Basic Concepts of Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

There are several definitions floating around on the web. In my view the simplest definition would be: A computing service that is delivered over the internet is called Cloud Computing.

Some Benefits Cloud Services

There are several benefits due to which organisations are moving towards cloud. Here I have captured some important benefits and considerations.

Cost

By adopting cloud computing organisations can eliminate the capital expense (CapEx) of running datacenters. Also, the operating expense (OpEx) of hardware and facility can be eliminated by moving to cloud. For most of the cloud services customers only pays for what they consume which gives a consumption based model.

Scalability

Cloud has the capability to scale elastically, meaning it can provide required amount of IT resources (compute, storage or network etc) in right time from right location.

Performance

Cloud computing services are hosted on globally spread datacenters that are connected via low latency backbone network of the cloud provider. Most cloud providers frequently upgrade their hardware to latest generation providing fast and efficient computing platform to the customers.

Security

Customers can be benefited by a broad range of products, policies and controls to strengthen the security of their environment.

On-demand self-service

Consumers can provision most of the resources on cloud by themselves whenever required without the need of capacity planning.

Productivity

By adopting cloud, customers can eliminate various tasks such as facility management, hardware maintenance etc, which gives the IT team opportunity to focus on more important work.

Reliability

Most of the cloud computing resources are hosted on back-end fault tolerant hardware infrastructure. Cloud providers normally offer native backup and disaster recovery solution using which customers can easily achieve their business continuity plan.

Some Useful Terms

High Availability

Provides higher up-time of a service than normal.

Scalability

The ability of a system to grow and manage increased demand.

Elasticity

Ability to grow and shrink on demand basis.

Agility

Ability to rapidly develop, test and launch applications.

Fault Tolerance

Enables a system to operate normally in the event of failure of some of its components.

Operational Recovery

Service is restored in the same datacenter or region typically from backup.

Disaster Recovery

Service is restored in a different datacenter or region. It can be achieved by restoring the service using off-site backup or replicating the service to a secondary region.

Types of Cloud Computing

Public Cloud

Available for public to consume the cloud services over the internet. Example — Microsoft Azure.

Private Cloud

Privately owned and managed. Typically hosted on organisation’s own datacenter. This has the capability to offer similar features and benefits as public cloud but only restricted to the organisation who owns the infrastructure.

Hybrid Cloud

This is a combination of public and private cloud environment sometimes having a private secure connectivity between these two.

Types of Cloud Services

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

By opting IaaS organisations can build a virtual datacenter on cloud to host IT infrastructure components such as virtual machines, storage and network and the customer is responsible to manage all those components.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Customers can consume this service without worrying about the underlying infrastructure components which is managed by the cloud provider and customers are left with very minimum management responsibilities of the service only. Azure SQL Database is a PaaS service for which customers don’t need to setup any network or virtual machine. The service can be consumed over the internet once provisioned. But customer may need to configure additional backup as per their need.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

In this model cloud provider delivers software over the internet where everything is transparent to the customer. The cloud provider is responsible for complete management of the software including high availability and disaster recovery.

Serverless Computing

This is kind of PaaS service but often considered as a separate type of cloud service. It mainly focuses on application functionalities such as Azure Function.

Thanks for reading, give it a 👏 if you like it. Please leave a comment and let me know if you have any feedback.

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