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If anyone asked you to network diagram of the internet, it was drawn in the form of a fluffy cloud which further became known as cloud computing. Popularly cloud computing is defined as workloads that run over the internet in a commercial provider’s datacenter – named as the public cloud. The illustrious public cloud computing examples include Salesforce’s CRM system, AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud Platform.
The accurate meaning of cloud computing – the virtualization and central management of data centre resources as software-defined pools. This definition seems to be quite technical, but it elaborates the working of cloud service providers and their operations. Agility is a big advantage as it’s the ability to apply vague storage, compute and network resources to workloads as required and step into the abundant pre-built services.
As per the customer’s point of view, new demanding competencies can be gained without capitalizing on new software or hardware. Rather, a cloud provider demands a subscription fee or payment for the resources used by its customers which they are ready to pay. In order to perform with their virtual machines or provide new applications, the users simply need to fill the web forms. It’s quite possible to increase users or computing resources while growing due to increased workloads that require those resources by auto-scaling – a feature that signifies cloud.
Introducing the Types of Cloud Services –
The list of cloud services is enormous, but most of them are arranged in one of the following categories –
SaaS (Software as a Service)
SaaS is a type of public cloud service delivering applications over the internet through the browser. To exemplify popular SaaS applications for business – Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite; from enterprise applications, it’s the Salesforce that leads. Almost all enterprise applications have adopted the SaaS model, including ERP suites from SAP and Oracle. SaaS applications allow customers to code their own additions and modifications with the app’s extensive configuration options as well as development environments.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Basically, storage and computer services are the key services provided by the IaaS cloud providers on a pay-per-use model. There are an array of services offered by all major public cloud providers which are astounding - virtual private networks, highly scalable databases, big data analytics, machine learning, developer tools, application monitoring and so on.
PaaS (Platform as a Service)
Developers are the main target of PaaS as it offers a set of services and workflows required for them. They can use shared tools as well as processes and APIs to spin up the development, testing, and deployment of applications. PaaS can guarantee that the enterprise developers can readily access resources, follow certain processes and use only a specific set of services while operators uphold the basic infrastructure.
Note that there are several PaaS designed for mobile application developers and are identified by the name MBaaS (mobile backend as a service), or sometimes just BaaS (backend as a service).
FaaS (Functions as a Service)
A cloud instance of serverless computing, FaaS, adds a new layer of concept to PaaS, to insulate developers completely from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of wasting time with containers, virtual servers and application runtimes, narrowly functional code blocks ate uploaded and set so that a certain event (e.g. a form submission or uploaded file) can trigger them. FaaS applications offer a special benefit – they consume IaaS resources only after an event occurs which reduces pay-per-use fees.
When a private cloud comes into the picture, technologies required to manage IaaS public clouds into software that can be deployed and operated in a customer’s data centre get trimmed. This is because a public cloud enables internal customers to provide their own virtual resources in order to build, test and run applications. The private cloud for administrators sounds ultimate in terms of data centre automation, diminishing manual arrangement and management. Popular commercial private cloud software includes VMware’s Software Defined Data Center stack and the open source leader, OpenStack.
Integration of private cloud with public cloud is called as the hybrid cloud. The well-developed hybrid cloud creates parallel environments wherein applications are able to move with an ease between private and public clouds. While in other illustrations, databases may remain in the customer data centre and integrate with applications of public cloud or a replica of virtualized data centre workloads may be created in the cloud during peak times. There’s a wide variation between the integration types of private and public cloud but they need to be extended for earning a hybrid cloud designation.
Public APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
SaaS delivers applications to users over the internet; similarly, public APIs deliver application functionality, to the developers, accessible through a program. Some examples of public APIs are – Google Maps’ API is used by developers to provide driving directions or for integrating with social media developers might call upon the APIs maintained by Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Own public APIs can be provided by any business for the customers to consume data or access application functionality.
iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service)
Big companies face the major issue of data integration but mostly those that adopt SaaS at scale. iPaaS is typically developed to offer prebuilt connectors for data sharing among popular SaaS applications and on-premises enterprise applications. More or less focus of providers can be on B-to-B and e-commerce integrations, traditional SOA-style integrations or cloud integrations. Some providers offering iPaaS in the cloud also help users in implementing data mapping, workflows and transformations as part of the integration-building process.
IDaaS (identity as a Service)
User identity management and its associated rights and permissions across private data centres as well as public cloud sites are the most significant security issue. Cloud-based user profiles are maintained by IDaaS providers that identify users and permit access to resources or applications based on user groups, security policies, and individual privileges. For an IDaaS provider, it is essential to have the ability to integrate with numerous directory services (LADP, Active Directory, etc.) and also provide them.
Microsoft Teams, Slack and HipChat - collaboration solutions, are the vital messaging platforms enabling groups for organized working and effective communication. Collaboration platforms are relatively simple SaaS applications that support messaging in the form of chat along with sharing file and audio or video communication. There are several collaboration platforms that offer APIs to assist integrations with other systems and allow third-party developers to create as well as share add-ins that enhance functionality.
PaaS clouds are provided by key players in industries like healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and life sciences for the customers to develop vertical applications that step into industry-specific API-accessible services. Vertical clouds have the vivid capability to reduce the time required for marketing vertical applications and speedup domain-specific B-to-B integrations. The intention behind building most vertical clouds is to nurture partner ecosystems.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Reducing the time to market applications that need to scale vigorously is the major appeal of the cloud. Developers are highly attracted to the cloud due to the advanced new services in abundance that can be merged into applications from machine learning to internet-of-things connectivity.
Sometimes businesses migrate legacy applications to the cloud for condensing data centre resource requirements but the actual benefits amass to a new application that picks the advantage of cloud services and “cloud native” attributes. The latter comprises the Linux containers, microservices architecture, for enhancing portability of application and Kubernates, container management solutions that organize container-based services. Cloud-native solutions and approaches can be a part of either public or private clouds and can help enabling highly efficient DevOps-style workflows.
Cloud Computing Security
Security is what matters when it comes to public cloud adoption, while the major public clouds have proven that they aren’t highly susceptible to attack as compared to average enterprise data centre. Integration of security policy and identity management between the public cloud providers and customers is one of the greater concerns. Additionally, customers might be forbidden by government regulation from permitting sensitive data off premises. Risk of outages and long-term costs of operating public cloud services are other concerns.
Achievement of the Cloud Delivery Model
However, may it be public or private, cloud computing has become the best platform for large applications, especially those that need to change frequently or scale dynamically for customers. One of the significant factors is that the major public clouds have become leaders in enterprise technology development introducing new additions prior to their appearance anywhere else. In order to minimize their workloads, enterprises are continuously moving to the cloud which is a platform where there are no boundaries for exciting new technologies inviting innovative use.