A Basic Guide To Understanding Cloud Computing

By 2021, more than 90% of compute instances and workloads will be processed using cloud data centers. There’s no doubt that cloud computing has already started taking the world by storm. 

While the principle behind the cloud isn’t new, it’s important to understand cloud computing concepts and terminology now that more and more businesses and companies switch to cloud services. 

The Cloud: What Is It?

Cloud computing is something that people always hear about, but what does the cloud really means?  It can be a nebulous and intimidating topic, especially for non-techies out there.

The cloud is basically the Internet. Cloud computing describes services and software that are running through the Internet. These services and software work through the cloud rather than on hard drives or private servers. 

How Cloud Computing Works

Traditional IT hosting services and cloud computing differ from each other. That’s because the organization, business, or individual user (the consumer) generally doesn’t own the infrastructure that’s needed for supporting the applications and programs they use. These elements are operated and owned by a third party instead. That means end users pay for the services they use.

Cloud Service Models

There are three primary service models in cloud solutions: SaaS or software as a service, PaaS or platform as a service, and IaaS or infrastructure as a service. Learn more about them below.

  1. SaaS

Of the different cloud service models available, cloud application services come as the most well-known. A third-party host, pack, and deliver the software through the Internet, which typically takes place on a browser-based interface. Enterprises can offload both maintenance and management costs to the vendor when the software application gets delivered over the Internet. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) software and email are some of the popular SaaS options.

  1. PaaS

Platform as a service is primarily geared towards operations professionals and developers primarily. For users to complete the development and delivery of applications, service providers rent out platforms that are cloud-based. Simply saying, the building, customization, and deployment of applications become easier and more efficient with the help of the framework that PaaS provides.

  1. IaaS

Users can access computing resources, such as storage, networking, and servers, via the cloud through infrastructure as a service. IaaS provides environments that are automated and scalable even though users are still responsible for managing their middleware, data, applications, etc. These automated and scalable environments provide a high degree of flexibility and control for the user.

Google Compute Engine (GCE), Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are some of the popular IaaS providers.  

IaaS companies usually sign up to Microsoft’s Cloud Solutions Provider Programme and become a Microsoft CSP reseller to procure and resell cloud-based solutions. They can also provide customer support and billing to businesses.

Types Of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing concept laptop close up with white clouds coming out of the computer indicating online storage and internet connection.

To meet individual demands and provide favorable results, numerous types of cloud computing have emerged. That means cloud computing differs for everyone since not all of the clouds are identical.

Here are the different types of cloud computing:

  1. Private Cloud – IT services through a private network or the Internet are provided by a private cloud to select users only rather than to the public. That means a private cloud only has one tenant. 

It’s possible for the private cloud to reside off-site or on-site. The single, private tenant who has greater control over the different IT services is the distinguishing feature. That’s why private clouds are also a popular choice for organizations with high priorities on compliance and security. Those who really want to ensure they’re meeting enterprise security requirements also opt to work with a cloud access security broker.

  1. Public Cloud – The cloud computing option that’s most commonly understood is the public cloud. It’s where all the supporting infrastructure and services are managed off-site and shared across multiple tenants or users over the Internet.

At the individual consumer level, streaming service Netflix is one good example of a public cloud. Users are able to get a subscription to the service through their personal accounts, but access similar services through the Internet across the platform. – Read more

Cloud Computing: Opportunities and Concerns

Not just transforming personal lives, but it also holds potential for big businesses

Cloud computing is a buzzword these days. As Microsoft puts it, “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.” The reason for calling it cloud computing is that the cloud symbol has been in use since the 1990s to represent the Internet in computer network diagrams. So, cloud computing is nothing but computing activities carried out over the internet.

If you have been using Web-based email service, you have been using cloud computing of sorts. The email operations of accepting, forwarding, delivering, and storing email messages and attachments is carried out not by your computer (called the client) but by the email servers (computers, programs and data storage systems located elsewhere) contacted over the internet. As a matter of fact, this client-server model was developed in the 1970s, and is the basis for cloud computing. Cloud computing has the potential to transform not only our personal lives, but also the operational efficiency of small and big businesses.

Types of Cloud Computing

Public clouds: These are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider, which deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet, e.g., Microsoft Azure. Here, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.

Private clouds: This refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization, one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. It can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud.

Hybrid clouds: These combine public and private clouds, with technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. This allows for greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimise your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.

Types of Cloud Computing Services

These days, access to internet allows us to access our applications and data from any device, anywhere at any time. Sitting in a café, you can view and edit your documents with your mobile, using Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, Google Docs and Zoho Office. This is the cloud computing service model ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS).

Creative SaaS applications are music composition and audio-editing tools from Aviary, online video editors from JayCut and Pixorial, and online photo editors from Aviary and Pixlr. Most domestic users are going to need only SaaS applications. But SaaS is restrictive for businesses and companies, who need to develop and run their own software applications. For them, ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) and ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ (IaaS) are on offer. – Read more

Cloud Stories: Why These Major Brands Are Migrating To The Cloud

The economic turmoil caused by the pandemic has kickstarted the rapid adoption of cloud technology. Across the globe, companies in their thousands are expanding the number of services they operate in the cloud in a bid to speed up digital transformation and put themselves in a better position to withstand the volatility of today’s marketplace. In this post, we’ll look at some major brands to discover why they have decided to migrate to the cloud over the last few months.  

Coca-Cola

Arguably the most recognisable brand in the world, Coca-Cola may have been making the same product for 128 years but its operations are strictly 21st century. Its manufacturing processes have long been massively automated and now, it has adopted a cloud-first policy with regard to IT.

As part of its digital transformation, the company has migrated to a hybrid cloud setup in a bid to reduce operational costs and increase IT resilience. This will enable it to deploy data analytics and artificial intelligence to provide it with insights that it can use to improve its services and operations.

Coca-Cola will use the migration to streamline its existing IT infrastructure and develop a company-wide platform for standardised business processes, technology and data. In order to integrate the public and private elements of its hybrid cloud, together with existing technology it plans to keep, it will deploy a single-dashboard, multi-cloud management system.

Finastra

UK-based fintech company, Finastra, is migrating to the cloud to accelerate not only its own digital transformation but those of its 8,000 global customers. The objective is to revolutionise the use of technology in the financial services sector by developing a platform that financial companies can use to speed up innovation and improve collaboration.

To achieve this, Finastra will migrate its entire customer base to the new cloud platform. From here, they will be able to create digital-first workplaces and provide their own clients with financial services and solutions, such as electronic notary services and electronic signatory, which are better suited to today’s digital world.

Major bank migrations: Deutsche Bank and HSBC

Two of the world’s major banks, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, have both announced plans for migrations over the last few weeks. A key element of its digital transformation, Deutsche Bank sees the cloud as being crucial for increasing revenue and minimising costs. It aims to make use of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve risk analysis and cash flow forecasting, as well as to develop digital communications that are easier for customers to interact with and which enhance the customer experience.

The German bank is also using the move to improve security, seeing it as a way to help it comply with data protection and privacy regulations and to ensure the integrity of customer data.

HSBC Holdings, the parent company of HSBC Bank, is adopting the cloud to benefit from its storage, compute, data analytics, AI, machine learning, database and container services, as well as for the cloud’s advanced security. 

Its major goal is to provide more personalised and customer-centric banking services for its customers, for which it will develop customer-facing applications. It also intends to use the move to update its Global Wealth & Personal Banking division, develop new digital products and improve compliance.

Car manufacturer migrations: Daimler and Nissan

Two leading car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler AG, and Nissan have also announced plans to adopt cloud technology. Daimler will migrate its after-sales portal to the public cloud to help it innovate and accelerate the development of new products and services for its global customer base, as well as to provide it with scalability. Like many other companies, it also sees cloud as being a secure platform and will use it to encrypt and store data to protect it from ransomware and hacking.

Nissan, meanwhile, is using the cloud primarily to help cut costs during the post-pandemic downturn. With poor sales throughout 2020, it views digital transformation as essential to remain agile and resilient.

The move will allow the car maker to store its vast quantities of data far less expensively than in-house and provide it with cost-effective, scalable processing resources. These it will use to undertake application-based, computational fluid dynamics and structural simulations which are needed to design its cars and test them for aerodynamics and structural issues. The cloud will also enable it to carry out performance and engineering simulations, helping it improve its vehicles’ fuel efficiency, reliability and safety. – Read more

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