The cloud in cloud computing originated from the habit of drawing the internet as a fluffy cloud in network diagrams. No wonder the most popular meaning of cloud computing refers to running workloads over the internet remotely in a commercial providers data centerthe so-called public cloud model. AWS (Amazon Web Services), Salesforces CRM system, and Google Cloud Platform all exemplify this popular notion of cloud computing.
But theres another, more precise meaning of cloud computing: the virtualization and central management of data center resources as software-defined pools. This technical definition of cloud computing describes how public cloud service providers run their operations. The key advantage is agility: the ability to apply abstracted compute, storage, and network resources to workloads as needed and tap into an abundance of pre-built services.
From a customer perspective, the public cloud offers a way to gain new capabilities on demand without investing in new hardware or software. Instead, customers pay their cloud provider a subscription fee or pay for only the resources they use. Simply by filling in web forms, users can set up accounts and spin up virtual machines or provision new applications. More users or computing resources can be added on the flythe latter in real time as workloads demand those resources thanks to a feature known as auto-scaling.
The array of available cloud computing services is vast, but most fall into one of the following categories:
This type of public cloud computing delivers applications over the internet through the browser. The most popular SaaS applications for business can be found in Googles G Suite and Microsofts Office 365; among enterprise applications, Salesforce leads the pack. But virtually all enterprise applications, including ERP suites from Oracle and SAP, have adopted the SaaS model. Typically, SaaS applications offer extensive configuration options as well as development environments that enable customers to code their own modifications and additions.
At a basic level, IaaS public cloud providers offer storage and compute services on a pay-per-use basis. But the full array of services offered by all major public cloud providers is staggering: highly scalable databases, virtual private networks, big data analytics, developer tools, machine learning, application monitoring, and so on. Amazon Web Services was the first IaaS provider and remains the leader, followed by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Cloud.
PaaS provides sets of services and workflows that specifically target developers, who can use shared tools, processes, and APIs to accelerate the development, test, and deployment of applications. Salesforces Heroku and Force.com are popular public cloud PaaS offerings; Pivotals Cloud Foundry and Red Hats OpenShift can be deployed on premises or accessed through the major public clouds. For enterprises, PaaS can ensure that developers have ready access to resources, follow certain processes, and use only a specific array of services, while operators maintain the underlying infrastructure.
Note that a variety of PaaS tailored for developers of mobile applications generally goes by the name of MBaaS (mobile back end as a service), or sometimes just BaaS (back end as a service).
FaaS, the cloud instantiation of serverless computing, adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS, so that developers are completely insulated from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of futzing with virtual servers, containers, and application runtimes, they upload narrowly functional blocks of code, and set them to be triggered by a certain event (e.g. a form submission or uploaded file). All the major clouds offer FaaS on top of IaaS: AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk. A special benefit of FaaS applications is that they consume no IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use fees.
The private cloud downsizes the technologies used to run IaaS public clouds into software that can be deployed and operated in a customers data center. As with a public cloud, internal customers can provision their own virtual resources in order to build, test, and run applications, with metering to charge back departments for resource consumption. For administrators, the private cloud amounts to the ultimate in data center automation, minimizing manual provisioning and management. VMwares Software Defined Data Center stack is the most popular commercial private cloud software, while OpenStack is the open source leader.
A hybrid cloud is the integration of a private cloud with a public cloud. At its most developed, the hybrid cloud involves creating parallel environments in which applications can move easily between private and public clouds. In other instances, databases may stay in the customer data center and integrate with public cloud applicationsor virtualized data center workloads may be replicated to the cloud during times of peak demand. The types of integrations between private and public cloud vary widely, but they must be extensive to earn a hybrid clouddesignation.
Just as SaaS delivers applications to users over the internet, public APIs offer developers application functionality that can be accessed programmatically. For example, in building web applications, developers often tap into Google Maps API to provide driving directions; to integrate with social media, developers may call upon APIs maintained by Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Twilio has built a successful business dedicated to delivering telephony and messaging services via public APIs. Ultimately, any business can provision its own public APIs to enable customers to consume data or access application functionality.
Data integration is a key issue for any sizeable company, but particularly for those that adopt SaaS at scale. iPaaS providers typically offer prebuilt connectors for sharing data among popular SaaS applications and on-premises enterprise applications, though providers may focus more or less on B-to-B and ecommerce integrations, cloud integrations, or traditional SOA-style integrations. iPaaS offerings in the cloud from such providers as Dell Boomi, Informatica, MuleSoft, and SnapLogic also enable users to implement data mapping, transformations, and workflows as part of the integration-building process.
The most difficult security issue related to cloud computing is the management of user identity and its associated rights and permissions across private data centers and pubic cloud sites. IDaaS providers maintain cloud-based user profiles that authenticate users and enable access to resources or applications based on security policies, user groups, and individual privileges. The ability to integrate with various directory services (Active Directory, LDAP, etc.) and provide is essential. Okta is the clear leader in cloud-based IDaaS; CA, Centrify, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Ping provide both on-premises and cloud solutions.
Collaboration solutions such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and HipChat have become vital messaging platforms that enable groups to communicate and work together effectively. Basically, these solutions are relatively simple SaaS applications that support chat-style messaging along with file sharing and audio or video communication. Most offer APIs to facilitate integrations with other systems and enable third-party developers to create and share add-ins that augment functionality.
Key players in such industries as financial services, healthcare, retail, life sciences, and manufacturing provide PaaS clouds to enable customers to build vertical applications that tap into industry-specific, API-accessible services. Vertical clouds can dramatically reduce the time to market for vertical applications and accelerate domain-specific B-to-B integrations. Most vertical clouds are built with the intent of nurturing partner ecosystems.
The clouds main appeal is to reduce the time to market of applications that need to scale dynamically. Increasingly, however, developers are drawn to the cloud by the abundance of advanced new services that can be incorporated into applications, from machine learning to internet-of-things connectivity.
Although businesses sometimes migrate legacy applications to the cloud to reduce data center resource requirements, the real benefits accrue to new applications that take advantage of cloud services and cloud native attributes. The latter include microservices architecture, Linux containers to enhance application portability, and container management solutions such as Kubernetes that orchestrate container-based services. Cloud-native approaches and solutions can be part of either public or private clouds and help enable highly efficient devops-style workflows.
Objections to the public cloud generally begin with cloud security, although the major public clouds have proven themselves much less susceptible to attack than the average enterprise data center. Of greater concern is the integration of security policy and identity management between customers and public cloud providers. In addition, government regulation may forbid customers from allowing sensitive data off premises. Other concerns include the risk of outages and the long-term operational costs of public cloud services.
Yet cloud computing, public or private, has become the platform of choice for large applications, particularly customer-facing ones that need to change frequently or scale dynamically. More significantly, the major public clouds now lead the way in enterprise technology development, debuting new advances before they appear anywhere else. Workload by workload, enterprises are opting for the cloud, where an endless parade of exciting new technologies invite innovative use.
Read more from the original source:
What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know now …
- Doug H. - Boston Cloud Computing Meetup (Boston, MA) | Meetup - December 16th, 2017
- Cloud computing at Ifes, IFs, and hospitals | RNP - December 16th, 2017
- Cisco and Google Find Mutual Interest in Cloud Computing ... - October 28th, 2017
- How to Invest in Cloud Computing -- The Motley Fool - October 28th, 2017
- How The Automotive Industry Is Leveraging Cloud Computing - CXOToday.com - September 7th, 2017
- Huawei ups its bet on cloud computing with broader support for Microsoft apps - GeekWire - September 7th, 2017
- Cloud computing to drive Billabong's omnichannel experience - Chain Store Age - September 6th, 2017
- Cloud Computing Testbed Chameleon Renewed for Second Phase - HPCwire - September 6th, 2017
- The Software Alliance Advances Discussion on India's Cloud Computing Policy - ETAuto.com - September 6th, 2017
- Assessing Alibaba's Cloud Computing Opportunity - Market Realist - Market Realist - September 2nd, 2017
- 3 No-Brainer Stocks to Buy in Cloud Computing - Motley Fool - September 1st, 2017
- Telecom ponders future amid surging cloud computing popularity - TechTarget (blog) - September 1st, 2017
- Heads in the cloud: banks inch closer to cloud take-up - Risk.net (subscription) - August 31st, 2017
- Walmart Taps Nvidia for Massive Cloud to Take on Amazon - Fortune - August 31st, 2017
- Guest Commentary: Cloud computing tackles emerging cyber threats - Security Systems News - August 31st, 2017
- It's Only the Early Innings for Cloud Computing - Morningstar.com - August 29th, 2017
- What are the key benefits of cloud computing? - Information Age - August 29th, 2017
- VMworld 2017: Everything you need to know about VMware's hybrid cloud strategy - ZDNet - August 29th, 2017
- Saudi Telecom Company creates cloud computing giant - ComputerWeekly.com - August 29th, 2017
- Now with VMware and Pivotal, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is becoming the hub of enterprise tech - GeekWire - August 29th, 2017
- Cloud Computing | HHS.gov - August 27th, 2017
- Oppo, Vivo plan to move cloud storage to India - Economic Times - August 27th, 2017
- Top 2 aspects of cloud computing you need to consi - Accountingweb.com (blog) - August 27th, 2017
- Biz Cloud Computing - Four States Homepage - August 27th, 2017
- Marketo decides to go all-in on cloud computing, and picks Google as its home - GeekWire - August 27th, 2017
- Cloud Computing Confirmed for Travers | TDN | Thoroughbred Daily ... - Thoroughbred Daily News - August 27th, 2017
- Why 2017 Is The Year To Understand Cloud Computing - Nasdaq - August 23rd, 2017
- Microsoft acquires cloud computing firm Cycle Computing to boost ... - The News Minute - August 23rd, 2017
- The Benefits of Multi-Cloud Computing Architectures for MSPs - MSPmentor - August 23rd, 2017
- VMware shares to surge more than 20% because the Amazon cloud threat is overblown: Analyst - CNBC - August 23rd, 2017
- Goldman Sachs just poured $45 million into a company picking up Amazon's slack in the cloud - Yahoo Finance - August 23rd, 2017
- Cloud Computing confirmed for Travers Stakes 2017 - Horse Racing ... - Horse Racing Nation - August 23rd, 2017
- Cloud computing in focus at e-Commerce forum - Oman Tribune - August 21st, 2017
- World's Largest Open Source Cloud Computing Summit to be Hosted in Sydney - Business Wire (press release) - August 21st, 2017
- AT&T, GE and Oracle offer juiciest cloud salaries, new data reveals - Cloud Tech - August 21st, 2017
- Cycle Computing will make Microsoft Azure more appealing to more enterprises - TechRepublic - August 21st, 2017
- Manage containers in cloud computing to prevent sprawl, cut costs - TechTarget - August 19th, 2017
- Business continuity is the ultimate killer application for cloud - ZDNet - August 19th, 2017
- Thailand urged to opt for cloud computing - The Nation - August 19th, 2017
- Cyberattacks Rain Down on Cloud Computing Infrastructure ... - Bloomberg BNA - August 19th, 2017
- Brown to decide Monday if Cloud Computing runs in the Travers - Horse Racing Nation - August 19th, 2017
- Cloud computing reversal: From 'go away' to 'I can't miss out' - InfoWorld - August 18th, 2017
- Alibaba Stock: Why Cloud Computing Could Be Equivalent to AWS - BNL Finance (press release) (registration) (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- Microsoft Acquires A Cloud Technology Company From Right Under Google And Amazon's Noses - Inc.com - August 18th, 2017
- Alibaba's cloud computing revenue almost doubles - SiliconANGLE News (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- Big Data and Cloud Computing Software, Platforms, and Infrastructure 2017 - 2022 - Markets Insider - August 18th, 2017
- Microsoft acquires cloud-computing orchestration vendor Cycle Computing - ZDNet - August 16th, 2017
- Cloud computing decision guide: Breaking down 7 top solutions for healthcare - Healthcare IT News - August 16th, 2017
- Amazon: Earnings Are Not The Holy Grail - Seeking Alpha - August 16th, 2017
- Notes: Cloud Computing still in running for Travers - Albany Times Union - August 14th, 2017
- Assessing the key reasons behind a multi-cloud strategy - Cloud Tech - August 14th, 2017
- Intel runs rule over new data centre storage design - Cloud Tech - August 14th, 2017
- 5 Stocks to Cash In on Cloud Computing - Kiplinger Personal Finance - August 13th, 2017
- Global Cloud Computing Market 2017- Amazon Web Services, Aliyun, Microsoft Azure, IBM and Google Cloud Platform - Perfect Analyst - August 13th, 2017
- Global Cloud Computing Market in Education Sector to Grow at a CAGR of 26% by 2021: Key Vendors are Adobe ... - PR Newswire (press release) - August 12th, 2017
- Global Bus Switch IC Market 2017-2021 - Growing Demand for Cloud Computing and IoT - PR Newswire (press release) - August 11th, 2017
- Amazon Web Services chooses its Kubernetes path, joins Cloud ... - GeekWire - August 11th, 2017
- AWS joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation | TechCrunch - TechCrunch - August 11th, 2017
- Cloud computing security - JD Supra (press release) - August 11th, 2017
- Global Cloud Computing Market in Education Sector to Grow at a CAGR of 26% by 2021: Driven by the Increasing ... - Business Wire (press release) - August 10th, 2017
- Salesforce Apps Add Functionality to Cloud Computing - Talkin' Cloud - August 10th, 2017
- Cloud job roles soar but salaries not accelerating with it - Cloud Tech - August 9th, 2017
- Microsoft Reorg Reflects Accelerated Cloud Push - Redmondmag.com - August 9th, 2017
- IBM sues to stop former executive from working at cloud computing ... - Westfair Online - August 8th, 2017
- Cisco admits to losing Meraki customer data in 'erroneous policy change' - Cloud Tech - August 8th, 2017
- Cloud computing is becoming more and more important for businesses - Information Age - August 8th, 2017
- Edge computing could push the cloud to the fringe | TechCrunch - TechCrunch - August 5th, 2017
- Cloud computing cybersecurity can stop hacking and ransomware - CNBC - August 4th, 2017
- Top 5: Books about cloud computing - TechRepublic - August 4th, 2017
- MissionOG Exits Cloud Computing Analytics Provider Cloudamize - Markets Insider - August 4th, 2017
- Cloud Computing and Collaborative MBSE Comes to HyperWorks - ENGINEERING.com - August 3rd, 2017
- Cloud Computing in Industrial IoT: Market for Cloud support of IIoT by Software, Platforms, Infrastructure (SaaS ... - Business Wire (press release) - August 1st, 2017
- Cloud Computing Market in Latin America 2016-2020 - Key vendors are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, IBM ... - Business Wire (press release) - August 1st, 2017
- The dangers of cloud computing: Is your information safe? - NY ... - New York Daily News - July 31st, 2017
- Four in five firms say they avoid running sensitive data in the public cloud - Cloud Tech - July 31st, 2017
- Amazon Miss Sparks Debate: Will Video Pay Off Like Cloud ... - Investor's Business Daily - July 31st, 2017
- RMU offers new course in Amazon cloud computing with eyes on ... - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - July 31st, 2017
- The central role of the server in open networking - Cloud Tech - July 31st, 2017
- Federal Cloud Computing - TechTarget - July 31st, 2017
- Forbes dubs Utah 'cloud computing's new capital' - KSL.com - July 12th, 2017