What is Cloud Computing?

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“The global public cloud computing market is set to exceed $330 billion in 2020.”

What is cloud computing? 

Simply put, cloud computing is the act of delivering on-demand computing services to customers, ranging from storage, databases, software, networking, analytics, intelligence to servers. Because these services are provided to customers over internet, they are cloud services. 

Customers are only required to pay for the cloud services that they are using, also dubbed as ‘pay-as-you-go’ model.  

While the term ‘cloud computing’ was coined only in the early 2000s, the concept is being used since 1960s, when computer owners would lend their mainframes to individuals or companies to do their work. When PCs were introduced in the market, this concept took a backseat for a couple of years.

The concept resurfaced again in late 1990s and early 2000s in different forms including grid computing, utility computing and application services providers. Cloud computing really came into existence when software as a service was introduced in the market. Since then, it has only become more popular over the last two decades.  

How does cloud computing work? 

With cloud computing, companies can use storage, networking, servers, databases, analytics and even intelligence without owning themselves. They can get access to any of their services by paying a monthly/yearly subscription fee to a cloud service provider. 

Once a company has paid the subscription fee, they have access to the services via the internet (cloud). 

According to Forbes, “74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers say cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their business in 2017”. 

Types of Cloud Computing 

There are different types of clouds available. One cloud might work for certain business requirements but not be apt for the other one. Over the years, several different types, services and models of clouds have been introduced in the market. 

The three main types of clouds are: 

Public cloud 

Public clouds evident by their name are available in the public domain. They are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers. These providers offer their computing resources, such as storage and servers via internet. One of the examples of public cloud is Microsoft Azure. 

All software, hardware and the supporting infrastructure is managed by the cloud provider. Once an individual/business has bought the cloud services, they can access them using a web browser. 

Private cloud 

In a private cloud, infrastructure and services are managed and maintained on a private network. 

A private cloud is accessed by a single business only. All the computing resources are exclusively used by them. While some companies have private clouds physically located on their datacenter, some pay third-party service providers to host their own private cloud. 

Hybrid cloud 

Hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of both private and public clouds. The technology of hybrid clouds that enables applications and data to be shared between both private and public clouds. 

Hybrid cloud offer the most flexibility, when compared to private and public clouds. It also comes with more variety of deployment options and ability to optimise the existing security, compliance and infrastructure. 

Amazon Web Services is the leading cloud vendor with a 32% share.

Types of cloud services

Cloud computing types and cloud computing services types are two different things. When it comes to cloud services, there are four popular types: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and serverless. Cloud computing services are often dubbed as cloud computing stack too as they are built on top of each other. 

Here is a brief introduction and explanation about cloud services types: 

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) 

IaaS can be easily scaled up and down, according to business requirements. Customers are able to pay according to the services they are getting. IaaS helps customers in avoiding any extra expenses and the headache of purchasing and managing their own servers and other infrastructure related to datacentre. 

“The global cloud computing market is expected to reach $623.3 billion by 2023.”