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What is Cloud Computing?

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Cloud Computing is the delivery of software, storage, servers, and other such services through the Internet so that you can access your data anytime, anywhere through the cloud. Read this article to find out more about Cloud Computing.

Cloud computing is sharing resources by the cloud service providers, such as storage, applications, or servers, through the Internet to the users. In simple words, accessing, storing, or managing data online using the Internet instead of hard drives is cloud computing.

Everything comes under the domain of cloud computing, from storing data in the cloud like Google Photos or Google Drive to streaming videos on OTT channels.

Characteristics of cloud computing are:

  • Pay as you use.
  • Scalable.
  • Rapid elasticity.
  • High availability.
  • Resource pooling.
  • On-demand self-service.
  • Secure.
  • Broad network access.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Anytime, anywhere access.
  • Platform independence.
  • Easy to maintain.

Also read: Edge computing vs Cloud computing.

Type of cloud deployment models

The cloud deployment models determine how the cloud is located and who has access to a particular cloud. There are four types of cloud deployment models.

  • Public Cloud – Public cloud is the one in which access is made available to the public, i.e. anyone can access it. Examples: Linode (now Akamai), Amazon EC2, Google Cloud, etc.
  • Private Cloud – A private cloud is a cloud where only some people belonging to a particular organization can access the resources. Examples: Rackspace, VMware private cloud, Ubuntu, etc.
  • Hybrid Cloud – Hybrid cloud combines two or more types of cloud deployment. For example, depending on the sensitivity of the data, some data can be stored in the public cloud, whereas some can be stored in a private cloud. The type of cloud deployment model used here depends on the need of the user — examples: Microsoft Office 365 and NetApp.
  • Community Cloud – Community cloud is the cloud that is accessible to a specific set of users belonging to, let’s say same community — having the same goals or use case. Examples: cloud for the government sector, Open Cirrus, etc.

Also read: Git vs GitHub vs GitLab vs BitBucket

Types of cloud service models – laaS vs PaaS vs SaaS

The cloud service models determine how and what cloud services are provided by the cloud service providers to the consumer. There are three types of cloud service models.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
SoftwareManaged by ConsumerManaged by ConsumerManaged by CSP
PlatformManaged by ConsumerManaged by CSPManaged by CSP
InfrastructureManaged by CSPManaged by CSPManaged by CSP

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service, as the name suggests, provides infrastructure, i.e. hardware like storage, network, and servers, to the consumer. The cloud service provider takes care of all the hardware, i.e. the infrastructure requirements, whereas the consumer manages the rest. Consumers can have the operating system and software of their choice that they want to use. It is also known as Hardware as a Service.

Examples: Linode, Amazon Web Services, Mircosoft Azure.

PaaS – Platform as a Service

The cloud service provider manages the hardware, operating system, and overall platform in the Platform as a service. Consumers can build, test, and run the applications they want on top of the platform already provided by the service provider. The load of the consumer to manage the platform and hardware is relieved here, as the service provider takes care of the hardware and the platform.

Examples: Heroku, Google App Engine.

SaaS – Software as a Service

SaaS, also known as on-demand software, is where the cloud service provider manages everything from hardware to software. Consumers can directly use the applications through the Internet without making any engineering effort.

Examples: Dropbox, Slack, Cisco Webex.

Also read: What is Amazon Web Services (AWS) and how does it work?

Chetali Shah

Chetali Shah

An avid reader and an engineering student. Love to code and read books. Always curious to learn new things :)