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.
With cloud computing, the entire IT infrastructure, which includes both hardware and software, is stored online. Some of the most popular applications for cloud computing include Gmail, Facebook, Alibaba, Amazon, etc. To access the remote servers where data and applications are hosted, you need an internet connection.
In most cases, cloud computing services are available anywhere and only require authentication to access servers or software data. Because of the centralized access of data and resources and the flexible pay-per-use model, it has become a favored choice for businesses of all sizes. Let's look at the cloud computing models in today's market before we dive further into the history of cloud computing.
Users will mainly access three types of deployment models for cloud computing, as listed below. Although other forms of classification are present, the following are based on the model of deployment.
A public cloud is a wide pool of computing resources accessible on a subscription basis to the general public. This form of deployment is physically inaccessible to the end-user as it is located in the data centers of the provider somewhere far away. Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, and Amazon Cloud are some examples. Among the available cloud options, it is the cheapest.
A private cloud is a computing resource pool that only hosts a single enterprise. In certain aspects, it is similar to public cloud computing, but the distinction lies in resource access. A private cloud hosts a single customer's resources, which makes it more stable compared to a public cloud. As it is hosted on internal company servers utilizing certain virtualization technologies, it also provides better protection. An example of a private cloud is VMware.
A hybrid cloud is a blend of private and public clouds, and typically provides the best of both worlds. Within the private cloud, confidential data may be hosted while other resources are hosted on the public cloud. To manage excessive traffic, a company may also revert to the public cloud.
Cloud computing has been the foundation of digital technology over the last ten years, helping millions of enterprises all over the world. Looking back, though, the computing cloud paradigm has gone through a fascinating transformation to achieve the stages of today. We have seen the paradigm evolve from grid and utility computing, application delivery, software as a service (SaaS), and eventually to computing services delivery worldwide.
With the addition of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) and the Intergalactic Computer Network, the turning point can be traced back to the 1960s. The concept of a globally interconnected network was conceived for the first time and contributed to the advancement of grid computing. The connection of computers distributed over a large geographical area into a loose network was involved in grid computing. This then led to utility computing, far nearer to ARPANET's originally intended model.
In the 1990s, when the internet bandwidth became substantially wide enough to enable a boom in web growth, the most important change came. It was in the 1990s that Salesforce served the first business applications through a web application that started a revolution in the distribution of applications. The adoption of the SaaS model is what has led to stiff competition among top software companies, including Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. With the introduction of browser-only software such as Google Apps and Office 365, this progressed even further in 2009.
Cloud computing is a cost-effective solution for storing large amounts of data on the Internet. The traditional IT infrastructure includes applications, runtimes, security, integration, databases, servers, virtualization, storage, networking, and more. Instead of maintaining all of this by yourself, with associated operations and maintenance expenditure, you can rely on a cloud provider to handle O&M for you, allowing you to focus on your core business. You migrate everything to the cloud, and the cloud provider will handle the rest.
Paying for cloud computing is very simple, just like when you pay your power bill, you pay only for what you use. In general, there are two types of payment: yearly/monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go. Put simply, cloud computing’s flexible billing can help you to save a lot of money.
Data security in cloud computing is more complicated than in a traditional data center because data is stored in different machines such as servers, PCs, and various mobile devices. However cloud providers can help you to secure any infrastructure you deploy in the cloud environment, including compute, storage, database, and networking resources. You just need to secure your access credentials, your applications, and the underlying operating system.
When you suddenly need more computing power for your website or applications, you can scale up quickly and easily: almost instantly. For example, E-commerce websites may experience suddenly traffic peaks during Black Friday, which could overload your infrastructure and impact the usability of your website. Downtime has a dollar value, and E-commerce sites cannot afford to lose customers due to system failures. With the scalability of cloud computing, when you face a sudden traffic peak, you can automatically allocate more compute resources to keep your website or application stable and responsive. If the physical server which hosts your application experiences an error, your applications will be migrated to another working server with no intervention on your part.
When you face a sudden spike in traffic, you may need more resources to help you handle the heavy demand placed on your application. Cloud computing makes it possible to scale up quickly: you don’t need to order and provision physical equipment, which is slow and complicated. When your demands drop, you can scale your infrastructure back down to meet actual demand: no need to pay for resources you don’t need. This is one of cloud computing’s key advantages: elasticity. You use (and pay for) only what you need.
Storing data on the cloud gives you virtually unlimited storage capacity, so you don’t need to worry about running out of storage space in a cloud environment. Because you aren’t managing the physical storage equipment on your own, you don’t need to estimate your future needs either: your on-cloud storage seamlessly grows to meet demand. With cloud computing, you can access as much as you need, and scale up and down when needed.
With your data stored in the cloud, you can store data across multiple regions for redundancy and reliability. Most service providers support data recovery almost in real-time to ensure the great availability of your data.
Cloud computing allows you to deploy your application or website in multiple regions around the world with just a few clicks. As a result, while you are reducing costs for infrastructure deployment, your customers could have a better user experience with lower latency.
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