Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote multiple servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data. It is evolving with companies of all shapes and sizes adapting to the technology based on their requirements.
In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical server. Cloud Computing relies on shared pool of computing resources (networks, servers, applications, storage and services).
Cloud computing promotes service availability and is composed of five essential characteristics (resource pooling, measured service, rapid elasticity, broad network access and on-demand self-service).
There are four deployment models of cloud computing (namely public, community, private and hybrid). There are also four service models, namely Development as a Service (DaaS), Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
The components (enablers) of cloud computing architecture are frontend platform, backend platforms, cloud based delivery system and a network.
Cloud computing is used on daily basis to carry out computing activities for services such as ecommerce, file sharing, storing and playing of music and movies, sending email, playing of games and lots more.
Companies and Organisations have been taking advantages of the business side of cloud computing and offer these computing services to clients. These companies are popularly referred to as cloud providers.
Cloud computing system requires providers to keep clients data and information secure, ensuring backups of devices. Many are apprehensive in utilising cloud computing services but there are many benefits associated with cloud computing.
The following are some of the benefits of cloud computing:
- Scalable IT Infrastructure: The ability and flexibility to scale up or down a company’s IT infrastructure depending on its need
- Work from anywhere: Clients would be able to access their applications and data from anywhere at any time over the Internet. Data won’t be confined to any user’s computer’s hard drive.
- Some companies rent physical space to store servers and databases because servers and storage devices takes up space. Cloud computing allows these companies to store data on providers hardware removing the need for physical space.
- Zero Capital Expenditure: There won’t be a need to purchase a computer with a large hard drive and plenty of memory because your information are stored on a remote computer. You will enjoy pay as you go service.
- Backup and Recovery: Data can be mirrored at multiple redundant site on the cloud provider’s network which makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easy and less expensive.
- Increased collaboration
- Automatic Software integration
There are equally risks associated with cloud computing. These include security in the cloud, technical issues, loss of control, fear of the unknown, etc.
Each organisation must seek detailed information from the cloud service provider and based on informed decision, decide whether or not to embark on cloud services.
Major examples of cloud-based services utilizing cloud computing, that you are probably using are Google Drive, Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive.