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Evolution of Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computing provides us means by which we can access the applications as utilities over the internet. It allows us to create, configure, and customize the business applications online.

Cloud computing is an approach enabling convenient and on-demand access through the Internet to resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications, and services.

 

Cloud computing evolved from a concept called virtualization. Virtualization is the process of creating a virtual version of an operating system (OS), a server, or network resources. Using virtualization, you can host multiple OSes at the same time on a single machine.

A traditional application server may have just 5-10% utilization, whereas virtualized servers can reach 50-80%  utilization. By hosting more virtualized instances on fewer physical servers, you can lower costs for hardware acquisition, maintenance, energy, and cooling system usage.

Although virtualization offers many benefits, it was not enough because companies began to have many new needs such as on-demand scalability, zero capital expenditure, usage of software as a service, and so forth. Moreover, managing large numbers of virtual machines posed problems. Added to this were the issues of disaster management and data recovery.

Advantages

Companies often cannot predict whether their customer base is going to grow or shrink. If they map their infrastructure to a large potential customer base but the growth does not reach that level, then the huge infrastructure is a waste. On the other hand, if companies underestimate their growth an plan for a small infrastructure, they could lose potential customers. What is required in such scenarios is the capability to scale the infrastructure up or down depending on the demand of the hour. This capability is called elasticity and is one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing.

Another key advantage of cloud computing is that of failover capabilities. Failover is a mechanism in which tasks from a primary system are automatically offloaded to a secondary standby during system failure or pre-planned downtime.

posted Jul 6, 2017 by Kalpana Jain

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Cloud Computing refers to manipulating, configuring, and accessing the applications online. It offers online data storage, infrastructure and application.

Basic Concept:

There are certain services and models working behind the scene making the cloud computing feasible and accessible to end users. Following are the working models for cloud computing:

  1. Deployment Models
  2. Service Models


DEPLOYMENT MODELS

Deployment models define the type of access to the cloud, i.e., how the cloud is located? Cloud can have any of the four types of access: Public, Private, Hybrid and Community.
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Public Cloud
The Public Cloud allows systems and services to be easily accessible to the general public. Public cloud may be less secure because of its openness, e.g., e-mail.

Private Cloud
The Private Cloud allows systems and services to be accessible within an organization. It offers increased security because of its private nature.

Community Cloud
The Community Cloud allows systems and services to be accessible by group of organizations.

Hybrid Cloud
The Hybrid Cloud is mixture of public and private cloud. However, the critical activities are performed using private cloud while the non-critical activities are performed using public cloud.


SERVICE MODELS

Service Models are the reference models on which the Cloud Computing is based. These can be categorized into three basic service models as listed below:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

There are many other service models all of which can take the form like XaaS, i.e., Anything as a Service. This can be Network as a Service, Business as a Service, Identity as a Service, Database as a Service or Strategy as a Service.

The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the most basic level of service. Each of the service models make use of the underlying service model, i.e., each inherits the security and management mechanism from the underlying model, as shown in the following diagram:

enter image description here

INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE (IAAS)
IaaS provides access to fundamental resources such as physical machines, virtual machines, virtual storage, etc.

PLATFORM AS A SERVICE (PAAS)
PaaS provides the runtime environment for applications, development & deployment tools, etc.

SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SAAS)
SaaS model allows to use software applications as a service to end users.

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Cloud computing is using network-based services, typically on the Internet, instead of using local hardware and software infrastructure for both business and personal use. In the last few years, cloud computing has become extremely popular, yet few people fully understand all of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, so here goes.

The Advantages of Cloud Computing :
Cost: Because the costs of cloud computing is significantly less than the alternative (purchasing, licensing, and maintaining local infrastructure), small companies and even start-ups can more easily afford cloud computing. In fact, many start-ups exist only because of the low costs of cloud computing. Furthermore, many companies prefer using cloud computing when testing the market and profitability of a new product, thus minimizing the risks of expensive purchases on products that are not proven to succeed.
Flexibility: With cloud computing, resources are very scalable. For instance, disk space store is virtually unlimited, processing power can be quickly increased or decreased as needs change, and even the servers are resilient/redundant, if there are hardware failures.
Quick and Easy: Cloud computing makes backup and recovery both quick and easy. Setting up cloud computing is also quick and easy. Even the convenience of having access almost anywhere and anytime makes usage a quick and easy too.
Security: Typically, cloud computing servers have much more security than local servers. Cloud computing networks are more likely to continuously monitor hacking attempts and patch security issues as soon as possible.

The Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Outages/Control: As with all computing, there are outages. The difference with cloud computing outages is that they can be massive disruptions that can affect a much larger number of people and applications. Thus, smaller applications would have a lower priority to be resolved. As a result, cloud computing users and clients have limited or no control over the cloud computing resources.
Security: Cloud computing typically does not guarantee security of applications or privacy of data. Additionally, using a cloud computing service increases the likelihood of being noticed and thus more prone to attacks by hackers.

Conclusion: As you can see, cloud computing has several major advantages, while only two relatively minor disadvantages. As with all things business, cloud computing saves consumers and companies a lot of time and money, thus cloud computing will remain an integral part for even the most mundane businesses.

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