Look at the sky…… You can see the clouds floating in luscious and boundless blue sky. A nature enthusiast may see it as white blotches swaying in the sky. But things have evolved and undergone changes. For today’s technology-stricken world, cloud is a metaphor for “the Internet”.
Cloud Computing is a network sharing resource which has been in practice from small networks to the far and complicated networks for big business magnets for the past ten years or so. Some networks still do refrain from using cloud service as it seems confusing to handle but the reality is just the opposite.
Cloud is basically a pathway or a platform for sharing a pool of resources that consists of both physical and virtual resources on the internet rather than relying on local hardware or servers. Structurally, it uses a network of remote servers hosted on Internet.
To understand the concept of cloud computing we’ll take a real time example. Consider a situation where we are assigned a project which needs lots of external resources like different software packages and data sharing between other networks. So, if the requirements are hosted on cloud, for usage, storage, sharing and management of these resources can be done directly on the cloud without depending on local servers.
Cloud computing offers individuals access to data and applications from nearly any point of access to the Internet, offers businesses a whole new way to cut costs for technical infrastructure, and offers big computer companies a potentially giant market for hardware and services.
The main characteristics of cloud computing are:
- The resources that are meant to be computed are pooled together to serve multiple consumers with different physical and virtual resources are dynamically assigned and re assigned according to the consumer demand.
- The resources hosted in the cloud can only be retrieved “on-demand”.
- It supports multi tenacity, i. e, for different consumer constituencies it provides features like service levels, isolation governance etc.
- It is used to cater different services; for storage, hosting servers etc.
Why cloud computing so popular?
All described in a nutshell in the image below.
There are four main types of clouds. They are:
- Public Cloud: As the name suggests, all the files, resources that are uploaded on the cloud are made available to all the public users. Users can use the reserve directly from cloud on demand as and when required.
- Private Cloud: This cloud mainly deals with a single organisation for pooling, sharing the files and data within its own network. Here, the network confines to that particular organisation only.
- Community Cloud: As the name suggests, it is for a community or in other words, a group of organisations. The cloud may or may not be controlled by a third party organisation.
- Hybrid Cloud: It’s a combination of both private ,public and community clouds. It finds application in areas where sensitive data are to be stored as well as resources should be made available for public sharing.
The most easily understandable and popular applications based on cloud storage is Microsoft’s OneDrive and Dropbox. In both these applications, files which can be pictures, documents etc. can be uploaded onto the cloud storage from any devices and those uploaded files can be accessed by any user on any other device who are registered with the the application.
Cloud is basically a network service. The users can modify the cloud to their needs and use the cloud so as to cater its needs as a “service”. That is, the same cloud can perform as a platform for some users whereas infrastructure for another section.
Mainly, cloud can provide three main services. They are:
- SaaS (Software as a Service): When cloud work as SaaS, software (application) are hosted on the cloud and these software can be used by the users on a subscription license agreement rather than relying on the original server. In this service, data is accessible from any connected computer. Since software is directly used from the cloud, no data is lost. It runs on distant remote computers that are connected to users via Internet.
- PaaS (Platform as a Service): In PaaS, cloud is used as a “platform” for developing as well as deploying applications. When used as a platform, it reduces complexity for generation of the project.
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): The whole infrastructure required for the complete build of the project is facilitated by the cloud , it is IaaS. All the functions of the server computers, hosting, sharing etc. are all done by the cloud, so there is no investment in the hardware required. So the infrastructure needed for these functions is supplied by the cloud as a “service”.
Our views have changed from the premature stage. Now cloud can be described as a network of computers , endless storage medium and a source of services deviating from its common meaning. Almost everything available on the internet (even this blog post you are reading:)!) are cloud hosted. So go the cloud computing way..!!