Definition of Cloud computing
Cloud computing is simply the delivery of computing services, servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more over the Internet known as “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale.
Cloud computing is a significant shift from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources. Companies only pay for cloud services they use, helping lower operating costs, run infrastructure more efficiently and scale as per the business needs change.
Benefits of cloud computing
It eliminates the expense of buying hardware and software and running on-site data centres, electricity for power and cooling, IT experts for managing the infrastructure.
Vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, giving businesses much flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.
The ability to scale elastically means delivering the correct amount of IT resources as needed and from the exact geographic location.
Cloud computing removes the need for hardware setup, software patching and other time-consuming IT management chores. So IT teams can spend time on achieving more essential business goals.
They run on a worldwide network of secure data centres, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. Hence reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
They offer a broad set of policies, technologies and controls that strengthen overall security posture, helping to protect data, apps and infrastructure from potential threats.
Types of cloud computing
- Public cloud
Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers, who deliver their computing resources such as servers and storage over the Internet. All hardware, software and supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider.
- Private cloud
Exclusively used by a single business or organisation, physically located on the company’s on-site data centre. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. Services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
- Hybrid cloud
Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. A hybrid cloud gives business greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimise existing infrastructure, security and compliance.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure, servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
It supplies an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. Ideal for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or maintaining the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.
- Serverless computing
It focuses on building app functionality without spending time continually managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so. The cloud provider handles the setup, capacity planning, and server management. They are highly scalable and event-driven.
- Software as a service (SaaS)
Cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle maintenance on subscription basis. Users connect to the application over the Internet with a web browser on their devices.
Uses of cloud computing
Here are a few examples of what’s possible today with cloud services from a cloud provider:
Create new apps and services
Test and build applications
Store, back up and recover data
Stream audio and video
Deliver software on demand
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