The rise in popularity of the internet changed the world in many ways. Where it virtually erased distances between individuals, it allowed cloud computing to showcase its potential and remodel the business world. From sending emails to playing online games or listening to music, we rely heavily on cloud computing. But what is cloud computing?
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing can be explained as a virtual hosting solution. The cloud is a network of servers that manages information and delivers content and services such as analytics, networking, and intelligence. The fact that it is beyond the physicality of your local device’s hard drive gives it the name ‘cloud.’
Types of Clouds
Three different cloud structures exist – public, private, and hybrid. The public clouds are owned by third parties and are available to the general masses for use. Public clouds usually work on a pay-as-you-go pricing model, and you only have to pay for the services you use.
Private Clouds, on the contrary, are limited to a single business’s use. These are usually maintained through the enterprise’s on-site servers and data centers. Hybrid clouds provide a combination of public and private clouds’ abilities. They offer more usage flexibility and information distribution options.
Types of Cloud Service Models
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is the most popular cloud computing model through which complete software solutions are delivered over the internet. The software application and infrastructure are managed and maintained by the service provider. NetSuite is the leading cloud-based SaaS software for management, inventory, accounting, and many companies offer NetSuite consulting and implementation services for businesses.
SaaS has helped in the business automation processes of many businesses. SaaS integration tools have also resulted in the no-code concept booming. Companies can use the SaaS tool and further reduce costs in developing websites and apps.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is the most elementary service through which you can lease the infrastructure from a cloud vendor. IaaS services include scalable databases, machine learning and data analytics environments, and virtual private studios and networks. Using IaaS options, many companies reduce the initial and maintenance cost of hardware and eliminate the hassle of space installation. However, IaaS solutions are a relatively basic level of service. Because of this, they are only well-suited for companies with well-built IT departments.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS enables businesses and developers to develop, test, deploy and manage applications. PaaS provides them with a rich developing environment that covers IaaS, development tools, Business intelligence (BI) services, and data management systems. It removes the need to buy expensive software or set up development storage, servers, and databases. It, in turn, speeds up the development process. In addition, many companies use PaaS to establish their networks’ customizable security setups.
Serverless computing, also known as Function as a Service (FaaS), takes PaaS one step ahead and insulates the developers from IT infrastructure. The scaling and management of the infrastructure are taken care of automatically, allowing the developers to invest their time, budget, and energy entirely in the production of the new application. Calling this service “serverless,” however, can be misleading. Serverless computing still needs servers to run the code. The only reduction is infrastructure visibility from the user’s end.
Moreover, serverless computing does not require any IaaS resources in normal circumstances. Because of this, the pay-per-use charge is lower, making it an excellent option for low-budget developers.
Most businesses and users use the cloud for data storage. They need to put their trust in the cloud along with the information. But is the cloud secure enough to earn that trust? For a short answer, yes. The cloud has many backups. All data uploaded to the cloud is saved in multiple data centers. If one center gets corrupted for any reason, the backups can quickly compensate for the loss.
Moreover, the cloud is under constant surveillance, which reduces the threat of data theft and information leakage. Yet unfortunately, no surveillance system is entirely foolproof. For this reason, many cloud vendors use encryption to add an extra layer of security. Only someone authorized with the digital key can access the cloud data contents. Additionally, many clouds come with two-factor authentication: to gain access to the information, you must prove your identity more than once.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing reduces the amount of funding needed for buying and maintaining hardware. In addition, the money the IT departments could have drained to make software is also saved with cloud computing services.
The cloud provider regularly maintains the software and cloud infrastructure. It ensures that cloud services are robust and dynamic. It, in turn, improves the performance of the businesses which use the cloud.
No matter what your geographical position is or what device you are using, you can sign up for cloud services or can access the cloud with the correct credentials anytime. The mobile access allowed by the cloud enables real-time insights into the data with just a few clicks.
Risks of Cloud Computing
Reduced Consumer Control
The consumer’s control over the information’s security decreases significantly by signing up for the cloud. Although the cloud has long established credibility and reliability, some companies still prefer to have their data on-site and in sight.
Many legacy enterprises have complex webs of infrastructures, data, and IT systems. Evaluating the cloud’s benefits to survive in a competitive market, big old companies decide to switch to cloud-based environments. However, it can lead to a complicated data transfer, which can result in losing sensitive information mid-process.
In a Nutshell
Cloud computing provides various services, from data analytics to unlimited storage. While PaaS and serverless allow developers to develop applications with a wide range of tools, SaaS removes the need to make the software by enabling renting or subscription-based usage. Although there are concerns related to data migrations and reduced data storage and deletion transparency, cloud computing has still gained popularity over the years. This popularity can rightfully be credited to the cloud’s great agility, performance, cost-effective nature, and accessibility.