What is cloud computing?

What is cloud computing?

As technologies develop, more businesses decide to move on to cloud computing. It is beneficial in many different ways and appears to be much cheaper than using the on-premise infrastructure. In this article, we explain these points and how it works.

What is cloud computing?

What is cloud computing?

In a nutshell, cloud computing is a virtual delivery of servers, storage, software, databases, and other related things. This removes the need to purchase on-premise infrastructure, so the company does not have to worry about maintenance or keeping it up-to-date. However, keep in mind that you will have to pay a subscription fee.

Services provided by cloud computing

  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Databases
  • Software
  • Networking
  • Analytics
  • Security and others.

Examples of cloud computing

Many services work under cloud computing. In fact, you might be even using some of them at this very moment. This includes a cloud backup of your photos, Gmail, Google Drive, Netflix, and many other applications.

They seldomly use their own software because it is not cost-effective and is often time-consuming when it comes to maintenance. However, there also are some pitfalls that you must be aware of. They will be described a bit later.

The importance of cloud computing

Currently, at least a third of all IT expenses go to setting up cloud infrastructure. At the same time, the expenses on in-house infrastructure gradually decrease. This shows that companies tend to slowly move to the cloud. These can be both services from third-party vendors or private clouds.

External infrastructure becomes more trusted resulting in the increased transmission pace. Some experts even note that by the end of 2021, more than half of all IT companies will completely move to the cloud. Choose for yourself whether this information is good or not.

Types of cloud computing

There are several types of cloud computing, each with their own features. We shall cover three of them, so you would get a better understanding of how things work.

1. IaaS

IaaS stands for “infrastructure as a service”. This model stands for the usage of servers, storage, and other hardware. Although a regular subscription is usually required, it often appears to be significantly cheaper than setting up an on-premise server base. However, the IaaS model also requires that the company has a team of specialists who know how to set up the virtual infrastructure properly. Otherwise, it may appear to be inefficient.

2. PaaS

PaaS stands for “platform as a service”. This model is generally used for software development and provides all the tools and features a professional developer might need. Some of the features include database management, virtual OS, and others.

3. SaaS

SaaS stands for “software as a service”. This is the most popular model not only in IT but in everyday usage too. It is quite simple: the end-user accesses the service through an application or browser, so the OS does not matter. The subscription is often based on a per-seat system.

If you are interested in examples of software that use the SaaS model, then Microsoft Office 365 is the best thing to think of. A ton of services are provided and all the data is available throughout all the devices as long as a subscription is purchased. The information is transferred to all the devices through a cloud service.

Pros and cons of cloud computing

To make it easier to understand whether this service is of any use to you, we have gathered all the positive and negative sides of it into a comprehensive list.

Advantages

  • Easily accessible
  • Paid for the usage
  • Reliable due to backups
  • No need to set up on-premise infrastructure
  • No maintenance
  • Unlimited storage at a price

Disadvantages

  • Need for a fast network connection
  • Downtime possibility
  • Somewhat limited control
  • Limited flexibility
  • Regular subscription payments
  • Potential security issues (depends on the vendor)
  • Difficult to change vendors
  • Possibly time-consuming technical issues resolution

How does cloud computing influence the economy of IT companies?

In a way, you could say that companies save a lot of money on purchasing a virtual subscription to cloud infrastructure. There is no need for maintenance, upgrades, etc. However, the OpEx model will require that they pay regularly for using the service and this may bite into the budget when the companies start to expand.

Mostly, everything depends on the vendor’s terms. Some of them might appear to be very profitable, while others could deplete budgets in no time. That is why it is so important to compare various service providers before making a choice. The easiest way to do anything like this is to contact the Global Cloud Team for assistance.

How to adopt cloud computing?

The cloud market is growing at rates faster than ever, so you might be wondering how companies actually get to this decision.

First of all, it is necessary to mention that there are those who consider the cloud to be a prioritized decision and there are those who state that they will only work with on-premise servers. Also, there are hybrid companies that combine both ideas.

The adoption, in most cases, significantly depends on the type of application that has to be moved. Transferring an email service is much easier than moving a developed financial system. In any case, the usage of cloud computing is applicable to any applications, at least as the means of backups.

Is cloud computing secure?

Although it is quite rare that any breaches in cloud services occur, a huge part of the companies still considers them to be a risky option. Specialists are sure that on-premise infrastructure is protected far better than any clouds, so they often do not want to get involved in any trouble.

Nevertheless, these concerns have only led to the development of advanced security systems for cloud services. There are many tools to test the protection of the servers and enhance their defense against hackers.

Modern tools can easily detect whenever anyone tries to get unauthorized access to the application or attempts code tampering. Also, there are tools that make systems optimize their usage whenever they become overloaded.

In addition, usage of advanced security systems decreases the investment returns by a certain percentage. The reason is that more money is invested in better software. This pays off by reducing the risks.

Public clouds vs private clouds

In short, a public cloud is available to the public and is not hidden. This means that it is used for a shared application or service.

On the other side, a private cloud is unavailable to the public and cannot be accessed by just anyone. The computing services are shared with different clients but none can be seen by others.

The main concerns of most companies are the possibility to control, manage, and scale the data on the cloud. With on-premise clouds, this is not a thing to worry about. This also decreases the risks of security breaches. However, using a private cloud also means that the implementation of Microsoft or Google services might be unavailable.

Hybrid clouds

One of the most reasonable solutions is using a hybrid cloud. It is a combination of both private and public clouds. Part of the data is stored virtually and the other part is saved on the company’s infrastructure.

This model is generally used to prevent huge economic expenses and to store sensitive data in a safer place. Also, this allows the company to worry a bit less in case any disasters occur.

Cloud computing geography

Some worries are also based on the location of some vendors. This sounds quite reasonable. The information from a local data center will be received much quicker than from one that is located on the other side of the planet. This is one of the reasons many services have their offices in different countries.

Another issue regards various laws. For instance, companies from the EU have to worry if their data is used in the US because this means that they have to comply with the laws of both regions. This is just another reason for building a local office.

One more thing to think about is security. In the United Kingdom, authorities have been warned that the country of origin must always be considered when it comes to cloud services. There may be problems with security and many people would try to intercept sensible data.

The impact of all these points is mostly negative for the bigger part of businesses. The reason is that their expenses grow with each step and this means that they have to search for more profitable ways of using cloud services.

The bottom line

We have covered the basics of what cloud computing is and how this process works. Although there still is a lot of information to provide, we believe that this is enough for an inexperienced user to get an understanding of the topic.

If you are reading this with consideration to implement cloud computing in your business, it is recommended that you fill out the form to get contacted by the Global Cloud Team. The specialists will consult you and help you find a solution to any issues.

Ivan Kolesnikov

About the author:

Ivan Kolesnikov

Experienced professional in programming.