What is Cloud Computing – Meaning, Types and Uses of Cloud Services

What is Cloud Computing – Meaning, Types and Uses of Cloud Services

Since the introduction of commerce and industries, humans have increasingly needed better ways to store data and access it whenever required. While crucial information was stored physically on paper in the pre-computer era, today data is stored in hard drives of computers and servers which can store, process, and retrieve a significant amount of data conveniently and quickly.  

Though hard drives and servers have been helpful, they come with their own limitations. And with the rate at which industries and businesses are growing, there is an increased need for storage capacity that can store and process enormous amounts of data. Herein, cloud computing proves to be helpful.  

What is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing refers to the on-demand delivery of computing services including hardware, software, servers, storage, networking, intelligence, and analytics over the internet to offer flexible resources, faster innovation, and economies of scale.  

Typically, you pay just for the cloud services you use, helping run your infrastructure efficiently, lower your operating costs and scale as your business needs change. 

Types of cloud computing services 

Cloud computing is classified into different categories, out of which, six categories stand out and are further divided into two major parts: cloud computing based on deployment models and on the services they offer.  

Cloud computing deployment models 

1. Public  

The public cloud is completely owned, managed, and maintained via the internet by third-party service providers like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. With it, service providers rent out their resources, like storage, applications, and servers to various organizations, ensuring availability of the resources to everyone who wants to use them. 

Public clouds are reasonably priced as compared to private clouds because the businesses do not have to bear the costs of buying, managing, and maintaining the on-premises infrastructure. However, the trade-off for this cost-effectiveness is less customization, flexibility, and security. 

2. Private  

Private cloud infrastructure is dedicated to a single enterprise or organization. The applications and software in a private cloud are typically proprietary platforms customized to meet business needs.  

Private cloud architecture can be hosted as well as managed either internally by the on-site staff or externally by any third-party service provider. It is generally costly for business owners to support their private cloud as they’re responsible for its set-up as well as maintenance.  

The significant benefits of private clouds include greater privacy, control, and security. Furthermore, they are gated by a sophisticated firewall with access granted to only authorized personnel.  

3. Hybrid 

Hybrid cloud infrastructure combines the elements from public and private deployments, offering top-notch security of a private cloud and cost-effectiveness and additional storage of a public cloud. 

However, the hybrid cloud’s infrastructure is complex and requires high technical expertise to install, manage as well as maintain it because of the evolving mix of private and public clouds. 

Cloud computing service models 

1. IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) 

IaaS is a self-service model to manage remote data center infrastructures. It provides virtualized computing resources over the internet that are hosted by a third party such as Microsoft Azure, Google, or Amazon Web Services.  

Instead of purchasing hardware, companies prefer purchasing IaaS based on the consumption model. Simply put, it is like buying electricity. You pay only for what you use. IaaS models enable companies to add, delete or reconfigure the IT infrastructure on demand.  

2. PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) 

PaaS allows organizations to build, run as well as manage applications without having the IT infrastructure, making it faster and easier to develop, test and deploy applications.  

Developers can focus on writing the code and creating applications without worrying about time-consuming IT infrastructure activities like provisioning storage, servers, and backup. 

3. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) 

SaaS replaces the traditional on-device software with licensed software on a subscription basis. It is hosted centrally in the cloud. 

Most SaaS applications can be directly accessed from a web browser without any installation or downloads required. However, some SaaS applications need plugins.  

A Few Cloud Terms to Know 

Compute flavors 

These are server configurations’ templates used to create virtual machines. The parameters that vary across different models are CPU, RAM, local storage, and sometimes different types of processors. The choice of these templates heavily depends on the use case of virtual machines.  

Hypervisor 

A hypervisor also referred to as a VMM (virtual machine monitor), is software that creates and runs multiple virtual machines. A hypervisor allows a host computer to support various guest virtual machines by virtually sharing its resources such as processing and memory.  

Hypervisors make it possible to use more of the available resources of a system and provide greater IT mobility as the guest virtual machines are independent of the host hardware, meaning, they can be easily moved between various servers. As multiple VMs can run with one physical server using a hypervisor, it helps reduce space, energy, and maintenance requirements. 

READ: Benefits of KVM Server Technology for VPS Hosted Sites

Software defined networking (SDN) 

SDN is the technology that helps de-couple all the network functions from physical switches. Once the servers are virtualized, they can communicate with each other using the network present in the software itself, meaning, only a minimal number of switches, routers, and physical cables are required to connect a huge cluster of servers. Everything from routers and firewalls to switches can be efficiently simulated on the software.  

OpenStack 

OpenStack, the world’s largest open-source cloud computing platform, is a framework that handles all the cloud computing resources required to run an IaaS cloud and caters to some of the use cases of SaaS and PaaS. As it is open source, numerous developers across the world engage in developing its various modules. 

Many companies are actively using OpenStack for addressing their technology infrastructure needs. 

Who Uses Cloud Services? 

Several well-known organizations worldwide have already migrated to the cloud environment. A few examples are: 

  • Pinterest 
  • Coca-Cola 
  • Etsy 
  • eBay 
  • Spotify 
  • Netflix 
  • Expedia 
  • Kroger  

All of them use different cloud providers like Google Cloud, AWS, and Microsoft Azure. 

Bigrock’s cloud-based hosting products 

Now that we covered some of the concepts around cloud computing, let us take you through Bigrock’s cloud hosting products: 

VPS (Virtual Private Servers) 

Our VPS Hosting is ideal for the users looking to run their applications in a fast, flexible, and robust environment. When you purchase our VPS Hosting solutions, you can rest assured of: 

  • Superior network 
  • Advanced server hardware 
  • Guaranteed and scalable resources 
  • Secure environment  

Dedicated servers 

Dedicated servers are for the users who want to access the resources of an entire physical server for themselves. We provide Windows as well as Linux Dedicated Hosting with features like unlimited storage, instant provisioning and much more.  

You can explore our reasonably-priced Cloud Hosting plans and choose the most appropriate one based on your business needs and budget and enjoy our top-notch services with exceptional customer support. 

WRITTEN BY:

A SEO & Content Specialist who enjoys road trips and excels in the web hosting industry. Let's drive your online presence to new heights.

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