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Friday, April 24, 2020

What is cloud? An Overview

April 24, 2020 Posted by jaacostan
As per NIST, Cloud is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources (eg: networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider.
In layman terms, a cloud is a set of resources available over internet that can be used by the companies to deliver their services to all over the world. The benefits of cloud includes,
  1. On demand self service : Companies can create and start a service as you desired in least amount of time.
  2. Broad network access and availability : Services hosted in cloud is available all over the world with better availability rate.
  3. Resource pooling : Cloud companies invested a lot of money to build the resources and these resources are shared among the customers in a multi tenant model.
  4. Rapid elasticity : resources are scalable up and down in least amount of time. For example, you can set up a working windows server in a matter of few minutes.
  5. Metered service and pay as you go : Customers usually needs to pay for the resources as they use.
  6. Save on expenditure, minimize the need for IT staffs for operations and maintenance.
There are three major Cloud hosting Business model.
1) Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)
Here the cloud provider will provide all the facilities and hardware. The customer can host their service on this. Here the Cloud provider is responsible only for the maintenance and availability of the Hardware.Client pays for these hardware usage consumption. The customer is responsible for the Operating system ,applications, and its maintenance such as patching, upgrading etc.
Companies who owns data centers invested huge amount of money for the facility, heating and ventilation, Air conditioning etc. when it comes to cloud, companies don't need to think about all those infrastructural nightmares and those things comes under the responsibility of the cloud provider like AWS, Microsoft Azure , Google etc.
2) Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Here, in addition to IaaS, PaaS adds the integration and middle-ware services. It that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. Eg: Google Cloud App Engine.
3) Software as a Service (SaaS)
In SaaS, the customers can use the Software application service for their use. All the hardware, OS and application will be maintained by the Cloud provider. These services are delivered over internet  seamlessly without much headache to the end customer. One great example is Salesforce.com. Most of the services such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, Netflix are a form of SaaS. Normally these SaaS services are billed based on a subscription plan. This eliminated mostly all risks from the customer end. 

Major Cloud players are Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Other companies includes Rackspace, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle cloud, IBM cloud etc.
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