The first thing you need to know about cloud computing is that it’s not a new technology. It’s just a new way of using existing technologies.
The second thing you need to know is that cloud computing is not just storing data on someone else’s servers. It’s about using those servers to run applications and process data.
So, what is cloud computing?
Simply put, cloud computing delivers computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model comprises five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
On-demand self-service: A consumer can improve automatically unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
Broad network access: Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs).
Resource pooling: The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model. Different physical and virtual resources are dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.
Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned, in some cases automatically, to scale out and rapidly released to scale in quickly. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time.
Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for the provider and consumer of the utilized service.
Cloud computing providers offer their services according to different models, each offering different benefits to users. The three most common service models are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
IaaS is one of the most basic forms of cloud computing. With IaaS, businesses can rent IT Infrastructure—servers and storage—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis. This can be an excellent way for businesses to save on IT infrastructure costs.
Platform as a Service (PaaS):
PaaS is a cloud computing model in which a cloud provider delivers a platform to customers, who can then use that platform to develop, run, and manage their applications.
PaaS provides a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, which can be used to develop, test, deploy, and manage applications. PaaS offerings typically include various tools and services for application development, management, and hosting.
Software as a Service (SaaS):
SaaS is a cloud computing model in which a cloud provider delivers a software application to customers over the Internet. Customers can access and use the software application, typically through a web browser, while the cloud provider manages the Infrastructure and security of the application.
SaaS applications are typically delivered on a pay-as-you-go basis, which can help businesses save money on software costs. SaaS applications can be found in various industries, including customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR), and accounting.
Cloud computing can be deployed in four different ways, each offering a different set of benefits to users. The four deployment models are public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and community cloud.
A public cloud is a deployment model in which a cloud provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet.
Large companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft, typically owned and operated public clouds. Public clouds are an excellent option for businesses that want to save on IT infrastructure costs.
A private cloud is a deployment model in which a cloud provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to a single organization.
Private clouds are typically owned and operated by the organization using them. Private clouds can be an excellent option for businesses that want more control over their data and applications.
A hybrid cloud is a cloud deployment model that combines public and private clouds.
Hybrid clouds can be an excellent option for businesses that want the flexibility to use public and private clouds. Hybrid clouds typically use a private cloud for sensitive data and applications and a public cloud for less sensitive data and applications.
A community cloud is a cloud deployment model in which a cloud provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to a group of organizations with a standard set of requirements.
Community clouds are typically owned and operated by a group of organizations, such as a group of companies in the same industry. Community clouds can be an excellent option for businesses that want to share resources and costs with other businesses.
Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
The essential characteristics of cloud computing are on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service.
The three most common service models for cloud computing are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
The four different deployment models for cloud computing are public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and community cloud.
The benefits of using cloud computing include the ability to save on IT infrastructure costs, the ability to use a variety of tools and services for application development and management, the ability to access applications and data from anywhere, and the ability
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