In the past, businesses and institutions could purchase and maintain their computer services and resources. The IT department would be responsible for buying, maintaining, and managing the company’s computers, storage, and networks, which required a lot of space. The systems would also get outdated progressively while better ones emerged at lower prices. As on-premises infrastructure continued to become unsustainable, cloud computing was born.
Read on to learn more about cloud computing and how it works.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing refers to accessing computing resources like servers, databases, storage, intelligence, networking, and analytics over the internet. Cloud computing comes in three key forms: public, private, and hybrid. Public cloud computing refers to web-based computing services that companies like Google and Amazon provide, while private cloud services are accessed using a secure internet connection. Hybrid cloud computing combines public and private cloud computing to give you the best of both worlds and offers more tailored IT solutions.
A distinctive characteristic of cloud computing is that it is provided and managed by someone else. Therefore, you are not responsible for computer resources such as licenses and software upgrades. You can only access cloud computing services on a subscription basis where you pay for the services whenever you need them, just like you would other utilities. The pay-as-you-go method eliminates the need for acquiring your own computer resources, especially when you have unpredictable needs.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing services come in three main types, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. While they all have their unique differences based on what they offer, the three service models can also interact and form one comprehensive cloud computing model.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is the most common cloud computing model. It offers the fundamental cloud computing infrastructure, including storage drives, servers, processing, networks, and operating systems. Businesses can, therefore, scale their services as they deem fit, depending on their needs. It also makes it unnecessary to have hardware in the office. IaaS is available in private, public, or hybrid infrastructure and is ideal for small businesses that need to find cost-effective solutions.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Unlike IaaS, PaaS offers both fundamental hardware as well as a software framework. However, it supports the fast and seamless development of applications so that companies can run them on their own. It is ideal for companies where developers work on multiple projects at once and is also scalable. For example, you can develop an eCommerce platform that runs entirely on the provider’s servers.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
Here, the consumer uses web applications that already run on the provider’s cloud. You can access the applications through a browser or program interface. However, the consumer does not control the underlying infrastructure or applications except for specific application settings. SaaS is ideal for applications that require a lot of mobile or web access and is great for CRM. A great example of SaaS is Google Documents.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate and has become one of the most significant assets for digital transformations. Below are the benefits that cloud computing offers.
- Cost Efficiency. With cloud computing, businesses don’t have to incur the costs of purchasing and maintaining computer resources. Users pay for cloud services on an on-demand basis, which allows them to only pay for the services they need.
- Cloud computing enables businesses to scale up or down depending on workload, choose cloud features and options that suit their needs. Organizations can select the amount of control in terms of cloud service models.
- Security and Backup. Cloud service providers strive to provide the best security possible to protect their client’s data in the cloud. The cloud also acts as a disaster recovery tool as it offers a means to backup and recovers data remotely from any device. In case of disasters or security breaches, you can easily access and recover your data in the cloud.
- Competitive Edge. Cloud boosts productivity as organizations and businesses get to focus on other critical business activities instead of managing computer resources. It also promotes collaboration and sharing of ideas and offers access to the latest updates without maintenance costs.
Despite the numerous benefits of cloud computing, it has its drawbacks. The overreliance on service providers can lead to inconveniences in case of outages or withdrawal of some services. Cloud computing services also require a stable internet connection which can be limiting for areas with limited broadband.
Coding and Cloud Computing for Kids
Cloud computing is an asset for developers, as they can create a coding environment or migrate existing code to the cloud easily. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services support both deployment and product management, making it ideal for developers. Kids interested in cloud computing need to learn to code to enjoy the benefits that cloud computing offers developers. Fortunately, numerous resources exist for kids to learn to code and gain the necessary cloud coding skills. If your child is interested in cloud computing, consider enrolling them in coding lessons as part of their childhood education to prepare for their future careers.