Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing

What is Cloud computing?

Cloud computing has been a real buzz-word in the recent years. “Cloud” simply refers to the means of storage – i.e. the internet.

Thus, cloud computing refers to the computing done on the internet rather than traditional way of doing computing on local devices and storage. With advancement in technology, the costs of computing have lowered, thus giving further impetus to cloud computing. Besides, managing computing power on a large scale reduces the cost due to economies of cost.

Cloud computing existed before the term “Cloud Computing” existed in the sense that users stored their website data on servers. But that was the limitation of cloud storage in those times. Now-a-days, clouds even offer huge processing capabilities, Solid State Device (SSD) storage, variety of Operating System.

The resource provided to a user, in most cases, are not actively managed by the user himself and it is rather the cloud service provider who manages the resources automatically. This way, the user can focus more on the task at hand rather than wasting too much time on system configuration.

Models of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers different types of models based on the needs of the user. Some of the widely known models of cloud computing are:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service – This model provides users with basic infrastructure on-demand to work upon, e.g. server storage, processing power, network, load balancers etc.
  2. Platform as a Service – This model helps the programmers by offering them an environment/platform where they can develop computer applications. Here, the control of user is only on the application, and not on the underlying resource.
  3. Software as a Service – This model provides users with computer applications/softwares that run on cloud/internet as compared to the traditional way of running them on local computers. This way, the user always has the latest copy of the software since the service provider updates the software regularly. On the other hand, the user needs to update applications manually on local computers.
  4. Serverless computing – In this model, the service provider completely manages the server side including configuration, capacity handling and maintenance so that the user can focus solely on development.

Types of Clouds

The clouds deployed may be:

  1. Private – They usage is restricted to one private organisation.
  2. Public – This cloud is free for public consumption.
  3. Hybrid – This is a combination of the above two.
Cloud computing

Advantages

  1. Due to economies of cost, cloud computing is cheaper as compared to traditional computing.
  2. The limits of cloud computing for a user are his/her budget. There is near unlimited availability of resources with the cloud service providers.
  3. Deployment of cloud infrastructure is quite easy as well as quick and can be done in few clicks of a mouse.
  4. Most cloud service providers have the facility to take backups of your data, often at a premium price.
  5. You get hold of fresh software as soon as it is released. There is no concept of downloading the software and installing it manually.
  6. It allows for mobility wherein the users can manage their cloud services from by just using any electronic device (mobile phone, tablet, laptop)
  7. It allows for a collaborative approach as users can share resources.

Disadvantages

  1. Since data is stored on the internet, there is always a chance that the data might be hacked into and stolen.
  2. Sometimes, the user needs to do manual configuration of his/her resources.
  3. Performance of cloud infrastructure can vary depending upon the cloud service provider.
  4. Personal support of some cloud service providers may not be good.
  5. Outage can happen anytime for your cloud service provider and availability of your cloud data/infrastructure can be affected.
  6. Migrating from one vendor to another may not be an easy transition.
  7. The user has limited control over the cloud resources.

For Wikipedia entry on Cloud Computing, click here.

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