What is Cloud Computing:

To understand what is cloud computing, let’s first understand what a cloud is and what computing is. A cloud is a group of servers on a global network. It is not a physical object but instead a vast network of remote servers around the globe that are hooked together and meant to operate as a single ecosystem. Computing simply means the use of computers to manage, process, and communicate information or data. So when we talk about cloud computing, it means the delivery of on-demand computing services over the internet on a pay-as-you go basis.

Let’s say you are a small company or a startup and you want to scale up your business. To handle more customers on your website or software and to handle more and more data every day, you need more computing power, more hardware, and more data storage. But doing that is expensive in every possible way. So to save you from all the costs and limitations of scaling up, cloud computing comes into the picture. You can get all the computing services, like data storage, hardware, and software, from a cloud service on a pay-as-you go basis.

Now let’s see all the benefits of cloud computing instead of an on-premises setup:

  • Scalability: Cloud computing is more scalable and flexible than an on-premises setup. Suppose you have an on-premises setup of servers that can handle 100,000 traffic, and let’s say there is a sudden increase in website traffic that goes to 150,000. What will you do in that emergency? You will have to put in new extra servers, and now you have a capacity of 200,000 traffic, but you are using only 150,000, which is a loss for a company. Also, if traffic now drops to 125,000, then again, it will be a loss. If you are using cloud services, it is a no-problem situation because, in cloud computing, you only pay for what you use. If you need to increase the server capacity, you can do it as per your requirements, and if you want to downgrade it, you can do it as per your requirements without any issues.
  • Storage: If you have the servers set up on-premises, you need a lot of storage space, and you also need to manage and maintain them. If you are using cloud services, it is not your problem any more, and everything will be handled by the cloud service provider
  • Data Security: On-premises setup has a low data security and it is tough to manage it whereas cloud services provide a robust data security 24 by 7.
  • Data Loss: In on-premises setups, data is more vulnerable to loss, and recovery is also more difficult. However, in cloud services, data is generally safer from loss due to strong security measures, and automatic backups and recovery are also easier and more convenient.
  • Accessibility: In on-premises setup data accessibility is not much and person available in the premises can also access the data. In cloud services data can be accessible from anywhere.
  • Collaboration: As accessibility is lower in on-premises setup so collaboration of teams is not possible on global scale while in the case of cloud services, data can be shared with the team easily all around the globe and thus collaboration of teams is easier.
  • Maintenance: On-premises setups require additional teams to manage and maintain the systems, which will increase your cost. In cloud services, you don’t need that, and all the maintenance will be handled by the cloud service provider.
  • Automatic updates: When it comes to on-premises setup the software is not updated automatically and it becomes an another headache while in case of cloud computing software update is automatic and you don’t need to be worried about that anymore.
  • Implementation Time: On-premises setup takes a long time to establish, while in the case of cloud computing, it’s a matter of a few minutes. You can also increase or decrease your server capacity in no time.

Types of cloud computing can be explained in two models-

1.) Deployment Model: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud

  • Public Cloud: Cloud infrastructure is available to the public, it is managed by the cloud service provider, and it can be used by anyone.
  • Private Cloud: It is used by a single private entity or company, and it can be managed by that company itself or by any third party.
  • Hybrid Cloud: As the name suggests, it’s hybrid, meaning a combination of both public and private clouds. For some parts of your work, like web apps, you can use the public cloud, and for sensitive data, you can use the private cloud.

2.) Service Model: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): Basic IT infrastructure is provided by the cloud service provider, like virtual machines and storage, and rest of the stuff is taken care by you.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service): Along with the basic IT infrastructure, the cloud service provider will also provide you with the platform for developing, testing, and managing the software application.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service): Software and hardware everything is managed by the cloud service providers.

You can also check the detailed description of IaaS PaaS and SaaS here.

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