What is Cloud Computing?

What is Cloud Computing?

Greetings to all Readers….

Today the buzz word in news or tech magazine or on any webinar you could find the majority of the information is about cloud computing… What is cloud computing? How do you define it and who are benefitted by this services? Let us review them in this article.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a construct that allows you to access any software applications  via internet connected which reside at distant datacentre location from your local  computer .

Cloud computing is a method of providing a set of shared computing resources that includes applications, computing, storage, networking, development, and deployment platforms as well as business processes

Why cloud has become very popular?

  1. The beauty of cloud is, another company hosts your suite of applications to run your business
  2. These cloud hosting owner take care of all the servers, applications, electricity cost, licensing etc. In other words you need not invest to buy all these hardware or s/w to run your business.
  3. People who are frequent commuters can login from anywhere to work or access their projects.
  4. Your capex is untouched.
  5. Also gives you an option to pay as you go or pay as you grow
  6. The consumer is completely free from on-going operation and maintenance responsibility.

Cloud Model

There are various cloud service models you can choose based on your business requirement and needs.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • IaaS is the model where you use the services of the hardware, OS, storage, networking, data center space, and various utility software elements on request.
  • Basically IaaS deals with the hardware part and nothing beyond it. You can spin up a hardware configuration as per your requirement.
  • IaaS is used by IT service providers

Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • SaaS is a cloud model in which an application is hosted as a service for consumer to access over the internet.
  • Here the consumer has the benefit to use the application and need not purchase the hardware and application to operate. Basically you rent the application as per your need and avoid huge investment by purchasing them.
  • The user or the consumer need not maintain it or support it or renew any licenses etc.
  • The provider does all the patching and also keeps the infrastructure running as per the SLA terms and agreement.
  • SaaS model now offers many such Business applications on demand. Few I have mentioned below is for your attention.
  • Business Application as a Service
    • CRM
    • Helpdesk
    • Accounting
    • ERP
    • Project Management
    • Business Intelligence
    • Invoicing Software
  • SaaS is preferred by End-users

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

  • PaaS helps customer to build, deploy application and services completely from this platform.
  • A PaaS provides a set of programming and middleware services that ensure developers have a well-tested and well-integrated way to create applications in a cloud environment.
  • PaaS model consist of Programming languages, Dev Tools, Database, middleware and API’s.
  • Paas is primarily used by developers.

Cloud Delivery Model

Private Cloud

  • Private cloud is owned by a single organisation and is dedicated to the needs and goals of a single organization.
  • Private cloud is usually driven by the need to maintain and control of the environment typically to meet security, business governance or regulatory compliance requirements.
  • In Private cloud the resources are not shared with other users or tenants.
  • Private Cloud is a single tenant environment

Public Cloud

  • A public cloud consists of a set of computing resources that is delivered by a third-party provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google cloud platform who owns and maintains compute resources that customers can access over the internet.
  • Public clouds usually use pay as you go model and offers easy and inexpensive solution.
  • Unlike private, in public cloud the scalability is addressed immediately as the cloud providers have adequate compute resources to scale dynamically incase if the users compute workloads/process run out of resources or reach the max hardware capacity.

Hybrid Cloud

  • Hybrid cloud service uses both services of private and public cloud to perform distinct functions within the same organisation.
  • Here in hybrid model, the organisations uses their standard compute workloads in their private cloud and try to use certain dynamic workload functionality in public cloud which may demand scalability and other computing resources

Virtualization

  • Virtualisation allows a cloud provider to deliver these same resources on demand to a cloud consumer as needed.  This is the key element of cloud computing.
  • In virtual environment, you will allow to create multiple virtual servers on one physical server

Types of Virtualization

Operating system Virtualization

  • OS Virtualization provides a software emulation of a complete operating system environment        
  • OS virtualization creates self-contained virtual environment that look like an entire OS. It has its own file system, process table that contains individual application, separate user population, network configuration and system libraries.

Hardware Emulation

  • In this method the hypervisor creates a virtual machine by emulating an entire hardware environment

Para virtualization

  • Paravirtualization enables several different operating systems to run on one set of hardware by effectively using resources such as processors and memory. In paravirtualization, the operating system is modified to work with a virtual machine.
  • In paravirtualization, after the host OS boots, the VM emulator is launched. At this point, there are two copies of the OS in existence. The host is in a suspension mode, while the guest runs in an active state.

Hypervisor

  • Hypervisor software creates and runs virtual machine. Hypervisor allows multiple operating systems to run on one physical machine. The computer running the hypervisor is called host and the virtual machine that are running on the host is called the guest.

Type-1 Hypervisor

  • In Type-1, the hypervisor is installed on the Bare-metal and it also acts as the first time boot operating system. Here the actual operating system boots after the hypervisor gets loaded scanning all the hardware resources. Hypervisor communicates with the physical server directly hence gives a high performance to the configured Virtual machines.

Type-2 Hypervisor

  • In Type-2, the hypervisor software is loaded on top of an already existing operating system. In Type-2 if the underlying operating system crashes all the guest virtual machines configured will be affected until the OS problem is resolved.

Top Cloud computing Platforms

Amazon Web Services

  • Amazon Web Services offers global cloud-based services including compute, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security and enterprise applications. AWS professional services help organizations to sign-up for new services or offer support to migrate from on premise to cloud platform in a seamless manner.

Google Cloud Platform

  • Google offers its public cloud computing solutions with the name of Google Cloud Platform, or GCP. It offers services in all major spheres including compute, networking, storage, machine learning (ML) and the internet of things (IoT).           

Microsoft Azure

  • Microsoft Azure (formerly Windows Azure) is the cloud computing service from Microsoft. Azure provides cloud services including AI, compute, storage, network and database

Cloud benefits:

  • Help businesses and companies turn IT resources into a flexible, elastic, and self-service set of resources that they can more easily manage and scale.
  • Pay for on a per-unit basis
  • Gain immediate access to the resources you need.
  • Cloud addresses major 3 components. Cost, Scalability on-demand and Speed

Hope this article would have helped the readers to get a basic idea of cloud computing.

Would like to stop with a quote…

“Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing.” ~ CEO of VMware

Written by: Arun Velayudhan

Mail: arun.velayudhan@tutelage.co.in

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