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  • Melina Hong

A Beginner's Guide to Cloud Computing

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

In the month of March, TheTechNative will be focusing on what you need to know about Cloud Computing. This week, we will be introducing Cloud Computing and what it is all about.



What is Cloud Computing?


Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider.

- AWS


Cloud computing is essentially delivering different resources and services through the Internet. These include various tools and applications such as data storage, servers, databases, networks and software. Instead of running software or saving data on physical devices, cloud computing makes it possible to remotely access them as long as there is Internet connectivity.


According to Gartner Inc, the worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services would grow 18.4% ($304.9 billion) in 2021 compared to 2020 ($257.6 billion). The proportion of cloud migration spending will accelerate in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, with cloud projected to make up 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020. Therefore, it is evident that the pandemic further solidifies the need for cloud computing and its importance in the sustainability and growth of organizations into the tech future.


Cloud Deployment Models


With infinite ways of using the cloud, there is a need to identify the user requirements when considering how to deploy and use the cloud for your needs. Some questions could include who is the target audience? What are the types of work they are responsible for? Can the cloud help to facilitate that? Should everyone be able to access your cloud? Critical questions like these need to be addressed to ensure higher chances of realizing maximum benefits from your intended cloud deployment.



There are four commonly used deployment models in cloud computing, Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Community Cloud and Hybrid Cloud. These deployment models are defined according to where the infrastructure for the environment is located. Below is a table that describes each model and current adopters of the model. Household names such as Netflix, Dropbox can be identified as users of cloud deployment models, showing the relevance of cloud computing in our everyday lives.



Types of Cloud Computing Services


Unlike a microchip or smartphone, cloud computing is not a single piece of technology. It is a system comprising of services; Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). There are differences between the three services and what they can offer to an organisation or a user. Ultimately, it is a system that can interact with each other to form what we know as cloud computing.


Let’s look at the services from the perspective of transportation:


IaaS is like renting a car: Upon renting a car, you select the car you want and drive it wherever. However, the car does not belong to you. If you want an upgrade or a different model, you will have to rent a different car.

PaaS is like taking a cab. You don’t drive the cab. Instead, you provide the driver your destination, and you can just relax in the back seat until you get to your destination.

SaaS is like going by public transport. Buses and trains have assigned routes, and you share the ride with other passengers.


Hopefully, these analogies can help you understand our more detailed explanations. Below, we have a table that provides a simple description of each service and how each service is used, with a little more technicality.



Each service is tailored accordingly to the business needs of its target audience. In terms of technicality, IaaS allows the most control in terms of what is in the cloud. However, extensive expertise is required to understand and manage cloud infrastructure. PaaS allows a certain level of control but saves the user cost in terms of hardware needed to get the software running. On the other hand, SaaS will enable you to use cloud-based applications without having to manage the infrastructure at all. Hence, these three services can be shown as a pyramid, as seen below with examples of each service.



Uses of Cloud Computing


You do not require a technical background to understand cloud or even use it! Did you know that many of the services currently available are all utilizing cloud computing? On a day-to-day basis, services that we use include storing documents on Google Drive, editing documents online, streaming movies on Netflix, and many more. A cloud platform is most likely behind the scenes making all of this possible remotely from any part of the world.


Big Players in Cloud Computing


The popularity of cloud computing has rapidly increased after the pandemic, which has affected the entire world. With an increased steady and persistent transition into remote working environments, the need for cloud computing has never been more apparent. Organizations are now migrating to the cloud to scale up businesses. They can employ cloud computing in different ways, such as maintaining all applications and data on the cloud. In contrast, others adopt a hybrid model instead, keeping certain apps and data on private servers and others on the cloud.

When it comes to providing services, the big players in cloud computing include:

● Google Cloud

● Amazon Web Services (AWS)

● Microsoft Azure

● IBM Cloud

● Alibaba Cloud


Conclusion


With the world advancing with technology, cloud computing will be here to stay. Building a career in the cloud computing industry would be beneficial, considering the rich career opportunities due to the recent large-scale migration of organizations into the cloud. To understand more about cloud computing and how to enhance your career path, follow us at TheTechNative and let us help you learn more.

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