Remember the days when you had to carry your external hard disks everywhere in order to carry around big-size files? Yes, those sound like light years ago but then it was not. Until recently the world was quite skeptical about moving all their files into clouds. Given the increase in cyber-crimes, the worrying is all legist but with the ways the security is enhanced, you must be on board with this technology. Local hardware has flexibility issues that can limit your thinking. With the cloud and its unlimited potential, the world is literally just a click away. Starting from semi-conductors, to financial services, to manufacturing, Cloud’s powerful solutions accelerate time to build and deliver superior product quality. And with a technology that is constantly evolving, one may never know just enough about the cloud. Let us however start with the basics.
What is Cloud Computing?
Before the existence of Cloud computing, businesses had to purchase their own servers in order to manage their data. This configuration is known as on-premises storage. They have many disadvantages such as high maintenance expenses, initiation cost, only access to the data from a specific location, and a high risk always to lose all the data. Also, on-premises storage makes it difficult to exchange data between two companies. Several exchanges and visits need to be arranged in order for the data to be successfully transferred. They seemed almost unavoidable before the existence of cloud computing.
Cloud computing is a technology that offers access to services such as on-demand development or hosting platforms through external data storage centers that are connected through the Internet. These cloud data centers are operated by third parties known as the ‘Cloud providers’. A Business Continuity Plan must always consist of these in order to keep up the work even in times when visiting the office is not physically possible. With the COVID outburst and the sudden shutdown of the world, it is certain that we paused but thankfully we did not stop and that is because of these Cloud technologies which enable us to access all the data across the whole globe. The first company to introduce this amazing technology was ‘Amazon’ with its AWS which launched in 2006. AWS currently holds about half of the cloud market share. However, has commendable if not equal opposition from Microsoft, Azure, and Google with Google Cloud.
What are services in Cloud Computing?
Customized cloud facilities provided to businesses and enterprises can be sought as ‘Services’. For example, cloud storage will be a completely different service from application hosting or vice versa. The services offered are often categorized into three types of packages, namely Iaas, Saas, and Paas; and these are segregated based on how the Cloud services will be used in the business. Let us look with examples at what each term defines.
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
In terms of dependency, it is the least dependent of all the cloud services, which means that most of the services are handled internally, like data, applications, runtime, operating system. In case, the company rents virtual storage machines, network operating systems from a Cloud provider like Amazon EC2 and S3, Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine for a set fee.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
These are the middle-ground offered when developing and running applications. These environments help developers design a website and then their applications so that they run smoothly. Examples: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows, Force, Azure, Google App Engine, and Heroku.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is all about simplicity when compared to the three. Companies with the help of SaaS run their applications in the cloud environment and data centers rather than the private servers. Hence the users without the need to install or download an application can access it through the cloud. Example – Google Apps, Yahoo, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, Gmail, and Facebook.
The Future of Cloud Computing
Over the years, Cloud Computing has become an integral part of the whole system and it has been accepted widely across most industries. The restrictions that one faced with the local hardware such as flexibility and mobility has been eliminated with the help of Cloud, which promises us unlimited potential and creations of epic proportions. Cloud Computing is still an evolving topic and as technology ventures, through this, we will be familiar with more topics in the future. But let us look at a few of the current and future of Cloud Computing Trends:
- In this digital era, everything could be linked digitally with cloud computing. It opens a window to a whole new world of jobs, applications, services, and platforms. The future of cloud computing is predicted to be an amalgamation of on-premise and cloud-based software products. This should introduce new hybrid IT solutions.
- Every day a huge volume of data is being generated and this along with the previously generated data needs to persevere for our day-to-day work or future reference. The future clouds are predicted to have more storage space to accommodate the growing need of storing the data in large quantities.
- The Internet of Things is supposed to be enhancing how the internet works and with the help of both ‘The Internet of Things and ‘Cloud Computing’, we can improve the quality of performance and store these data in the Cloud for deeper analysis.
- Every single size of the program is constantly increasing in its size due to the constant work on it and the constant development surrounding it. It also is combined with complexities which means that very we will require advanced system thinking technologies.
- If we move all our businesses and the operations to the cloud, then we can be saving on cost on local hardware utilization as most of the work will be performed virtually.
With a constant hunger to be better than most, companies today are looking for innovative ideas and ways to grow and achieve their goals. With the help of the Cloud, companies can save on so many aspects and use Cloud to venture into the future of opportunities. As an evolving topic, Cloud Computing might throw at us many new developments happening around it and we must be aware to make our businesses grow.