Cloud Computing going Loud

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Published: 27th June 2012
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Cloud Computing in simple terms, is an IP service rendered by a host computer, in order to provide assistance related to software, computing platform and infrastructure. It is a known fact that, internet is represented as a ‘Cloud’, on the computer flowchart and in telephone networks and it is by this representation that it has got its name as “Cloud Computing”.


Going by the definition, Cloud Computing is a convenient way of having on-demand access to a group of shared and configurable computing resources. These resources can be offered with minimum interaction or management in between the service provider and the client. Moreover, it entrusts services with a user’s data, software and computation over a network. It is a considerable overlap with software as a service or SAAS.


As a whole, cloud computing is available on a public platform and is offered via the internet infrastructure. However, those organizations, which have certain stipulations, can go for a private cloud, which is restricted and limited to them. The main aspect of the Computing over cloud is to offer IT related access with the availability factor at hierarchy.


The end users can access the software related to business or data stored on servers at remote locations. Cloud services, are offered through a web browser from a desktop or a mobile application. Cloud computing main aspect is to provide easy provisioning and scalable access to clients with regards to Information Technology services. Cloud computing base is a broader perception of shared services and converged infrastructure.


Cloud Computing Service models


Cloud Computing as a Platform Service- In this type of computing over the cloud, the software services like operating system, programming language, web server and data base are offered as a solution on the platform. This is a service, which is related to operate application software, which is hosted on a remote system, thus reducing the cost and complexity in buying or managing the software and the hardware. The users are allowed to access this software tool, over the internet, which makes way for the Platform service over a cloud. The point to be noted is that, the host machine, doesn’t allow its users to make any changes or alterations to its service, except for giving the access right.


Software based Cloud Computing- In this model of cloud computing, the cloud host installs and operates application software and the users of the host machine, are allowed to use the application. The cloud users do not have the need to manage the cloud infrastructure related to the application or the platform. With this flexibility, the need to install and run an application on users owns system and the need to support and maintain it gets eliminated. The main difference in between a cloud application and other generalized application is its flexibility of use. In order to meet the work demand, cloning of tasks onto multiple virtual machines is implemented. With the help of load balancers, the work is distributed on the available set of virtual machines, but the user is produced with a notion of a single point access.


Infrastructure as a Service- In a cloud infrastructure, computers are offered to provide physical or virtual machine functions such as block storage load balancers, firewalls and networks. In an Infrastructure as a cloud service, the users are provided with the above said services, from their large pool of database. Local area addresses, which include IP addresses, are part of this service. In Wide area network connectivity, internet is used as a medium to carrier clouds which offer virtual private networks, which are configurable. The application software and the operating systems images are installed on the cloud, to make it flexible for them to patch up and maintain the operating system and the application software. As the service is offered with the utility billing, the proportion of use, by the cloud user, is billed as per the amount of resources allocated and consumed. In simple terms Infrastructure-as-a-service is a facility offered by enterprises, to their users, to leverage the extra storage space in servers and data centers.


Cloud Computing Models


Cloud computing services are available in four different forms- public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud and community cloud.


Public Cloud- Service providers, offer a public platform, enriched with services to the public users. Most of the services are free or are made available through the billing model. The best example is Google and Microsoft, which offer storage services and service utilization platforms to public users via internet.


Community cloud- In this structure of community clouds, the infrastructure hosted on the cloud system is shared in between several organizations, related to a specific community. The services may be hosted internally or externally by a third party and the cost is distributed over few users than in a public cloud.


Hybrid Cloud- Some enterprises may become inclined in going for a private cloud, with a public cloud features. This will be a unique entity, which will federate with the features of public as well as the private cloud services. The main benefit of a hybrid cloud is increasing the fault tolerance ability and at the same time, offering high availability over inter connectivity.


Private Cloud- due to the apprehensions involved in the public cloud, most of the organizations want to go for a private cloud network as it offers a perfect solution for the apprehensions related to a public cloud.


Cloud Computing Benefits


1. As Cloud Computing services can be accessed from anywhere via internet connectivity, it seems to be ubiquitous.


2. Enterprises can cut down costs in new hardware deployments, for upgrading legacy applications as, the cloud services; will provide application on a service based platform.


3. Purchase of new licenses for Operating system & software’s comes down as they can be available via a cloud, and the cost of leasing them, will also be pretty less, when compared to purchasing them.


4. With the cloud computing service, data storage also gets simplified, as the enterprises can rely on private cloud storage, which can be accessed by their servers.


5. The IT administration management and head count gets reduced as the cloud services will offer it, via internet and reduce the IT management indulgence.


Conclusions


With the regular developments in Cloud Computing technology, the apprehensions related to sustainability, legality, privacy, abuse, security and compliance are diminishing with the time. Enterprises are coming up with certain executable principles, to overcome all the apprehensions and to make the best use of them.


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