Whether you work in the IT industry or not, you have surely heard of the phrase “Cloud.” A lot of people have high-level (and sometimes erroneous) opinions about the cloud, while others have a rudimentary working understanding of it. However, only a select few people truly comprehend the cloud and its technological and practical consequences.
Where is the Cloud located and what is it?
Simply described, cloud computing is the supply of crucial IT resources like computing, storage, and networks over the internet (or a private network) from a distance. Let’s have a deeper comprehension of these words.
- Resources for computing: These comprise—without being limited to—RAM and CPU for using your programs.
- Network resources: These are the foundation of any cloud computing application and are essential to all the aforementioned resources as well as making it possible for users to access their resources safely and securely. The numerous algorithms that power a cloud nowadays are made feasible by advancements in networking technology.
- Internet/Private network: Users can access cloud resources either over the public internet or a private network that is only accessible to certain users, depending on the user, the application, and the use case.
- Location: A cluster of computers and network switches in a data center houses this “cloud.” This data center may be located on the business’s property (Private Cloud), in the data center of a cloud services provider, such as AWS (Public Cloud), or a mix of the two (Hybrid Cloud)
What are the advantages of cloud storage?
The foundational book The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr is among the greatest starting points for comprehending the idea of cloud computing. In this book, he makes the case that the emergence of cloud computing was just a natural progression of human development. Over time, a man came to understand the advantages of switching from standalone water pumps and energy generators to centralized sources of both (read as utilities in a city). In a similar vein, consolidating computing resources has several operational and financial advantages (in this case cloud).
Each business would spend millions of dollars building up and maintaining on-premises servers and data centers in a typical IT setup prior to the invention of cloud computing (or distributed computing). This would necessitate not just substantial capital expenditures for the infrastructure but also a sizeable investment in operating costs for upkeep. However, no one truly benefited from economies of scale because each firm operated its servers in isolation. The move to the cloud has not only allowed for significant cost reductions for individual businesses but also for the introduction of fresh, cutting-edge solutions from top cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure.
Let’s go through some of the fundamental advantages of cloud storage, with the risk of sounding cliché and repetitive:
- Scalability: If you manage a website, you are aware that you may have spikes in traffic for brief periods of time and generally low to moderate traffic on a daily basis. At the same time, you don’t want to invest in more server space that will go unused for the majority of the year. You don’t want your website or application to crash during traffic peaks. What you need is a system that adjusts its size in response to your traffic requirements, and a well-architected cloud and application excel at doing just that.
- Instant Provisioning: If your company or application is continually expanding, you will need extra servers to meet your needs. If you’re managing your own data centers/server rooms, ordering servers, acquiring them, racking them, and deploying them all take a lot of time. By enabling you to rapidly construct or delete virtual machines (VMs) for adapting to the scale of your application, a competent cloud service provider relieves you of this hassle.
- Low Capex and Opex: By moving to the cloud, you may avoid the high CAPEX of purchasing or renting space in a data center as well as the high operating costs of the infrastructure, which include electricity and cooling (personnel costs will also be separate)
- No need for internal specialists: One of the biggest benefits you will experience as a result of deciding to migrate your application to the cloud is the freedom from having to worry about keeping your servers up and running on a regular basis. You can delegate this task to knowledgeable industry professionals.
- Lower downtimes: The majority of cloud service providers use backup and redundancy techniques that may not be as cost-effective if you run your own data center or server room. Modern cloud technologies guarantee that downtimes or data losses due to server failures, user mistakes, or natural catastrophes are kept to a minimum. These technologies also improve how apps utilize computing resources and how data is saved.
But is my data secure if I host it on other servers?
Data security is perhaps the largest barrier to widespread company and industry use of the cloud. There is no single panacea to fix all data security issues, but each and every cloud service provider has made significant strides in securing their networks, encrypting the data traveling to and from their servers, encrypting the servers themselves, and also requiring best security practices from their clients.
It is sufficient to know at this point that security is a two-way street when it comes to cloud computing without going into the technical intricacies of how these measures compare to one another or how they work. Both the consumer and the service provider are responsible for keeping their passwords and other security information private. Later posts will cover more of the huge subject of security.
But I’m still not quite clear about cloud computing.
Don’t worry, we’ve only touched on a small portion of the vast topic of cloud computing in this article; the true experts have spent years polishing their technical knowledge to not only provide for themselves and their businesses but also to contribute to the greater cloud community.