Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services -- from applications to storage and processing power -- typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.
How it works
The cloud is divided into different layers. These layers are the front-end and back-end layers.
Front-end layer is that part of the cloud which users can interact with. For example, when we log in to our Gmail account, we see the UI (user interface) where everything works on event-driven buttons and graphics. Similarly, a software also runs in the front end of the cloud.
Again, the back-end comprises of hardware as well as software that delivers the back-end data from the database to the front end.
Cloud uses a network layer to connect different devices to provide access to resources that are residing in the centralized data centre of the cloud. Cloud technology users can use the data centre through the company's network or internet facilities. This technology provides various advantages; as users can access the cloud from anywhere at any time, but the network bandwidth should have to be more. This technology not only facilitates desktop and laptop users but the mobile users can also access their business systems based on their demand.
As we already know that cloud computing is fast and efficient, applications running on the cloud take advantages of flexibility and computing power, i.e., the speed of processing a task. Many computers of a single organization work together along with their application on the cloud as if all the applications were running on a single machine. This flexibility of accessing the cloud resources allows users to use much or little of the resource based on the demand.
In the Cloud computing system architecture, there is another mechanism of shifting the workload. Local machines don't have to perform massive lifting operations when it comes to run applications. Cloud technology can handle those heavy loaded tasks automatically easily and efficiently. This brings down the hardware & software demands. The only thing that the users have to think is the cloud computing interface software of the system, which works merely as a web-browser in the front end of the user. The cloud's network takes care of the rest along with the back-end.
The back-end is connected through a virtual network or internet. There are few more components which are used such as Middleware, cloud resources, etc. that includes the cloud computing architecture. The backend is used by service providers that include various servers, computers, virtual machines & data storage facilities that are combined to form the cloud technology. Its dedicated server handles each application in the system. The front end includes the cloud computing system or network that is used for accessing the cloud computing system. The cloud computing system’s interface varies from cloud to cloud.
The back-end has mainly two principal responsibilities:
Provides traffic control mechanisms, security postures & governing the protocols
To employ those internet protocols that are connected to the networked computer for communication
There is only one central server that is used to manage the entire cloud system architecture. The server is solely responsible for handling the smoothness of traffic without disruption. Middleware is a particular type of software that is used to perform processes & also connects networked computers. Depending on the demand of client or user, the storage is provided by the cloud technology's service provider.
Cloud computing provides self-service capabilities to users with scalable features to upgrade usage based on requirements. The cloud computing technology offers particular types of services that users can access the cloud platform.
The cloud computing service models are categorized into three different types:
Software as a Service(SaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS)
Platform as a Service(PaaS)
Two other services don't fall under the major categories of the service model.
Identity as a Service(IaaS)
Network as a Service(NaaS)
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Advantages of Cloud Computing :
Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service.
2. Disaster recovery
Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, this is often more an ideal than the reality. Cloud is now helping more organisations buck that trend.
3. Automatic software updates
The advantage of cloud computing is that the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your hair. Suppliers take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself.
4. Capital-expenditure Free
Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that’s kind to your cash flow.
5. Increased collaboration
When your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they’re able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time and gives them full visibility of their collaborations
6. Work from anywhere
With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection you can be at work. And with most serious cloud services offering mobile apps, you’re not restricted by which device you’ve got to hand.
Lost laptops are a major business problem. And potentially greater than the loss of an expensive piece of kit is the loss of the sensitive data inside it. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this happens. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. And you can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Moving to the cloud gives access to enterprise-class technology, for everyone. It also allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. Pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications mean small outfits can run with the any other application.
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What is the future of cloud computing?
Cloud computing is still at a relatively early stage of adoption, despite its long history. Many companies are still considering which apps to move and when. However, usage is only likely to climb as organisations get more comfortable with the idea of their data being somewhere other than a server in the basement. We're still relatively early into cloud adoption -- some estimates suggest that only 10% of the workloads that could be move have actually been transferred across. Those are the easy ones where the economics are hard for CIOs to argue with.
For the rest of the enterprise computing portfolio the economics of moving to the cloud may be less clear cut. As a result, cloud computing vendors are increasingly pushing cloud computing as an agent of digital transformation instead of focusing simply on cost. Moving to the cloud can help companies rethink business processes and accelerate business change, goes the argument, by helping to break down data. Some companies that need to boost momentum around their digital transformation programmes may find this argument appealing; others may find enthusiasm for the cloud waning as the costs of making the switch add up.