An organization with servers, switches, routers, disks, and cables is considered now like a prehistoric one. Here comes the cloud to revolutionize the field of computer technology. So let us dive into cloud computing and learn its key concepts, models, types, and benefits of using cloud computing.
HA (the abbreviation is easy to pronounce for us french speakers) illustrates the concept of the cash machine that is open 24/7, not only that, but there are 2 or even three of it, and that will offer us an efficient service and a little downtime.
In this example, we should replace the cash machine with the resources offered by a service provider like Azure.
In the previous example, we said that we have 3 cash machines, For what purpose? It’s to ensure the availability of the service of getting cash even if a machine is down you can still use the other.
It’s a concept that aims to offer an anticipation plan of recovery in the case of a disaster.
For example, if there is a fire in the building where we have the three cash machines, we can still get the cash if we move on 800 m to another building in another neighborhood. This is just to illustrate the location solution that the service provider can provide in circumstances of any disaster.
Being agile is having the ability to perform our tasks rapidly and with a productive methodology.
If we want to force the previous example, we can talk about getting the cash from the agency, the bank, in this case, doesn’t offer a good environment to accomplish our goal, because we need to wait for the cashier to be available for us, we need to share our ID credentials, sign a paper that proves we withdraw the cash, etc.
Metaphorically, we can see how complicated the process can be. Here is where agility comes into play and makes it easy and efficient.
Our fifth concept is easy to understand, it’s about increasing and decreasing resources to meet the needs without being wasteful or restrictive.
Our above example doesn’t really fit very well, but we can talk about shutting down one machine during the night, and having the other two On because we know that the need decreases during the night and we can restart it in the morning of the next day.
With cloud elasticity in place, the service provider is capable of doing the “switch” automatically.
Before talking about anything, we know that if we want to have an intranet in our company we should buy servers, storage disks, networking tools like routers and switches, software licenses, and more of that.
The cloud solution is here to get rid of this complexity, not only avoiding buying hardware but also not hiring networks and system admins, not having issues with managing data, having the ability to grow the system rapidly, and briefly having in our hand the fifth concepts that we explained before.
But before digging into the cloud concept, we must take a look at virtualization as a bridge to understanding our subject.
Virtualization is a technology that creates software-based computer services such as applications, servers, storage, and networks by simulating hardware functionality, in other words, creating a virtual version of a device, but the client here of course will gain in terms of hardware costs.
The client will use the resources in an efficient way, but he still has to cover the cost of; virtualization software, and the human resources that will manage the system, and he is responsible for any dysfunction that might occur in the system.
Now that we have a brief understanding of virtualization, we can move forward to figure out the what, the why, and the how of cloud computing.
According to Microsoft:
“Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.”
Better than this definition is hard to find, but we will try to simplify it a bit more.
Cloud computing is a service intended for companies or persons who don’t want to assume having a physical system to manage, and who want to pay for what they need at a specific moment.
Cloud computing is a service designed for businesses or individuals that do not want to manage a physical system and choose to pay only for what they use at the time.
The first thing that comes to our mind is money, even the example that we took for explaining the cloud key terminology was about the cash machine.
One thing that triggers our attention is the price that we need to pay when looking to purchase a service or product.
So, gaining in terms of cost is most of the time a factor that helps us decide pro or against something.
Hence, the cloud is here to change our way of paying to accomplish a need, it doesn’t require a large investment, and here it comes the real impact against what we accomplish by using that service.
To illustrate that we should explain the two ways of spending:
There are two ways of spending in terms of using the resources:
In terms of cost, the vision is clear for us, the cloud is far better. But it’s not the only thing, we can call here all the other keys that we started our article with; Agility, High Availability, Disaster Recovery, Elasticity, and more than that. It’s also about the integration of new technologies, the cloud takes care of it.
When you advise using the cloud on a customer, security is the first thing that comes to mind.
The client has a constant concern about not having complete control over his data, so the sight of so much physical material in front of them makes them feel at ease, even if the structure is broken.
The primary key facts that we take into account when we are looking for a cloud solution are: user experience, security, responsibility, and cost. For each of these factors, we have multiple choices depending on our demands.
As the name suggests, it is private. It is a structure that is only available to a small number of people or exclusively to an organization, it is suggested for customers who are seeking for a high level of security, and the service may be provided through a private network or the internet.
Talking about private cloud, still it’s necessary to have public ones. Public cloud is a service offered by a service provider through the internet, and it’s available for all the public. In this case the infrastructure is owned, operated, and secured by the service provider.
If we mix the private and the public cloud, we will have the hybrid one. It is a combination of the two to offer a high flexibility in certain cases, for adapting and provisioning new resources.
Community cloud allows multiple organizations to share resources and services in accordance with standard operating and contractual requirements.
For example banks, there are a lot of entities around the world that operate in same system, so to have a common environment of working they should opt for the community cloud.
In the market the cloud has different forms, AWS, DropBox, Azure SQL. Each database is a cloud service but everyone represents a different type of service.
At the most basic level, service providers like Azure of the cloud provide infrastructure as a substitute for physical resources like disks, networks, and servers. Clients are then responsible for configuring and managing the infrastructure in line with their demands.
In addition to the infrastructure the service provider can also provide a platform as a solution for a specific need, like stocking data in an SQL Database, Azure for example offer Azure SQL database as platform.
The cloud can also offer an application software solution hosted in the cloud by a service provider but operated separately. For example Gmail, it’s an email solution that is owned and hosted by google but it works separately for the client, they don’t access it via the Google Cloud Service.
Cloud computing is here to stay and get towards more perfection. Therefore, if you're looking forward to considering the adaption of cloud computing, make sure to choose the rights systems and options for a successful consolidation in the market in ease the future business scale.