The term cloud computing is everywhere. Even if you are not aware of cloud computing, you are most probably using it every day. Have you ever edited a document in Google Docs or MS Word online? If yes, then you have used an application that uses cloud technology at the backend.
However, the cloud is more than mere editing documents online. For businesses, it is a top-notch technology allowing them to focus on building their businesses by eliminating the hassles of maintaining IT infrastructure.
So, what is cloud computing? Cloud computing could mean different for different stakeholders. For individuals, the cloud is nothing but a modern technology that allows them to work anywhere and anytime. Cloud is the reason that professionals these days can continue their office work from home.
For small businesses and enterprises, cloud computing means flexibility, scalability, business continuity, and economical technology to reduce operational costs.
To understand cloud computing, let’s first understand how companies used to handle their IT departments in the old days. Earlier, businesses used to buy expensive hardware such as high-end servers, storage disks, cables, and other accessories to run applications and store their data.
Now, this solution had various issues. For example, Company A bought a set of hardware equipment based on current requirements, and as we know that business requirements change from time to time.
In this case, the scalability of hardware to match business requirements is a cumbersome task. Companies have to buy more equipment and require more infrastructure, such as uninterrupted power supply and cooling facilities.
Even the downscaling is also not flexible, as you will have to use the same resources even if you require a little computational power. That means, businesses had to spend money on resources they were not using. Thus, efficient resource utilization was also an issue.
Another major drawback was that the companies had to staff a technical to regularly maintain the hardware and update software for continuous operations.
Let’s now see what are the top benefits of cloud computing for businesses before getting into its details and understand its 3 basic components.
Top benefits of cloud computing
Businesses can reduce their operational costs by leveraging cloud computing. There is no need to maintain racks of server and round the clock power & cooling facility. With cloud, businesses can rent IT resources based on their requirements which save their upfront cost of buying hardware and staffing a technical team for regular maintenance.
With cloud, it doesn’t matter how much computing power you require – everything can be automatically provisioned based on your business requirements in real-time.
Cloud computing is secure as it employees various checks right from physical protection of data centers to advanced encryption algorithms to transfer data over the internet securely.
Along with these measures, cloud computing providers also comply with various compliance policies such as HIPAA, GDPR, etc. to sure data privacy and confidentiality.
Datacenters are regularly updated with state of the art computing hardware and offer several advantages over a on-site data center such as lower latency and better performance for deployed applications and their end users.
Back in the old days, companies relied on physical computing hardware but this solution was not scalable as per business requirements. They couldn’t easily scale up and down their IT infrastructure but with the advent of cloud computing this problem was solved.
3 Basic Components Of Cloud Computing
1. Infrastructure as a Service
Here end-users rent cloud as an infrastructure for their companies. They choose a cloud computing provider such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, etc. to utilize their servers and storage devices based on their requirements.
Businesses can run any operating systems on the servers and configure it to host web and other types of applications without buying new hardware and actively maintaining it.
Advantages of IaaS
- Business Continuity – Cloud technology keeps your company data replicated on multiple data centers across the globe, which allows you to run your business even if some natural or human-made disasters occur.
- Faster Scaling – IaaS eliminates the requirement of manually provisioning servers when there is fluctuation in computing power demand. It automatically allocates and deallocates resources in real-time so that you are paying for only what you use.
- Focus on business – Allows companies to focus on building their business rather than worrying about IT infrastructure.
2. Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides the resources to development and deployment platform to businesses. From simple cloud-based applications to complex, sophisticated enterprises, you can develop and deploy any application.
PaaS offers a framework that developers can use to develop an application on top of it. Various cloud features such as scalability, high-availability, and multi-tenant capability reduce the amount of coding that developers must do.
Advantages of PaaS:
- Reduce coding time
- Develop for multiple platforms at once
- Makes sophisticated software affordable to use
- Support distributed remote workforce
3. Software as a Service
Software as a Service is a cloud-based software delivery method that allows users to access data via the internet anytime from any device. Here, software vendors host their applications on the cloud and allow users to subscribe to their software for access.
One of the main advantages of SaaS is that it offers greater customizability for businesses. Adding features is made easy using the SaaS model. Another advantage is that your data is safe and secure.
In this article, you learned about cloud computing and how it helps businesses eliminate various IT hassles and reduce operational costs. In addition to that, we also discussed three basic components of cloud computing, i.e., Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud computing is the current hot technology and future’s next big thing as it is a home of many industrial trends such as data science, Internet of Things, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.