Understanding the concept of Cloud Computing | Definition, types, benefits

by Precious Cyprain
4 mins read
cloud computing

Cloud computing definition 

Cloud computing refers to the provision of access through the web to computer services and products including databases, storage, development tools, networking, software, analytics and servers. Cloud computing helps businesses by providing speed and flexibility to develop and innovate their IT solutions.  

Cloud computing renders it possible to store files in a remote database instead of a local hard drive or storage device and enables the files to be retrieved by any gadget that has access to the internet. This makes it quite sought-after amongst individuals or businesses who need greater storage space and require a well-regulated off-site data backup solution. 

Also read: Introduction to cloud computing  

Cloud computing services are rendered by cloud service providers who manage large data centers that are remotely accessible by users. These services can be either private – in which the services are hosted on a network to specific clients or public – in which the services are rendered online for a specific price. 

Types of deployment models for cloud services 

Private cloud: Private cloud computing services are hosted at the organization’s cloud provider’s data service center and are reserved exclusively for one client, business or organization. They are mostly employed by huge organizations with large IT resources, and they provide a top level of security and control. 

Public cloud: Public cloud computing services are hosted by third-party providers who manage the software, hardware and general infrastructure and can be accessible to the customers over the web. The whole cloud computing infrastructure Is located on the premises of the cloud provider.

Hybrid cloud: Hybrid cloud computing services are a combination of the elements of both public cloud and private cloud services. Here, clients can host their business-critical applications and programs on their servers and also reserve their secondary applications on the cloud provider’s location. This offers more security and control over sensitive data while providing more flexibility to the user. 

Some benefits of cloud computing 

  1. Reduces costs: it eradicates significant capital expenses and renders huge cost-saving potential to businesses 
  2. Reliability: Users can back up their files, music or photos and be able to retrieve them anytime with the possibility of a crash like the regular hardware 
  3. Deploy globally: it makes the use of software possible on any browser, app or device, thereby enabling the accessibility of files and settings over any devices or browsers in any geographical location. 
  4. Saves space: The cloud computing structure enables users to manage storage space on their devices. They get to store data and files on the cloud thereby conserving the storage space on their laptops, smartphones or desktops. 
  5. Easier system or software upgrade: Utilizing Cloud computing allows easier and quicker software upgrades for users because software companies can provide their products’ upgrades through the web rather than the traditional flash drives or discs. 

The three types of cloud computing 

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):  

IaaS is a method in which cloud providers host infrastructure services such as application software, operating systems, servers, database, etc on the internet to enable the customers to access the services on an on-demand basis. This enables them to operate their workloads on the cloud.  

The customer can therefore choose to install, configure and manage any of the software in an outsourced service. These cloud computing examples include Heroku and Salesforce.com. 

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): 

In this most complex type of cloud computing, the provider hosts the infrastructure and middleware components which provide customers with the benefits of accessing a platform with the developer tools they need to create, deploy and manage web and mobile applications without the worries of maintaining the underlying infrastructure.  

This leads to efficiency while running applications. These cloud computing examples include Microsoft Azure and IBM cloud 

3. Software as a Service (SaaS): 

SaaS provides a delivery model in which software applications hosted and managed by the cloud provider are accessed by the user or customer over the internet. Customers subscribe to the service on a pay-as-you-go model or on-demand without having to pay for or manage their computing infrastructure.

They only get to be concerned about how to go about using the software. This cloud computing example includes Microsoft Office 365. 

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