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What are Cloud Services

This article describes the definition of cloud service, its features, and applications, etc.

Cloud Service Definition

Cloud services are based on the increase, use and interaction mode of Internet-related services. It usually involves the provision of resources through the Internet, which is dynamically scalable and often virtualized.

Cloud is a metaphor for the network and the Internet. Cloud service refers to obtaining the required services through the network in an on-demand and easy-to-scalable manner. This service can be related to IT and software, the Internet, or other services. It means that computing can also be circulated through the Internet as a commodity.

Cloud Services Background

Cloud computing is another great change, after the great change from client-server in 1980.

Cloud computing is the product of the integration of traditional computer and network technology. For example, Distributed Computing, Parallel Computing, Utility Computing, Network Storage Technologies, Virtualization, Load Balancer, Content Delivery Network, etc.

Cloud Services Features

The operation of the enterprise data center will be more similar to the Internet, by distributing computing on a large number of distributed computers instead of local computers or remote servers. This enables the enterprise to switch resources to the applications they need, and access computers and storage systems as needed. It means that computing can also be circulated as a commodity, just like gas, water and electricity, with convenient access and low cost. The biggest difference is that it is transmitted over the Internet.

The Form of Cloud Services

Public Cloud and Private Cloud

Simply put, cloud services can put all the software and data needed by the enterprise on the internet. It can realize the purpose of data access, calculation, etc., at any time and place, by using different IT equipment to connect to each other. Currently, the common cloud services are public cloud and private cloud.

Public Cloud Is Low Costs

Public cloud is the most basic service, multiple customers can share the system resources of one service provider. They can enjoy professional IT services without setting up any equipment and equipping management personnel. For ordinary entrepreneurs and SMEs, this is undoubtedly a good way to reduce costs.

Public cloud can also be subdivided into three categories, Software-as-a-Service(SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS).

Our daily use of Gmail, Hotmail, and online photo albums all belong to SaaS. It is mainly dominated by a single network software. As for PaaS, it provides application development and deployment platforms in the form of services.

IaaS Meets Different Needs of Enterprises

The IaaS architecture is mainly through the combination of virtualization technology and cloud services to directly improve the operational capabilities of the entire IT system. Current IaaS service providers, such as Alibaba Cloud, will provide software, hardware and services with top technology in the form of monthly fees. Such as servers, storage systems, network hardware, virtualization software, etc. IaaS allows enterprises to freely choose which software, hardware and services to use. Small and medium-sized enterprises can build the most suitable IT infrastructure system according to the needs of the industry and the scale of development.

This service model can bring multiple advantages to SMEs:

  • First, they do not need to be equipped with expensive IT infrastructure equipment, but they can enjoy the same professional services;
  • Second, the management can deploy the required service portfolio according to the scale and needs of business development;
  • Third, when new technologies appear, companies can submit upgrade requirements to service providers at any time, without worrying about adding hardware;
  • Fourth, the IaaS service provider has a professional consultant team, and small and medium-sized enterprises can avoid the expenditure of system management and IT support;

Big Enterprises Tend to Set Up Private Clouds

Big enterprises (such as the financial and insurance industries) are unable to store important data on public networks in order to take into account the privacy of industries and customers, so they tend to set up private cloud networks.

The operation of private cloud is similar to that of public cloud. However, setting up a private cloud is a major investment. Enterprises need to design data centers, networks, and storage equipment by themselves, and have a professional consultant team. Enterprise management must fully consider the necessity of using private clouds and whether they have sufficient resources to ensure the normal operation of private clouds.

The Application of Cloud Services

Cloud IoT

The IoT is the Internet of Things Connected. It has two meanings: First, the core and foundation of the Internet of Things(IoT) is still the Internet, which is an extended and expanded network based on the Internet; Second, its user end extends and extends to any item and item, for information exchange and communication.

As the business volume of the Internet of Things (IoT) increases, the demand for data storage and calculations will bring requirements for "cloud computing" capabilities:

  • Cloud computing: From the computing center to the data center in the initial stage of the Internet of Things, PoP can meet the needs;
  • In the advanced stage of the Internet of Things, the combination of virtualized cloud computing technology, SOA and other technologies is needed to realize the ubiquitous service of the Internet: TaaS (everyTHING As A Service).

Cloud Security

Cloud Security is a new term evolved from "cloud computing". The strategic vision of cloud security is: The more users, the safer each user. Because such a large user base is enough to cover every corner of the Internet. As long as a website is linked to the Trojan virus appears, it will be intercepted immediately.

"Cloud Security" obtains the latest information of Trojan and malicious programs on the Internet through the abnormal monitoring of the software behavior in the network by a large number of meshed clients. It pushes to the server for automatic analysis and processing, and then distributes the virus and Trojan solutions to each client.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is a new concept extended and developed from the concept of cloud computing.

It refers to a system that gathers a large number of different types of storage devices in the internet through application software to work together to provide data storage and business access functions to the outside world.

When the core of cloud computing system operation and processing is the storage and management of large amounts of data, a large number of storage devices need to be configured in the cloud computing system. Then the cloud computing system is transformed into a cloud storage system. Therefore, cloud storage is a cloud computing system with data storage and management as its core.

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don't necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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Related Knowledge Base

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing resources (including servers, databases, storage, platforms, infrastructure, applications, etc.) over the Internet. Cloud computing can be used on a pay-as-you-go basis, which means you pay just for what you need.

What Is Public Cloud?

Public cloud is a cloud infrastructure provisioned for use by the general public, individuals or businesses. Essentially, third-party public cloud providers lease servers within a virtual environment, which is accessible over Internet. Users can then access these servers by purchasing public cloud services such as cloud servers, data storage, and other cloud-related services.

What Is Private Cloud?

Different from public cloud, a private cloud is a model of cloud computing that provides a dedicated cloud environment to a single organization. Private cloud can be operated internally by an in-house IT team, behind that organization’s firewall, so an organization has more control of its compute resources. Private cloud is mainly used by enterprises, so it is also considered a type of enterprise cloud.

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