An Introduction to Cloud Computing
In this technology 4.0 era, “cloud computing" is a familiar term that you might already have heard of. However, do you know exactly what it means or how it works? There are also multiple types of cloud computing models. What is the difference between them and what will be best for your organization? Let's explore the term with this article!
1. What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is defined as “the delivery of on-demand computing services - from applications to storage and processing power - typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.”
Cloud computing includes many computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
2. History of cloud computing:
Back in the 1950s, a military mainframe was developed to connect computer terminals across an internal matrix as the growing need of people to access technology.
In the 1960s, the term “cloud computing” first appeared in a Compaq internal document.
By the 1990s, as technology became more affordable, a huge number of personal computers were being connected. In the mid-1990s, “cloud computing" became a thing, Google and Microsoft are those of the first to step in and push the market to grow. From SaaS only, then comes the expansion of PaaS and IaaS.
The cloud created a cultural shift never seen before. Many services launched and created its own cloud. The term cloud here is used as a metaphor. Things stored online, you can see it but it is not visible.
3. Type of cloud computing
There are four types of cloud computing: private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, and community cloud:
The first type of cloud computing: private cloud. This type of cloud computing is usually used by a single organization and can only be accessed by people in that organization. The company that owns the cloud has full responsibility for the software and infrastructure. If you need more space, it takes a whole IT team to update the platform and takes quite an amount of time.
It seems bothersome but this type of cloud computing is considered to be safer and more secure for all valuable and confidential assets.
As the name suggested, public cloud is used by literally anyone that has access to the internet with a massive amount of available space. Examples of providers that you might have already heard of or actually even using it are Google, Amazon, Microsoft. This type of cloud computing actually brings lots of benefits for individuals or organizations from an economic perspective. It is also convenient as it is a “Pay as you go" type of service if you want more space, just need to pay for it. However, one demerit of public cloud computing is that it may contain security risk for organizations as everything is public and it increases the possibility of people accessing your company/organization asset.
Public cloud lacks security, private cloud is not scalable. And you might start wondering if there is a combination of the good points of those cloud computing types? The answer is yes there is! It is a hybrid cloud that combines the scalability of public cloud and the security of private cloud. This seems to be a good option and is currently utilized by many organizations for the benefits that it brings toward their organization. There is a growing usage of this type of cloud computing.
The last type of cloud computing is community cloud, which is rarely used and mentioned. Community cloud is a multi-tenant platform used by multiple distinct organizations to share the same applications. These organizations and businesses are usually in the same field and all share the same security concern. However, there is still an underlying problem with this type of cloud computing is that you can not be certain of the partner that you are sharing the cloud platform with is trustworthy enough and hence not stealing ideas or resources from you.
4. Cloud computing model
Cloud computing can be broken down into three service models:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a service): refers to the fundamental building blocks of computing that can be rented: physical or virtual servers, storage, and networking. This type of service’s main aim is companies that want to build applications from the very ground up and want to control nearly all the elements themselves. This will require a high-level internal IT team to be able to build and maintain the platform or the organization could choose another option, outsourcing - hire somebody to do it for you. IaaS services providers including Google Cloud Platform and Amazon EC2.
- PaaS (Platform as a service): This model is the middle of the other two. Not only providing underlying storage, networking, and virtual servers but also including the tools and software that developers need to build applications on top of: that could include middleware, database management, operating systems, and development tools.
- SaaS (Software as a service): this kind of model refers to the circumstance where an organization/business let others access to their application through a website. The permission to use is charged through billing and will be based on factors such as the number of users, usage time, amount of transactions. This is probably the most commonly used model of all three. This model also excludes the burdensome of building or upgrading the underlying hardware and operating system, but will all be taken care of by software providers.
Sometimes, organizations can utilize more than one cloud computing model to serve their own purpose. If you are wondering which kind of cloud computing model or platform to use, you can contact us to receive consulting on the problems. Or if you are looking for a company to help you with setting up software or a platform for your organization, we are here to help and will implement any of your requests to produce the best outcome.