What is cloud computing

The evolution of technology has paved way for innovation in the way data and information are stored, processed, and transferred with cloud computing playing a vital role in this technological innovation. The structural analysis of algorithmic systems that define and interpret data, including their theory, assessment, architecture, effectiveness, execution, and application, is known as computing. While the term cloud computing may not sound familiar, It is also used to refer to a paradigm shift; often times writers and researchers even refer to it as a modern technology that provides IT resources and services over the Internet. But that does not do justice to what cloud computing is – this is because Cloud Computing is more than just a technology that provides IT services over the internet; it is the fifth generation of computing. Cloud computing became more commonly used at the beginning of the twenty-first century, many new computing methodologies were developed and adopted, with the creation of technological advances such as multi-core processors and networked computing environments, to move computing closer to its grand vision. This was helped established by big companies at the forefront of technological trends, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce.com, transforming our current IT industry.

Definition of Cloud Computing

Even though nearly everyone in the IT sector mentions cloud computing, the notion remains slightly ambiguous to many. There are various definitions of cloud computing, Youseff et al. was first to attempt to provide a holistic overview of cloud computing and all of its constituent parts. They consider cloud computing to be a “collection of many old and few new concepts in several research fields like Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA), distributed and grid computing as well as Virtualization”.

According to Youseff et al. “cloud computing can be considered a new computing paradigm that allows users to temporarily utilize computing infrastructure over the network, supplied as a service by the cloud provider at possibly one or more levels of abstraction”.

According to Armbrust et al. “Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the datacenter that provide those services. The services themselves have long been referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS).

The data center hardware and software are what we call a Cloud. When a Cloud is made available in a pay-as-you-go manner to the general public, we call it a Public Cloud; the service being sold is Utility Computing. We use the term of the Private Cloud to refer to internal datacenter of a business or other organization, not made available to the general public. Thus, Cloud Computing is the sum of SaaS and Utility Computing, but does not in- include Private Clouds” Consulting firm Accenture concisely defines cloud computing as “the dynamic provisioning of IT capabilities - hardware, software, or services from third parties over a network.” Microsoft says “Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.” Based off all the aforementioned definitions, the more suitable definition of cloud computing is;

Cloud computing is a IT deployment model of computing, not a technology based on virtualization, where resources, in terms of infrastructure, applications and data, all servers, networks, applications, and other data center-related elements are made available to IT and end users via the Internet or several service providers., allowing both parties to purchase only the type and amount of computing services that they require.

Components of Cloud Computing

Virtualization technology is the driving force behind cloud computing; it refers to creating a virtual edition of anything, including but not limited to a hardware program of virtual computer, computer network, operating system, or storage devices – it is at the heart of all cloud computing operations.

Virtualization allows you to divide a single physical server's hardware resources into smaller units. As a result, that physical server could host multiple virtual machines, each with its own operating system, memory, storage, and network access. Because of the versatility of virtualization, it is conceivable to setup a virtual server in seconds and run it for the actual amount of time your project necessitates, and then terminate it. The freed resources will be readily accessible to other workloads. Based on our definition of Cloud computing in the form of software architecture, cloud applications serve as a service which operates both the hardware and software architecture.

There are 3 major components that are required for the working of a cloud computing model and they include;

  • Clients: Clients in cloud computing are typically familiar with the operation of Local Area Networks (LANs). Clients are in charge of interaction, which pushes for data management on cloud servers.
  • Datacenter: A datacenter is a collection of servers that houses the linked application. The IT industry's advancement has pioneered the idea of virtualizing servers, where software can be assembled by utilizing multiple instances of virtual servers. This method simplifies the management of dozens of virtual servers across multiple physical servers.
  • Distributed Servers: These are servers that are housed in a different location. As a result, the physical servers may not be housed in the same location.

Furthermore, cloud computing has many other components, which are classified primarily as four types, and these components are cloud computing services, which can be listed as follows

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as- a-Service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This is a foundational classification of cloud computing services that enables the rental of servers and virtual systems, networks, IT infrastructure, and storage. This entails taking physical hardware and delivering virtual services. There are businesses that pay a fee to use the cloud's virtual servers, network, and storage. This infrastructure is sustained by the back end, which eliminates the inconvenience of acquiring and managing one's own physical servers and infrastructure.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

As a matter of fact, this is the only service that offers an on-demand environment for the development, evaluating, and integration of a wide range of software applications. It functions as a cloud integration environment that keeps servers running, allowing for the delivery of both basic cloud applications and intricate enterprise applications. The third-party provider provides hardware and software tools in this case. It typically summarizes the application programming interface maintenance and infrastructures for cloud applications. PaaS is the link between the application and the hardware. Platform as a Service is crucial because many businesses want and wish to use a cloud computing platform. Very famous examples are Google App Engine and Microsoft's Azure Services Platform.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

This is a method of delivering software applications over the Internet, either on-demand or through a subscription basis. It enables people to connect to and use cloud applications via the Internet. SaaS provides the benefit of application optimization and operation at a lower cost.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Economical

This computing model eliminates the need for large investments in hardware and software services, as well as the setup and operation of external data centers. It also reduces the cost of maintaining power, storage space for servers, and infrastructure. The theory of elasticity is linked to the theory of scalability in that both address how to manage changing demand. A scalable environment, on the other hand, allows you to ramp up capacity to meet rising demand, whereas an elastic infrastructure automatically reduces capacity when demand falls. This allows you to keep costs under control by running resources only when they are required.

Enhanced Scalability

Scalability is a common issue for organizations with a large workforce. As a result, the cloud is the best solution for removing this complexity because it allows organizations to work quickly and efficiently in accordance with business requirements. A scalable infrastructure can automatically update resources to meet unpredictable increases in demand for your application. This implies that as market demands grow, cloud capacity can be easily enhanced without incurring significant costs. As a result, this level of scalability significantly reduces difficulties.

Data Security

Data security is the most vexing issue for any organization these days. Cybercrime is an easy way to destroy an organization's budget, confidential transactions, and brand recognition. To avoid these compromises, cloud computing provides a number of secure functionality that guarantee data protection and management. This ensures that enhanced verification, encryption, and access control are available for data security.

Command and Control

Controlling confidential data is critical for any organization. The cloud gives you complete visibility and control over your data.

Conclusion

In line with current technology advancements, cloud computing is being incorporated in many organizations, and the beneficial effects of doing so are numerous. This architecture allows for greater bandwidth and is easy to access. Finally, cloud computing has the prospects to have a significant impact on the world. It has numerous advantages that it offers to its users and businesses. However, there are other obstacles that cloud computing must surmount. People are concerned about the security and privacy of their personal information. There are no guidelines or regulations in place around the world for data provided via cloud computing. Although Europe has data protection laws, most of the countries don't have any data protection laws. However, once there are global standards and regulations in place, cloud computing will reshape the future.