What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing can be defined as the term that delivers different kinds of services through the internet. Examples- data storage, servers, emails, interacting with people using platforms like Skype, Whatsapp, etc.

It allows storing numerous amounts of data online without the use of hardware tools like Pendrive. For Example- Google Dropbox and iCloud.

How does it work?

Cloud Computing is a technology that gives rise to cloud hosting. It can be private or public hosting. It depends upon your business preferences, networking, and the importance of data that needs to be stored and used.

Companies using Cloud Computing

Figure: Companies using Cloud Computing

  • Private Cloud: Private cloud computing is hosted on a private network and the info is not shared with others. It is more flexible and reliable as the resources are kept private and the access is not given to other people making the privacy more safe and controllable.
  • Public Cloud: As the name suggests, the public cloud refers to the storage of information using subscription services. The host is a public service provider that can be shared in a multi-tenant environment.
  • Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid Cloud Computing is a mix of public and private hosting. Today, no one can rely entirely on public cloud computing due to data breaches and privacy issues. The application is lightweight, fast, and budget-friendly.

One of the easiest ways to understand the difference is by looking at the example below:

A private Cloud network means your private apartment, where only you can sleep, eat, and work. Whereas, a personal Cloud means the floor where you are living with your neighbors or other apartment owners.

Cloud Computing Deployment Models

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): It is a software licensing and service delivery model over the internet. This eliminates the software/hardware hurdles and one can easily access it on the web.

Examples- Dropbox, Google Workspace, Cisco Webex, etc.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): IaaS refers to the online storage, drivers, and other internet resources on a pay-as-you-go model. The delivery method is provided through an IP-based on-demand connection that helps clients avoid purchasing servers & software. 

Examples- Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco Metapod, Google Compute Engine (GCE), etc.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): PaaS is a ready-to-use model in which a third party delivers the software/hardware tools that can be used on the internet. The hosting is done by the hosts on their infrastructure and is charged in the form of a monthly fee.

Examples- Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud Platform, etc.

Difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.

Figure: Key Differences b/w Cloud Computing Deployment Models

Advantages of Cloud Computing

  • Cost Saving: By the pay-as-you-go model, companies need to pay only if they require the services. The companies need to pay for the required space only. This also cut the expenses and saves time & effort.
  • Flexibility: One can access information online from any corner of the world. Also, when a third party takes care of the storage security, you get more time to utilize your efforts on other important tasks.
  • Data Loss Prevention: When organizations subscribe to cloud services, they prevent their data from theft, breaches, and other errors. If the data is stored in the office/personal computers, there is a risk of permanently losing the information.
  • Automatic Software Updates: Cloud software is updated automatically unlike office computers. The IT or the concerned staff need not update the software manually every time.
  • Environment Friendly:  Data stored in the electronic format is sustainable as compared to the information written and stored in the form of papers, and other physical formats.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

  • Dependant on Internet Connection: To access, store, and use cloud services, an internet connection is a necessity. This is the biggest obstacle for the people living in remote areas of a country.
  • Poor Customer Service: If there is any technical problem, the customer service providers take time and effort to rectify the error. It can take a complete day and might delay the process for a long term on public holidays.
  • Data Hacking Risk: Since the data is stored online, there is always a risk of data mining and a probability of data getting hacked which can lead to some serious trouble.

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

So, the bottom line is the ‘Cloud Computing’ safe?

Well, the answer is YES! It is. The data is stored online and is convenient to access from any corner of the world but the internet connection should be properly working.

Moreover, security protocols like two-step verification, VPNs, and two-factor authorization (2FA) play an equally important role in maintaining your information secure and safe to operate.

Key Takeaways

Cloud Computing plays an important role in managing, storing, and protecting data. It is revolutionizing the digital world by saving time, cost, and efforts of the companies.

  • Cloud Computing is further classified into 3 networks- Private, Public, and Hybrid.
  • Saas, Paas, and Iaas are the different types of Cloud Computing Deployment models that have specific roles for specific users.
  • Cloud Computing is safe, reliable, and the easiest way to store information but might be of no use for people living in countries having low internet connectivity.
  • It is a sustainable way of storing information as it doesn’t require papers and physical objects that pollutes the environment.

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