This comprehensive guide covers the fundamentals and beyond in Cloud Computing. Our Cloud Computing Guide is written for both newcomers and experienced ones.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a fast-growing segment of the information technology industry. It offers businesses new ways to store data and entire systems in remote servers rather than local devices like PCs, laptops, and smartphones.
Cloud computing enables users to access services from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection. Cloud computing has many different definitions depending on who you ask, but it’s essentially a model for providing computing services remotely through the internet rather than directly with hardware or software at your business location.
This type of service provides several advantages over having all of those resources stored on your own computer or network. Here is a list of pros and cons when using cloud computing:
Key Benefits of Cloud Computing
- Workload scalability - The ability to dynamically increase or decrease the amount of processing power required at any interval.
- Resiliency against natural disasters - Redundant data centers, network links and other systems designed to withstand extreme weather and other catastrophic events. - Reducing upfront capital costs.
- Purchasing less hardware and software to handle the same workloads and reduce upfront capital costs.
- Reduced power consumption - When less hardware is required, less power is consumed.
- Accessibility from anywhere - Users have access to the same data and systems from any web-connected device, wherever they are.
- Easier collaboration and productivity - Cloud services enable a more collaborative work environment, with the ability to access files and applications remotely. - Growing demand for data analytics.
- Machine learning and AI-based services enable businesses to process large volumes of data and make predictive decisions.
- More reliable software - New SaaS applications are always updated with the most recent bug fixes and functionality, reducing the need to install and maintain software on your own computers.
- Reduced time to market - Newly created SaaS apps are immediately available to customers from day one, whereas on-premise apps require an extensive development process to build, test and deploy.
Drawbacks of Cloud Computing
- Monitoring Service - The client has to be careful about the service provider to whom they are outsourcing their services.
- Higher operation and maintenance costs - Cloud providers usually charge a fee for their services, though in most cases, the client can save money with the reduced upfront capital costs.
- Dependence on the service provider - If the provider’s service is interrupted, the client will be affected.
- Lack of control over data location - In public clouds, the client doesn’t have control over where their data is physically stored.
- Longer time to recover in case of an outage - While private clouds offer an on-premise solution that allows recovery in minutes, public cloud providers take longer to repair their infrastructure.
- Inability to transfer data to another provider - Since most cloud services are provided using standard technology, it’s not easy to transfer data to another provider.
Types of Cloud Computing
- Public Cloud - An open network that anyone can use to store, run and access data and applications.
- Private Cloud - An on-premise network that provides the same benefits as public cloud services, but only for the company that owns it.
- Hybrid Cloud - A combination of two or more clouds, usually a mix of public and private. Hybrid clouds are commonly used by businesses with strict data security regulations.
Security and Reliability Issues in Cloud Computing
- Legal contracts - Before signing a contract with a cloud provider, make sure its terms and conditions are in your best interest.
- Data security - Make sure the provider uses appropriate security measures and follows industry best practices for data protection.
- Service-level agreement - Make sure the provider has a service-level agreement that guarantees the availability and uptime of their service.
- Disaster recovery plan - Find out if the provider has a disaster recovery plan in place in case of any service interruption and data loss.
- Hybrid/private cloud - In case of regulatory or compliance concerns, a hybrid/private cloud might be a better alternative that gives you more control.
- Readiness for AI - Before integrating a cloud provider into your AI workflow, ensure it can handle the required volume of data.
- Integration with other services - Consider the services you already use and make sure your provider’s product integrates with them.
- Impact on the budget - Before signing a contract, make sure you understand the provider’s pricing model and the potential impact on your budget.
- Service continuity during a crisis - The management of the provider must be ready to make the right decisions in a crisis situation.
Cloud computing is a growing trend in IT, with many different benefits to businesses that choose to adopt it. However, it isn’t without its drawbacks. In this article, we’ve explored what cloud computing is, its benefits and drawbacks, and the various types of cloud computing that exist. We hope you’ve found this article helpful!