Cloud Computing Definition
Cloud computing is a process of storing, sorting and accessing data through computer systems and the internet. It also refers to the delivery of a different range of computer services through the internet. Cloud computing offers a cloud-based method of storing and accessing data rather than the traditional method of saving data on a hard drive or other storage devices.
The services that users can access through cloud computing are data storage, database, software, and others. Companies and large firms use cloud computing for their day to day business activities. Aside from cost savings, it engages the productivity and efficiency of firms.
A Little More on What is Cloud Computing
In cloud computing, information or data are stored on a virtual space, otherwise called the cloud. There is no visible storage device as in the case of traditional file keeping which uses hard drive. Also, cloud computing various services that are not controlled or managed by the users. These services are automated and work perfectly without the supervision of humans. Users are also not required to be at a specific location before they can have access to the files stored in the cloud.
The devices offered by cloud computing can be private or public. Public cloud services can be accessed by general users for a fee while private cloud services is restricted for specific few people.
The common services that users can access on cloud computing are; data storage, data backup and retrieval, emails, audio recording, video streaming, testing applications, data analysis application, delivery of software on demand, and others.
Cloud computing is relatively new but is widely accepted by internet users. Organizations, small businesses, individual users and government agencies also store large data and files and retrieve them using cloud computing.
Cloud Computing Deployment Models
Different types of cloud computing models exist, they are;
- Public clouds: These cloud computing models offer their services to a number of users through servers and the internet. Such clouds are offered by service providers and are managed by them. Users are required to open accounts with the companies before accessing the clouds.
- Private clouds: These are restricted to a few clients and are offered on a private network. Private cloud clients include large businesses and organizations.
- Hybrid clouds: This refers to the combination of public and private clouds to offer a range of services to clients. This is a more flexible and user-oriented cloud computing model.
Types of Cloud Computing
The cloud computing system comprises of three types of services namely:
- Software as a Service (SaaS): This is a service that provides a pay-as-you-go or on-demand software applications and licenses to end-users.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud are the pupae examples of infrastructure as a service. This service delivers storage, operating and servers services to clients based on an on-demand service. The clients are not required to purchase a software or personal servers to access the service.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS is a complex cloud computing service that delivers a software to clients through the internet. PaaS requires users to connect to the internet before gaining access to software that can be used for data storage, backup, retrieval and other purposes.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Below are the major benefits of cloud computing;
- Cloud computing offers users access to software that can be used for data storage, retrieval, networking, and other purposes.
- Cloud computing allows an easy transfer of large files into a virtual space otherwise called the cloud where they are stored.
- It enhances the productivity and efficiency of users.
- It helps individuals minimize wastage of storage space on their laptops or PCs.
- Cloud computing saves costs, time and reduces the stress encountered by users when using traditional file storage systems.
- Organizations can purchase technology, software, and infrastructure for business purposes through cloud computing.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Despite the numerous advantages of cloud computing, it has certain disadvantages, such as;
- Cloud computing poses the risk of stored data being accessed by unauthorized persons.
- Sensitive information stored on the cloud has no optimum protection.
- Cloud computing uses encryption to protect important data stored by users but once the encryption code or key is lost, the entire data is lost.
- Servers and software used for cloud computing may experience power outages, bugs and other viruses that can tamper with them.
- Since many users access data on cloud computing, information stored can be manipulated.
The World of Business Cloud Computing
There are varieties of clouds in the corporate space and business world. Cloud computing helps in keeping information and retrieving data about businesses. The popular clouds in the corporate world are; Google Cloud, Aliyun, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure. These clouds offer a wide range of services to users, most of them charge a fee for the services offered.