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What is Cloud Computing? Everything You Need to Know

Business leaders who embrace the potential of cloud computing are sure to gain a competitive edge in this changing landscape – in the tools and software they choose, the cultures they create, or the business strategies they execute. Containers offer an independent virtual environment to develop and run applications, regardless of the parent hosting environment (on-premise servers, cloud, or hybrid). Essentially, it allows companies to set up tiny, segregated clouds within their own infrastructure to improve their development capabilities. In the SaaS model, the service provider manages all the hardware, middleware, application software, and security. Also referred to as ‘hosted software’ or ‘on-demand software’, SaaS makes it easy for enterprises to streamline their maintenance and support. Another way of creating a hybrid cloud is to simply run the same operating system in every environment and build container platform-based, cloud-native apps that are managed by a universal orchestration engine like Kubernetes.

  • Instead of storing hard copies of movies and music in cupboards or on shelves, you now access them virtually through cloud-based streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.
  • Companies that used to operate their own data centers no longer need to worry about provisioning, securing, scaling, maintaining, and upgrading infrastructure.
  • 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.
  • Generally, when contemplating cloud adoption, many enterprises have been mainly focused on new cloud-native applications — that is, designing and building applications specifically intended to use cloud services.
  • The term ‘cloud computing’ also refers to the technology that makes cloud work.
  • Beyond hardware costs, cloud providers do their best to maximize and optimize hardware usage.
  • Moving to the cloud can help companies rethink business processes and accelerate business change, goes the argument, by helping to break down data any organisational silos.

Still, for companies that require additional security, private cloud might be a useful stepping stone, helping them to understand cloud services or rebuild internal applications for the cloud, before shifting them into the public cloud. Hybrid cloud is just what it sounds like—a combination of public and private cloud environments. Specifically, and ideally, a hybrid cloud connects an organization’s private cloud services and public clouds into a single, flexible infrastructure for running the organization’s applications and workloads. refers to the use of hosted services, such as data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software over the internet.

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Virtualization enables cloud providers to make maximum use of their data center resources. 2020 and 2021 have been marked by several notable cloud outages, affecting some of the largest providers in the world. In March 2020, some of Azure’s North American customers faced a six-hour outage due to cooling system failure. Google’s cloud services were down several times last year, and, most recently in April, Microsoft faced another outage, affecting both Microsoft 365 and Azure. In 2021, companies will invest in multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies, along with cloud-agnostic platforms, to ensure greater IT resiliency. PaaS doesn’t require users to manage the underlying infrastructure, i.e., the network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but gives them control over the deployed applications.

Beyond hardware costs, cloud providers do their best to maximize and optimize hardware usage. This transforms hardware and computing resources into a commodity, and cloud providers compete to offer the lowest bottom line. Because it gives them flexibility and scalability, organizations of every size and in every industry already use cloud computing.

Open Hybrid Cloud

Companies use it for routine tasks like data protection, software development, data analytics, disaster recovery, virtual desktops, server virtualization, and customer-facing applications. Today, there are several examples of cloud computing applications used by both businesses and individuals. One type of cloud service would be streaming platforms for audio or video, where the actual media files are stored remotely. Another would be data storage platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box.

Cloud Computing

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What is public cloud? Everything you need to know

Tech analyst Gartner predicts that as much as half of spending across application software, infrastructure software, business process services and system infrastructure markets will have shifted to the cloud by 2025, up from 41% in 2022. It estimates that almost two-thirds of spending on application software will be via cloud computing, up from 57.7% in 2022. Cloud-computing services cover a vast range of options now, from the basics of storage, networking and processing power, through to natural language processing and artificial intelligence as well as standard office applications. Pretty much any service that doesn’t require you to be physically close to the computer hardware that you are using can now be delivered via the cloud – even quantum computing.

  • At the same time, access to public cloud storage and compute resources is guarded by account login credentials.
  • The skills required for migration are both difficult and expensive to find – and even when organisations could find the right people, they risked them being stolen away by cloud-computing vendors with deep pockets.
  • One of the first priorities after the large-scale shift to remote work in 2020 was the modernization of communication and collaboration channels.

Software as a service (SaaS) delivers software applications over the internet, on-demand and typically by subscription. The cloud providers host and manage the application, addressing software upgrades and security patching as needed. Examples of SaaS are CRM systems, webmail applications, productivity tools like Jira and Confluence, analytics tools, monitoring tools, chat applications, and more. Private cloud customers get the primary benefits of a public cloud, including self-service, scalability, and elasticity, but with the added benefit of additional control and customization. Plus, private clouds can have a higher level of security and privacy because they are housed on private networks not accessible to public traffic.

The history and evolution of cloud computing date back to the 1950s and 1960s. Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time. The availability of servers is high and more reliable because the chances of infrastructure failure are minimum.

  • In contrast to SaaS and PaaS (and even newer PaaS computing models such as containers and serverless), IaaS provides the users with the lowest-level control of computing resources in the cloud.
  • From corporations to universities, organizations can host private clouds (also known as corporate clouds, internal clouds, and on-premise clouds) for their exclusive use.
  • Hybrid cloud is a composition of a public cloud and a private environment, such as a private cloud or on-premises resources,[91][92] that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.
  • Teams that use cloud infrastructures can more rapidly execute and deliver value to their customers.
  • Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

The Internet becomes the cloud, and voilà—your data, work, and applications are available from any device with which you can connect to the Internet, anywhere in the world. A community cloud, which is shared by several organizations, supports a particular community that shares the same concerns — e.g., the same mission, policy, security requirements and compliance considerations. A community cloud is either managed by these organizations or a third-party vendor and can be on or off premises. Multi-cloud deployments should become easier, however, as providers’ services and APIs converge and become more standardized through industry initiatives such as the Open Cloud Computing Interface.

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