All you need to know about Cloud Computing

Dec 15, 2017

Cloud computing has been witnessing increasing market traction within major geographies across the globe. Many big players like Amazon and Google have entered into this field as Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). India is nowhere behind in this race. According to “India Cloud Computing Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020”, the market for cloud computing services in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 22% during 2015-2020. In the recent past there are many CSPs that have emerged in India like CtrlS, Go4hosting, Sify and many more. The Government is also taking various initiatives to encourage cloud technology. One of the many such initiatives is the ‘Digital SME’ scheme for Promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the MSME Sector. This was an ongoing scheme from 11th five-year plan, but it has been modified in view of emergence of the Cloud Computing Concept and named as “Digital MSME”. Cloud Computing has emerged as an affordable and viable alternative for MSMEs as compared to the premise-based IT infrastructure.

The attempt through this article is to give the readers an insight into Cloud Technology and how it can help an organization grow.

A growing number of SMEs in India are now wanting to cater to not just Indian but global markets. To compete with the world, and that too in real-time with speed and efficacy, they need to have access to sophisticated technologies; all this without having to invest in setting up a huge IT infrastructure. With the advent of Software-as-a-Service model people pay only for the services they use, the SMEs can now boast about having advanced IT capabilities just like the big giant companies.

New-age technologies like AI, Big Data, Blockchain and more are not just buzzwords. They are gradually becoming a way of life. All these technologies involving huge amount of data are greatly dependent on cloud computing.

Cloud gives you the freedom of information on-the-go. Unlike earlier days where information used to be exchanged over emails etc. from one office location to another; maintaining data on cloud lets you access it real-time from anywhere.

What is Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a type of computing done via the internet i.e. infrastructure, services, servers, storage and applications are all on the web. Thus, instead of storing files on a hard drive or local storage device, it can be saved to a remote database – advantage of cloud computing. The data can be accessed from “the cloud” and does not require a person to be in a specific location to gain access to it. This type of system allows employees to work remotely as long as an electronic device such as a phone, tablet or laptop has access to the internet. It is most useful and cost-saving to organizations that are present in more than one location.

Classification of Cloud

Based on cloud location:

  1. Public: This cloud infrastructure is owned by third party Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). Here the entire infrastructure is located on the premises of the CSPs. Thus, a customer has no physical control over the infrastructure thereby drastically reducing the cost involved in maintaining in-house data servers and security costs associated with them. This is basically a shared resource wherein other companies would also be hosted on the same cloud.
  2. Private: Here the infrastructure is used by one customer only without being shared by others. The customer has the option of choosing an on premise private cloud or locating it remotely. In both the cases the customer has physical control.
  3. Hybrid: It gives you the best of both the worlds-flexibility of a private server along with the advantages of a public cloud. For instance – public cloud can be used to interact with customers, while keeping their data secured through a private cloud.

Based on the services offered by the cloud

  1. IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service): In this kind of service, customers rent IT infrastructure like servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks—from a cloud provider on a pay-per-user basis
  2. PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service): If the cloud offers a development platform, and this includes operating system, database, and web server, the model is known as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  3. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service): SaaS is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and on a subscription basis. Here the cloud providers host and manage the software application and related infrastructure. Additionally, they also take care of the maintenance part like software upgrades and security. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC.

Almost everything in our digital world is connected to the cloud in some way or another. Whether it is a Google app like Gmail or it is a social media networking site like LinkedIn, Twitter or even Facebook. As enterprises explore new ways to organize, process and present data in a better way cloud computing is the technology to watch out for.

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