Cloud Computing


Cloud computing is the on demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet. The delivery of different  services  through the internet. These resources include tools and applications like data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software.



Cloud Types: Private, Public and Hybrid, Community:

Depending on the type of data you’re working with, you’ll want to compare public, private, and hybrid clouds in terms of the different levels of security and management required.

§  Public Cloud – Whole computing infrastructure is located on the premises of a cloud computing company that offers the cloud service.

§  Private Cloud – Hosting all your computing infrastructure yourself and is not shared. The security and control level is highest while using a private network.

§  Hybrid Cloud – using both private and public clouds, depending on their purpose. You host your most important applications on your own servers to keep them more secure and secondary applications elsewhere.

§  Community Cloud – A community cloud is shared between organizations with a common goal or that fit into a specific community (professional community, geographic community, etc.). 



Types of cloud services: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, FaaS:

Cloud computing services fall into 4 categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and FaaS (functions as a service). These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack, because they build on top of one another.

1.    Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is the most basic category of cloud computing services that allows you rent IT infrastructure (servers or VM’s) from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

2.    Platform as a service (PaaS) refers to the supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. It is designed to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.

3.    Software as a service (SaaS) is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet as per the demand and on a subscription basis. SaaS helps you host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance (software upgrades and security patching).

4.    FaaS (functions as a service) adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS, so that developers are completely insulated from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of handling the hassles of virtual servers, containers, and application runtimes, they upload narrowly functional blocks of code, and set them to be triggered by a certain event. FaaS applications consume no IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use fees.





Advantages:

 

1: Cost Savings Perhaps, the most significant cloud computing benefit is in terms of IT cost savings. Businesses, no matter what their type or size, exist to earn money while keeping capital and operational expenses to a minimum. With cloud computing, you can save substantial capital costs with zero in-house server storage and application requirements. The lack of on-premises infrastructure also removes their associated operational costs in the form of power, air conditioning and administration costs. You pay for what is used and disengage whenever you like - there is no invested IT capital to worry about. It’s a common misconception that only large businesses can afford to use the cloud, when in fact, cloud services are extremely affordable for smaller businesses.

2: Reliability With a managed service platform, cloud computing is much more reliable and consistent than in-house IT infrastructure. Most providers offer a Service Level Agreement which guarantees 24/7/365 and 99.99% availability. Your organization can benefit from a massive pool of redundant IT resources, as well as quick failover mechanism - if a server fails, hosted applications and services can easily be transited to any of the available servers.




3: Manageability Cloud computing provides enhanced and simplified IT management and maintenance capabilities through central administration of resources, vendor managed infrastructure and SLA backed agreements. IT infrastructure updates and maintenance are eliminated, as all resources are maintained by the service provider. You enjoy a simple web-based user interface for accessing software, applications and services – without the need for installation - and an SLA ensures the timely and guaranteed delivery, management and maintenance of your IT services.

4: Strategic Edge Ever-increasing computing resources give you a competitive edge over competitors, as the time you require for IT procurement is virtually nil. Your company can deploy mission critical applications that deliver significant business benefits, without any upfront costs and minimal provisioning time. Cloud computing allows you to forget about technology and focus on your key business activities and objectives. It can also help you to reduce the time needed to market newer applications and services.




Disadvantages:

1: Downtime As cloud service providers take care of a number of clients each day, they can become overwhelmed and may even come up against technical outages. This can lead to your business processes being temporarily suspended. Additionally, if your internet connection is offline, you will not be able to access any of your applications, server or data from the cloud.

2: Security Although cloud service providers implement the best security standards and industry certifications, storing data and important files on external service providers always opens up risks. Using cloud-powered technologies means you need to provide your service provider with access to important business data. Meanwhile, being a public service opens up cloud service providers to security challenges on a routine basis. The ease in procuring and accessing cloud services can also give nefarious users the ability to scan, identify and exploit loopholes and vulnerabilities within a system. For instance, in a multi-tenant cloud architecture where multiple users are hosted on the same server, a hacker might try to break into the data of other users hosted and stored on the same server. However, such exploits and loopholes are not likely to surface, and the likelihood of a compromise is not great.




3: Vendor Lock-In Although cloud service providers promise that the cloud will be flexible to use and integrate, switching cloud services is something that hasn’t yet completely evolved. Organizations may find it difficult to migrate their services from one vendor to another. Hosting and integrating current cloud applications on another platform may throw up inter operability and support issues. For instance, applications developed on Microsoft Development Framework (.Net) might not work properly on the Linux platform.

4: Limited Control Since the cloud infrastructure is entirely owned, managed and monitored by the service provider, it transfers minimal control over to the customer. The customer can only control and manage the applications, data and services operated on top of that, not the backend infrastructure itself. Key administrative tasks such as server shell access, updating and firmware management may not be passed to the customer or end user.






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