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What is Cloud Computing? Explained with Examples

Summary:Cloud computing is a new buzz word in the IT industry. In this tutorial, I have explained what is Cloud computing with examples.

Cloud computing is a new buzz word. It is getting more popular because of its powerful infrastructure at a cheaper price.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing services and resources over the internet.

The resources may include server, database, storage, networking, analytics, intelligence like AI and others.

We can understand this with an example.

Suppose you are the owner of a pharma company. You need business applications and software to run your operations smoothly.

In earlier times you have to build large data centres, for which you have to spend time and money on server, security, storage, power and cooling.

These are just a few hardware parts. You also need to focus on its software parts like testing, development, backups, disaster recovery and many more.

In simple words, you will spend too much time on your IT infrastructure.

The modern solution to this problem will be cloud computing.

Instead of building large data centres, you can simply use cloud infrastructure to handle your applications.

All the business applications will be hosted on cloud which is much cheaper, efficient and easy to manage. Now, you will need relatively less number of peoples to manage your cloud applications.

Many things such as monitoring, testing, backups and disaster recovery can be automated. It will let you focus on your primary business by making your IT infrastructure automated, secure, stable and efficient.

You just have to pay for the resources which you use over the cloud.

The pricing model of Cloud computing is generally "pay as you go", which means you need to pay only for resources which you use.

Cloud Computing and Cloud Service Providers

Cloud computing also has large data centres all over the world but they are set up and managed by the cloud service providers.

They provide cloud as a service to peoples like you and me who has large computing requirements don't want to set up complex data centres.

Cloud service providers handle all the hardware and software on the underlying infrastructure.

Cloud is generally more secure because providers regularly update and patch their software. They have their own security teams working to make it secure.

Some of the major cloud service providers are Amazon Web services or AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Alibaba cloud.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Now, we know what is cloud. It's time to look at the top benefits of cloud computing.

Scalability

Cloud computing services can scale elastically. It means as the load increase we can easily scale our applications by adding more resources such as more computing power, bandwidth or storage.

Availability

Availability means the time cloud service provider guarantees that the data and services will remain online. They are measured in percentage and at a time span of 1 year.

For example, if a cloud guarantees 99.99999% of uptime it means it will go down for only 3 seconds a year.

Reliability

Cloud computing has features of automatic data backup, disaster recovery so the chances or impact of failures are very less.

Cost

As I have mentioned earlier, the cloud has 'pay as you go' pricing model. So cost is an advantage in cloud computing.

You pay only for the resources which you use. They are less costly as compared to set up your own data centres.

Security

Security is an important advantage of cloud computing.

Cloud offers a various set of tools and technologies to secure your application from attacks. Cloud service providers are always very active to keep their infrastructure secure.

There are still more advantages of cloud computing such as

  • Performance
  • Speed due to global data centres
  • Better collaborations
  • Detailed monitoring.

Uses of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is growing widely. It is used in almost every sectors.

Infrastructure as a Service

It means to deliver fundamental computing resources such as network, CPU, memory and others.

In our example, we can use cloud computing infrastructure to host our business application which falls under this category.

Storage

Because of high scalability, global data centres and the cheaper price they are widely used as storage providers for many applications worldwide.

Backup

Cloud is widely used for backup purpose due to its automation features. It is also cheaper, secure and has more availability as compared to alternatives.

Disaster Recovery

Due to inbuilt data backup, it becomes easy for disaster recovery. We can easily revert to the previous state of cloud in just simple clicks.

Big Data and Analytics

You must have heard the term Big data. Thanks to high availability and cheaper computing resources Cloud computing is growing its popularity in big data and analytics.

Intelligence

Cloud is not limited to anything. It is also expanding in the field of intelligence. Now you can also use intelligent models to predict and engage customers to your applications.

Business Process

Cloud is widely used in the business process. Business management applications such as ERP and CRM software are mostly hosted on some cloud as Software as a solution service.

Cloud Computing vs Hosted Solutions

Cloud ComputingHosted Solutions
More Scalable.Less scalable as compared to the cloud.
Cheaper because of pay as you go pricing model.The rigid pricing structure makes it costly.
It is more secure and various tools are provided for applications security.They are relatively less secure and you need will third party solutions for security.
Very high availability. Approx 99.9999999%.Most hosted solutions only commit approx 99.9-99.99% availability.
Cloud has enormous resources for scalability and better control.Hosted solutions are generally limited in terms of resources and control.
Easily integrate with other cloud products such as AI.You can only use your own hosted applications.

Summary

This was a simple explanation of cloud computing.

It is like your own data centre over the internet without any infrastructure setup problems. You will need a small team to handle your cloud applications as compared to having your own data centres.

Cloud computing is the future because of the features it provides at a cheaper price.

Benefits of cloud computing are:

  • Scalability
  • Availability
  • Reliability
  • Cost
  • Security
  • Performance
  • Speed
  • Better Collaborations
  • Better Monitoring

Uses of the cloud are:

  • Infrastructure as a service
  • Storage
  • Backup
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Big data and analytics
  • Intelligence
  • Business process

Cloud computing is better as compared to hosted solutions because of scalability and availability.