What is Cloud Computing and How Does It Works (Overview)

What is Cloud Computing – Cloud computing is a term that refers to the delivery of various computing services over the Internet. These services include storage, servers, databases, networking, software, analytics, and more. Cloud computing enables users to access and use these resources on demand, without having to invest in and maintain physical infrastructure.

Cloud computing has many benefits for individuals and businesses, such as cost savings, scalability, flexibility, performance, reliability, and security. However, it also has some drawbacks, such as technical issues, security risks, vendor lock-in, and compliance challenges. In this article, we will explore the different types of cloud computing and their pros and cons.


Types of Cloud Computing

There are three main types of cloud computing: public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the user’s needs and preferences.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is a type of cloud computing where the services are provided by a third-party provider over the Internet. The provider owns and manages the infrastructure, software, and security of the cloud. Users can access the services through a web browser or an application programming interface (API). Examples of public cloud providers are Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud.

Pros of Public Cloud

  • Cost efficiency: Users only pay for the resources they use and do not have to incur the capital and operational expenses of owning and maintaining physical servers and data centers.
  • Scalable: Users can easily adjust the amount of resources they need according to their demand and workload. Public cloud providers offer a large pool of resources that can be provisioned and released quickly and easily.
  • Accessible: Users can access the services from anywhere and any device that has an internet connection. This provides convenience and flexibility for users who work remotely or across different locations.
  • Innovative: Users can benefit from the latest technologies and features that public cloud providers offer. Public cloud providers constantly update and improve their services to meet the changing needs of the market and customers.

Cons of Public Cloud

  • Technical issues: Users may experience downtime, latency, or performance issues due to network problems or service outages. Users have little control over these issues and have to rely on the provider’s service level agreement (SLA) and customer support.
  • Security risks: Users may face security threats such as data breaches, cyberattacks, or unauthorized access due to the shared nature of the public cloud. Users have to trust the provider’s security measures and policies and comply with their terms and conditions.
  • Vendor lock-in: Users may become dependent on a specific provider’s services, features, or formats. This may limit their ability to switch to another provider or migrate to another type of cloud computing. Users may also face compatibility issues or increased costs when integrating with other services or platforms.
  • Compliance challenges: Users may have to adhere to various regulations and standards regarding data privacy, security, sovereignty, or governance. These may vary depending on the location, industry, or nature of the data. Users have to ensure that the provider’s services meet these requirements and that they have the necessary documentation and audits.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is a type of cloud computing where the services are exclusively used by a single organization or entity. The organization owns and manages the infrastructure, software, and security of the cloud. The cloud can be located on-premises or off-premises at a third-party data center. Examples of private cloud platforms are VMware, OpenStack, Red Hat, and Oracle.

Pros of Private Cloud

  • Control: Users have full control over the configuration, management, and security of the cloud. Users can customize the services according to their specific needs and preferences.
  • Security: Users have a higher level of security as they do not share the resources with other users. Users can implement their own security policies and measures to protect their data and applications.
  • Compliance: Users have more flexibility to comply with various regulations and standards regarding data privacy, security, sovereignty, or governance. Users can choose where to store their data and how to handle it.
  • Performance: Users can optimize the performance of their applications by reducing network latency and bandwidth consumption. Users can also allocate more resources to critical or high-demand applications.

Cons of Private Cloud

  • Costly: Users have to incur the capital and operational expenses of owning and maintaining physical servers and data centers. Users also have to invest in hardware, software, licenses, staff, training, maintenance, upgrades, etc.
  • Complex: Users have to manage the complexity of setting up, running, and securing the cloud. Users also have to deal with technical issues such as hardware failures, software bugs, or compatibility problems.
  • Limited: Users have limited access to the latest technologies and features that public cloud providers offer. Users also have limited scalability as they are constrained by their own resources and capacity.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing where the services are a combination of public and private clouds. The services are connected and integrated through a common platform or network. Users can leverage the best of both worlds by choosing which type of cloud to use for different applications or data. Examples of hybrid cloud platforms are Google Anthos, AWS Outposts, Azure Arc, and IBM Cloud Pak.

Pros of Hybrid Cloud

  • Flexible: Users can choose the most suitable type of cloud for each application or data based on their requirements and preferences. Users can also move applications or data between clouds as needed.
  • Cost-effective: Users can optimize their costs by using the public cloud for less critical or variable workloads and the private cloud for more critical or stable workloads. Users can also avoid overprovisioning or underutilization of resources.
  • Secure: Users can enhance their security by using the private cloud for sensitive or confidential data and the public cloud for less sensitive or public data. Users can also implement encryption, authentication, or firewall techniques to secure the connection between clouds.
  • Innovative: Users can access the latest technologies and features that public cloud providers offer while maintaining their own infrastructure and security. Users can also benefit from the interoperability and compatibility of different cloud platforms and services.

Cons of Hybrid Cloud

  • Challenging: Users have to face the challenges of managing and integrating multiple types of clouds. Users have to deal with issues such as compatibility, standardization, synchronization, or governance.
  • Risky: Users may expose their data or applications to security threats or performance issues when transferring or accessing them across different clouds. Users have to ensure that they have adequate security measures and policies in place.
  • Costly: Users may incur additional costs for using multiple types of clouds, such as integration, migration, management, or maintenance costs. Users may also have to pay for redundant or unused resources.

Cloud Services Management

Cloud services management is the process of maintaining and controlling cloud services and resources, whether they are public, private, or hybrid. Cloud services management involves various aspects, such as load balancing, performance, storage, backups, capacity, deployment, and more. To do so, a cloud manager needs full access to all the functionality of the resources in the cloud.

Cloud services management can help users achieve control, visibility, scalability, and flexibility while also being able to adapt rapidly to change. However, cloud services management also poses some challenges, such as interoperability, cloud sprawl, cost assessment, security risks, and compliance issues.

There are different types of cloud services management tools and platforms that can help users manage their cloud environments more effectively. Some examples are Google Cloud, Red Hat, VMware, and AWS Outposts. These tools and platforms offer various features and benefits, such as automation, orchestration, monitoring, optimization, security, and integration.

In conclusion, Cloud computing is a powerful and popular technology that offers many benefits for individuals and businesses. However, it also has some drawbacks that users should be aware of. Depending on their needs and preferences, users can choose from different types of cloud computing, such as public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. Each type has its own pros and cons that users should weigh carefully before making a decision.

What is Cloud Computing: Frequently Asked Questions (F&Qs)

What is Cloud Computing

What do cloud service managers do?

A Cloud Service Manager typically oversees the delivery, management, and support of cloud-based services provided to organizations. Here are some of their key responsibilities:

  • Manage and monitor cloud-based services, ensuring the system operates efficiently and securely.
  • Develop and implement service level agreements (SLAs) for clients and assess cloud service providers to ensure compliance.
  • Troubleshoot system issues and outages, determine root causes and recommend corrective actions.
  • Oversee cloud infrastructure, including databases, storage, and networks, and ensure scalability and reliability.
  • Coordinate with cross-functional teams to implement new cloud services and ensure they meet business requirements.
  • Assess the risks and potential impacts of cloud-based applications, platforms, and services on business operations.
  • Develop cost optimization strategies, monitor cloud usage and control expenses.
  • Manage vendor relationships and contracts to prevent vendor lock-in and evaluate alternatives.
  • Monitor emerging cloud technologies and provide guidance to senior management on how to leverage them to improve business performance.

In terms of qualifications, most employers look for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related field as well as relevant cloud certifications like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Additionally, experience working in the IT industry, with a focus on cloud computing, systems administration, or technical project management is usually required.

What is cloud service management and its types?

Cloud Service Management, or CSM, is concerned with aligning the worlds of cloud computing and service management, introducing good cloud management practices among provider, consumer, and customer businesses. It refers to the processes, strategies, policies, and technology used to help control and maintain public and private cloud, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud environments.

There are four main types of cloud services:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This service provides the infrastructure such as virtual machines and other resources like virtual-machine disk image library, block and file-based storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks, etc.
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): This service is used in developing, testing, and maintaining software. PaaS is the same as IaaS but also provides additional tools like database management systems, business intelligence (BI) services, development tools, etc.
  3. Software as a Service (SaaS): In this service model, the cloud-based applications are provided to the user, as a service on demand. It is a single instance of the service running on the cloud and multiple end users are serviced.
  4. Function as a Service (FaaS): This is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage application functionalities without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure3.

There are four main types of cloud deployments:

  1. Public Cloud: Users over the internet use cloud services in which the infrastructure is based on the cloud computing company.
  2. Private Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is located inside the organization and it is not shared with anyone without the permission of the organization.
  3. Hybrid Cloud: The combination of private and public cloud deployments.
  4. Community Cloud: The deployment model provided for a limited number of individuals and organizations so that the services are enjoyed only within themselves.

Each type of service and deployment offers different levels of control, flexibility, and management. Therefore, choosing the right type of service or deployment depends on your business needs.

Which three 3 parts define cloud computing service management?

Cloud Service Management or CSM is concerned with aligning the worlds of cloud computing and service management, introducing good cloud management practices among provider, consumer, and customer businesses. The three key parts that define Cloud Service Management are:

  1. Service Delivery: The core part of Cloud Service Management is to shift service management to management to achieve results demanded by businesses. The modern method of IT requires a fast and effective service to fulfill these demands.
  2. Traditional Information Technology Service Management: Cloud Service Management and Operations involve all the activities that an organization does to operate, deliver, design, plan, and control the cloud and IT services that it offers to users.
  3. Cloud Service Management Characteristics: In Cloud Service Management, we understand that errors will happen, but instead focus on having their impact as minimal as possible. To use the speed, anticipate, and minimize the impact of mistakes, manual interference should be reduced.

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