fast implementation
The cloud has many advantages, but, on the other side of the coin
- there is always a risk since in cloud all data of your company is online.
- the necessity of the internet -if you want to use the cloud, you need the internet with good connection speed,
- switching providers can be complicated if they do not use the same platforms,
- limited control over back-end infrastructure, because remote servers are wholly owned and operated by service providers,
- so you need to make good informed when choosing the provider and service.