What is Cloud Computing ?

Cloud Computing is a network of remote servers hosted on the internet for storing and retrieving data. The cloud provides a number of IT services such as servers, databases, software, virtual storage, and networking, among others. In layman’s terms, Cloud Computing is defined as a virtual platform that allows you to store and access your data over the internet without any limitations.

Companies that offer all the services mentioned above are called cloud providers. They provide you with the ability to store and retrieve data and run applications, managing them through configuration portals. Two of the best cloud providers available today are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

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

However, both hard drives and servers come with their limitations, and with the rate at which today’s businesses and industries are growing, the need for storage that can store and process increasingly more significant amounts of data has become a priority. This is where Cloud Computing has come to the rescue!

Before the inception of Cloud Computing platforms, businesses predominantly relied on servers, databases, hardware, software, and other peripherals to take their businesses online. Companies had to buy these components to ensure that their website or applications reached the users.

Besides, businesses also needed a team of experts to manage the hardware and software, and to monitor the infrastructure. While this approach was practical, it came with its unique issues, like the high cost of setup, complex components, and limited storage space, to name a few. Cloud Computing was created to address these problems.

Who is using Cloud Computing?

Organizations of every type, size, and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer-facing web applications. For example, healthcare companies are using the cloud to develop more personalized treatments for patients. Financial services companies are using the cloud to power real-time fraud detection and prevention. And video game makers are using the cloud to deliver online games to millions of players around the world.

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.

Most cloud computing services fall into four broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), serverless and software as a service (SaaS). These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack because they build on top of one another. Knowing what they are and how they are different makes it easier to accomplish your business goals.

The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.