Working as Design Head with Reliance Jio Cloud Services, the most common question I’ve encountered is “What exactly is Cloud Computing?” Answering this question with an examples always worked for me. So I thought I’d better penned down this article for the beginners who wants to explore the amazing cloud arena.
Cloud Computing means storing and accessing data and programs in ‘the cloud’. When I say “Cloud” it doesn’t mean the visible mass of condensed watery vapor floating in the atmosphere you see outside your window right now. Cloud Computing means the hardware and Software you’re using sitting on your desktop is provided for you as a service by another company and which can be access over the internet.
Still Confused? Let’s look at some examples…
Example 1: You are a start-up company planned to launch an E-Commerce website for which you will require huge corpus of money to set up a complete Infrastructure which includes Power Backup Setup, Server Installations, Big Storage, Software Licenses, Development Environment, and Service Engineers for support.
But through the Cloud, you will spend considerable amount of money and gain access to great computing power at incredibly low cost. This will allow you to own something as far as IT infrastructure is concerned. Through virtualization, start-ups like yours can do great things with less physical server hardware. You can increase or reduce your storage consumption and pay for what you are utilizing using cloud’s “Pay as you Go” model.
Example 2: You are a die-hard gamer and you want to play the latest released Game title “Call of Duty” on your desktop Computer. Call of Duty require huge RAM Memory and Storage to run on computers with High-End Graphic Cards, Processors etc. but you found that your desktop computer is not powerful enough to enable all the visual effects and achieve high frame rates to play the game.
Here come the Cloud Computing services as life saver. Instead of installing the game on your computer, you’d only have to load one application. This application will connect you to remote machines owned by Cloud Computing Services over the internet. These remote machines are equipped with powerful cloud server, High-End Graphic Cards, Data Servers, Processor, and Unlimited RAM that will run your game smoothly usually in a completely seamless way. It doesn’t matter to you where the remote machine’s hardware and software is located, it’s just somewhere in the cloud that the internet represents.
Types of Computing
Desktop Computing: It’s your personal computer/laptop that uses compute process consisted of Power Supply, Processor, Motherboard, RAM, Hard Disk, LAN Card and Graphic Card.
Client Server Computing: A Computer network connected to multiple computers sharing resources via server over the internet. An Intranet kind of distributed application structure used by banks and Retails companies. For e.g. different computers connected to each other via network in any one branch of HSBC bank.
Cluster Computing: More than 2 Client Server connecting and sharing resources and load via Load Balancer. They also known as Homogeneous Computing because it shares similar Operating System and Servers. For e.g. different servers connected to each other via network in any one branch of HSBC bank.
Grid Computing: Different Client Server located at different geographical location connects and shares resources. Multiple services in multiple servers’ acts like single server is called Grid Computing. For e.g. different servers from multiple city branches of HSBC bank connected to each other over the internet.
Cloud Computing: Combination of Grid Computing and Cluster Computing is known as Cloud Computing.
Deployment Models of Cloud Computing
Let’s see how Cloud offers the delivery of services and solutions to extremely large number of users via four different types of deployment model and services model.
Private Cloud: Owned by a specific entity or an Organization and normally used by that entity or one of its customers. A private cloud can be located in the customer’s own data center or computer room but it can also be hosted in a service provider’s data center. It offers increased security at a greater cost. For e.g. customers like Educational Institutions, Banks uses private cloud services.
Public Cloud: Used by public. All the physical resources is owned and operated by a third party cloud computing provider. May be owned by a large organization offering cloud services. For e.g. Dropbox, Evernote etc.
Hybrid Cloud: A cloud consists of two or more private, public or community clouds.
Different Models of Cloud
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS is one of the fundamental service which provides access to computing resources in a virtualized environment i.e. the server is running in the service provider’s data centers, but is fully managed by the customer. It provides computing infrastructure like virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, load balancers and IP addresses. This includes the operating system (which can be any operating system), the applications running on this operating system and the data stored on the server.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): In this service model a server is running in the service provider’s data center’s and fully managed and hosted by the service provider accessed by the users via internet. The customer however is managing the applications running on the server and for the data stored on the server. This service is hosted in the cloud and Platform as a service, is referred as PaaS, it provides a platform and environment to allow developers to build applications and services. This service is hosted in the cloud and accessed by the users via internet.
Software as a Service (SaaS): in this service model, all software is running in the provider’s data center and also managed by the service provider. SaaS or software as a service is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network (internet). For e.g. Microsoft 360 and Adobe CC Design
Some existing cloud computing services that you should consider for your business if you are not using them already are backups, website hosting, email, office applications, collaboration, CRM, LMS and many others. There are great solutions for cloud hosted email as well on Google Apps or Microsoft 365 services. Google Docs, Microsoft 365 and Zoho all offer cloud based office applications.
Cloud computing is a quickly changing area that will undoubtedly continue to play an increasingly major role for non-profits, charities, and libraries as well as their IT systems.
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or recommending to your friends or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.
Let me know your thoughts.