You must have heard About Cloud Computing, but have you ever wondered What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing denotes an infrastructure as a “Cloud” from which users are able to access computer processing resources on demand. Cloud Computing is a type of internet based computing which enables users to have an on-demand access to application, storage, computer networks, servers, etc from anywhere in the World.
In simple terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet.
Cloud Computing plays key role in something scholars call as a change in the ‘Geography of Computing‘.
For instance, suppose we are making a Google Spreadsheet with the help of Google Docs service. One important thing to notice here is that major software components used here don’t reside on our computer. But we still have access to the Google Docs service which allows you to make a Google Spreadsheet on-demand.
Google in this case is using Cloud/Internet to store an application which enables users to access and create Spreadsheets.
Storing data or running programs from our computer’s Hard Drive is called local storage and computing. But the moment we start having access to that stored data or run the program on our computer’s Hard Drive over the internet it will be considered “Cloud Computing“.
Cloud Computing Architecture
The term “cloud” is now widely accepted as a remote data centre that houses a massive network of computers and serves as a central repository of data that provides all kinds of web services. However, to most people, technical and non-technical people alike, the cloud is merely a black box.
Theoritically, a cloud computing system can include practically any computer program you can imagine, from data processing to video games. Usually, each application will have its own dedicated server And the users can connect to it globally throught Internet.
Cloud Computing Architecture can be easily divided into 2 sections. The Front End and the Back End. These 2 sections the Front End and the Back End connect to each other via Internet. So Cloud Computing Architecture consist of a Front End or Computers which the users can see, or have a physical access to, a Back End consists of the “cloud“ section and Internet connecting them.
The Front End i.e. the Client End includes client’s computer, interfaces and applications which will access the cloud computing system. Like a Web Browser. The Back End includes Servers and Data Storage systems which can be accessed by the Front End with the help of applications. The Back End can be anything ranging from Virtual Global Servers to Web Service Servers and Application Servers.
For this entire framework to functon the fundamental requirement is the Internet. Internet enables the connection between the Front End with the Back End of a Cloud Computing System.
Cloud Computing Services
Cloud Computing Services or the ways in which Cloud Computing are useful to us can be broadly classified into 3 models.
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
- PaaS (Platform as a Service)
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
SaaS (Software as a Service)
SaaS or Software as a Service can be simply said to be a Software Distributon Model where applications are installed and maintained by vendors and the users are provided on-demand access to the applcations over internet from around the world .
Traditionally, softwares needed to be purchased upfront and installed onto our computers. But SaaS users on the other hand subscribes to the software. The user subscribes to the software usually on a monthly basis. When using SaaS, if anyone (a single user or a business house with thousands of employee) needs to use a paricular piece of software, they can have the access to that particular piece of software without installing anything on their computers.
PaaS (Platfom as a Service)
Platorm as a Service or PaaS provides users with Application Platforms and Databases as services. PaaS can be used as an environment by the developers to build Applications an Services.
The easiest possbile way to understand what a PaaS models really is, we ake ourselves back to school. Suppose we want to paint a picture and we are provided with Colors, Brushes and Paper by School Teacher and all we have to do now is to paint a beautiful picture. PaaS Model works in the same way. PaaS includes everything ranging from Software Support and Management services to Storage and Hosting solutions.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Infrsastructure as a Service or IaaS is also called as the fundamental models of Cloud Computing. IaaS is taking physical hardware and going completly virtual.
Mining various computing infrastructure resources such as virtual servers and others from multiple servers and networks which are distributes across various data centers is the purpose of IaaS. In other words, businesses pay a fees (Monthly or Annually) to use those infrastructure virtually. This remove the need of having a data center, heating, cooling, and maintaining hardware at the local level.
Few examples of major players who provide Cloud Computing Services:
Applications of Cloud Computing
- Testing and Development
- Big Data Anaytis
- Storage Solution
- Disaster Recovery
- Backup Solution