What is Cloud Computing ?


Cloud computing , its not a new thing as such and the tech has already been deep penetrated in our day to day lives and still not many are knowing that what they are using is cloud computing. Since the instance of internet going wide spread across the globe, cloud computing is one of the most propagated associated technology that has grown multi fold in past years. Some of you in the related field would be knowing in and outs of this tech in depth but most of the people are still unaware of this extremely powerful technology; though used by them on daily basis. So worry not I will try to cover most common and uncommon uses of cloud computing and what the stuff is all about in this article. 

                                 Cloud Computing symbolic image Credits Pixabay

The early and most widely used form of cloud computing that we all are familiar with today is an e-mail which changed the way we communicated. Now I hope you might would be getting some lines straight in your head what cloud computing is all about. In cloud computing generally a central server is remotely located and all the clients, users are connected to the client machine which is a web server, a dedicated mainframe computer or an central server with massive computing power. 

All the client machines may it be your mobile phone or an tablet or desktop or laptop for instance are connected to that central server or cloud computer ;through one or the other form of connectivity. The connectivity may be in the form of internet, VPN (Virtual Private Network) (VPN is a topic for discussion some other day.) or and dedicated point to point links from clients to cloud server. Again these links can be wired or wireless or both that depends on the availability requirement and lot of many things. Any ways now lets get back to the topic. 

So the ultimate processing power lies with the central server or a data center in that case. Now these clients can be made to connect and interact with central server or cloud computer in number of ways. 

Number one, clients can have dedicated applications to log in to cloud computer where in the credentials of clients are stored and they are given access to resources of the cloud computer according to access rights of the users. Second and most common way is through web browser a client can communicate with cloud computer.

And a third way is to communicate with cloud computer with application and browser or an programming terminal depending on device type like if you are using your Dropbox then in mobile you generally use an application. where as in desktop or laptop though an application is available but if you use some one's computer with no Dropbox application installed then you log in to your account through web browser. Server management is done through terminals, but now a days application and user interface for that too is common.

Now I will tell you some of the basic applications that you use day to day basis and these applications are possible only because of cloud computing. Your Google Drive is an classic example of cloud computing. Your G-mail or any mail for example is cloud computing. Your whats-app is too an cloud computing application. When you buy a Google Pixel phone google advertise its cloud storage space and undercuts Apple products with limited storage with a backing of cloud storage that Google provides with its Pixel Android phones, this too is cloud computing where in you get cloud storage space associated with your Pixel phone. IOT is a completely new field of connected devices and home automation all those things are not possible without any cloud computing. Of course the back bone of all of the above is internet, which led to invent of these tech which radically changed our lives for ever.

There are some basic concepts and models of use of cloud computing which are as below:

SAAS Software as a service :

CRM modules, your SAP ERP, e-mail, virtual desktop, chrome book, online games, cloud storage like Google drive and Dropbox etc. are categorized into software as service. SAAS provides mainly sharing of software to client machines and no other resources are available, its just the software that comes into interface for using particular service and hence software as a service. None of the infrastructure or platform of cloud computer is available to user or the client.

IAAS Infrastructure as a service:

In IAAS, refers to online services that provide high-level APIs used to de-reference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc. A hyper-visor, such as Xen, Oracle VirtualBox, Oracle VM, KVM, VMware ESX/ESXi, or Hyper-V, LXD, runs the virtual machines as guests. Pools of hyper-visors within the cloud operational system can support large numbers of virtual machines and the ability to scale services up and down according to customers' varying requirements.   

PAAS Platform as a service :

The provider typically develops toolkit and standards for development and channels for distribution and payment. In the PaaS models, cloud providers deliver a computing platform, typically including operating system, programming-language execution environment, database, and web server. Application developers can develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. With some PaaS offers like Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Platform and Google App Engine, the underlying computer and storage resources scale automatically to match application demand so that the cloud user does not have to allocate resources manually.

Why Cloud Computing ? Advantages and Disadvantages

So above three are the main typologies that prevails in cloud computing in today's world. So now the question; why do we  need cloud computing ? Of course advantages are unlimited. It is very economical to to operate and manage. Scale-ability is almost instantaneous which in traditional setup will be a night mare. The design and architecture of the system is robust and redundant. It is rapidly deploy able by large and medium enterprise and can be scaled up or down according to varying requirements. Upfront costs for IT infrastructure can be minimized by going in pay on use model. Setup and deployment times can be drastically reduced and manageability of large networks increase substantially.

The only disadvantages as of now is that IAAS and PAAS are not deploy able on small scale or may be it seems expensive to lower medium enterprises but you cannot say exactly so as their need for cloud computing at given point in time of their growth may be not so dynamic to deploy cloud based needs. Other most prominent thing is connectivity, and as connectivity fails every transaction and communication form central server is cut off with no access to any resources. But the matter of the fact is that in years to come, this tech is going to propagate more and more to smaller businesses in one or the other way and the potential of growth is immense as connectivity is always going to be better day by day and hardware is going to be cheap day by day, and these factors will attract more and more users to cloud computing for their business needs in days to come.  

So there is cloud computing everywhere around us but many of us did never know unless the you came across this article on Cloud Computing. I hope you enjoyed reading. Do let me know if you have any questions and also do let me know if you wan't me to write on any other similar topics that you have heard and do not know what it actually is ? 


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