Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change. It allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance and that it enables IT teams to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable demand. Below discussion should be noted by investors looking to put money into cloud computing technologies.

Characteristics

  • Device and location independence enable users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they use.
  • Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier because they do not need to be installed on each user’s computer and can be accessed from different places.
  • Multitenancy enables sharing of resources and costs across a large pool of users.
  • Performance is monitored by IT experts from the service provider, and consistent and loosely coupled architectures are constructed using web services as the system interface.
  • Productivity may be increased when multiple users can work on the same data simultaneously.
  • Reliability improves with the use of multiple redundant sites.
  • Scalability and elasticity via dynamic (“on-demand”) provisioning of resources on a fine-grained, self-service basis in near real-time.
  • Security can improve due to the centralization of data, increased security-focused resources.

 

Service Models

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

It refers to online services that provide high-level APIs used to dereference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc. IaaS cloud providers supply resources on-demand from their large pools of equipment installed in data centers. Cloud providers typically bill IaaS services on a utility computing basis: cost reflects the number of resources allocated and consumed.

  • Platform as a service (PaaS)

Cloud providers deliver a computing platform, typically including operating system, programming-language execution environment, database and the webserver. Application developers develop and run their software on a cloud platform instead of directly buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers.

  • Software as a service (SaaS)

In this model, users gain access to application software and databases. Cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms that run the applications. SaaS is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software” and is usually priced on a pay-per-use basis or using a subscription fee.

  • Mobile “backend” as a service (MBaaS)

In this model web app and mobile app developers are provided with a way to link their applications to cloud storage and cloud computing services with application programming interfaces (APIs) exposed to their applications and custom software development kits (SDKs).

  • Serverless computing

It is a cloud computing code execution model in which the cloud provider fully manages starting and stopping virtual machines as necessary to serve requests and requests are billed by an abstract measure of the resources required to satisfy the request, rather than per virtual machine, per hour.

 

Deployment Models

Private Cloud

Cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third party and hosted either internally or externally. Undertaking a private cloud project requires significant engagement to virtualize the business environment, and requires the organization to re-evaluate decisions about existing resources.

Public Cloud

When the services are rendered over a network that is open for public use. Public cloud services may be free. Technically there may be little or no difference between public and private cloud architecture, however, security consideration may be substantially different for services (applications, storage, and other resources) that are made available by a service provider.

Hybrid Cloud

It is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. Hybrid cloud can also mean the ability to connect collocation, managed and/or dedicated services with cloud resources.

Cloud Platforms & Solution Providers

Cloud services is a rapidly growing market. Modern technologies like big data analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence and even web and mobile app hosting all need heavy computing power. Cloud computing offers enterprises an alternative to building their in-house infrastructure. There are many companies that offer cloud platforms for development, management and deployment of applications.

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Microsoft Azure
  • IBM Bluemix
  • Alibaba
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