How Cloud Computing Works: A Brief Guide

cloud computing

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a virtual pool of shared resources that offers storage, computing, database, and networking services which can be quickly deployed at scale.

To break this down to a layman:

The impact of cloud computing can be seen in settings where a group of employees need hardware and software to perform their roles. In a conventional setting of a case like this one, following the purchase of computers, software licenses also need to be purchased, so people in the group can gain access to the tools they need. For every new employee that joins the circle, additional software needs to be purchased in a case where the existing one doesn’t allow for new users. Doing this for every user is a complex process that is also not pocket-friendly.

cloud computing

However, technology discovered an alternative to eliminate these kinds of processes—cloud computing.

In cloud computing, users simply have to load one application and they can access all the tools they need. Thus, it takes off the duty of running the application from the computer to a web-server. An instance is logging into your Gmail account on a web server. The software used to access your account in such a case isn’t on your computer; rather it is on the web. Also, the storage for your messages is not on your computer; it is also on the web. As long as the user’s computer has the cloud computing system software (which is a web browser in the case of Gmail); the user is good to go.

In case you are shooting for the AWS solution architect certification; understanding the models, the characteristics and the benefits of cloud computing is also necessary for a good start on how cloud computing works.

The 3 Main Cloud Service Models

The use of cloud computing is not limited. Users can jump on it in several ways. If you are going to take the AWS courses in the future, you should also pay attention to basics like this one.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

This is the least complicated cloud service model. A typical example is Gmail, the free webmail service. Using a SaaS product, a user can easily gain access to the product by making use of their browser. This way, updates or installation is not a concern to the user. The services are usually based on subscription.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS offerings is a set of services that function together to take care of the need of a business on a large scale. A business may want to create a technological product that would be accessible all over the world, but use remote developers. In this case, a PaaS company will give an environment for total development environment. There, the software can be created, tested, and deployed within the agreed constraints. This way, the customer can focus on creativity and other parts of the business.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This is the most complicated cloud service model. IaaS is the public cloud environment and it is commoditized on the lowest levels possible. Azure, AWS, Google Cloud and other big holdings give their network connectivity, infrastructure’s resources, and security compliance as a product which enterprises can utilize to customize in ways that are best for them, in a bid to develop a kind of software offering which is cost-optimized.

Characteristics of Cloud Technology

1. Public: These are environments which are offered to the users and can be accessed using the public internet. This is the model with huge offerings such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform. It is the major one.

2. Private: Private cloud is not the same as a standard on-premise data center. Here, the owners need to buy and manage the employees and resources. Here, there’s improved security.

3. Hybrid: As the name connotes, Hybrid combines the aforementioned. Essentially, the public internet connects the public and private clouds.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers the following benefits, which are quite self-explanatory:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • A reduced need for on-site IT staff
  • Constant Innovation
  • Shared Responsibility Model
  • Backup and disaster recovery

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