Characteristics of Cloud Computing

This article is about cloud computing and its characteristics. Cloud computing has become a part of our daily life even though we are unaware of it. The smallest and the most basic task that we do on the internet is sending an email, which also has implemented cloud computing. So read this article to know how cloud computing has become part of our daily life and its characteristics.

Introduction of Cloud Computing

It was almost two decade back when Cloud Computing emerged and got hit through Since then there has been no turning back. Why is it still gaining popularity and why most of the IT industry is slowly moving towards Cloud?

Let us take a simple example, imagine you are working on a project which has slowly started to gain momentum. Over the period of time, you will need storage and for that, you will hardware to store your work. Apart from the hardware being more expensive, they occupy a huge amount of space. Maintaining these hardware's would become a task.

How did it work before cloud computing

Life before cloud computing was very expensive and daunting. People were needed to install, configure, manage every server. As the business grew it became more complicated and a headache to manage different environments and platforms. Not to mention upgrading every time whenever there was a fix.

How many of us remember the big billion day Sale of Flipkart in the year 2014? The sales for that particular day was so huge that the servers crashed as it couldn't handle the sudden surge in the traffic. This traffic was only for that special occasion, so would it be worth for the company to buy the servers only for that day? If they had a dynamic resource allocation maybe it could handle the load.

So imagine getting a space where the storage is unlimited, where you don't have to worry about installations of servers, access the application from any device and many such features. This is exactly why cloud computing comes into the picture.

What is Cloud Computing

Now since we know how it worked before cloud computing, it will be easier for us to understand why slowly not just IT industry but everyone is moving to Cloud Computing. To understand what cloud computing is in simple words, let us take the example of the email. Earlier emails were stored in the server in the same premises and it was very expensive. Later on google, yahoo etc came into the market where they allowed users to use their services for free but all the emails would be stored on their servers and you could access it anytime from anywhere. This is what Cloud computing is all about. The service providers will provide or rent you with their services/servers.

Below are few concepts of Cloud Computing although there are many, I have listed three which is very common.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): When they provide you with the infrastructure required such as servers, hardware etc it is called as IaaS. This would be pay as you go.
PaaS (Platform as a Service): It provides an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. It provides for developers to quickly create the web or mobile apps, without worrying about managing the infrastructure or configuration of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.
SaaS (Software as a Service): This is based on a subscription basis, users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC. They provide services whenever there is an outage with the application that you are using.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

1. Cost Efficient: As discussed in the above article, the cost to maintain hardware and storage devices is very expensive. By moving to the cloud, these costs are reduced to a huge extent as the cloud is an application and your maintenance cost will be very less.

2. Unlimited Storage: Since all our data is on the cloud, you get almost unlimited storage. You won't have to worry about storing our data or increasing your storage as per the requirement.

3. Recovery: Since all our data is stored in the cloud it is much easier to recover data with just a simple login. It is easier than to store in any physical device.

4. Easy Access to Information: You get access to your information from anywhere at any time, you don't have to wait to come to the office to update or retrieve the information.

5. Deploy Projects Faster: The projects can be deployed faster as we won't have to spend more time on installing servers and configure them to deploy the projects.

6. Multi tenancy: With this feature, cloud service provider can serve multiple customers/consumers. The resources can be dynamically assigned whereas earlier each service provider was dedicated to one particular consumer.

Risks of Cloud Computing

A coin always has two sides, even though the benefits outweigh the risk we need to be aware of the risk involved in cloud computing.
1. Technical Outage: Since is an application, there can be many unforeseen technical issues and you will need to have a very good internet connection. They might one of the best service providers but you cannot forego of the fact that there might be Technical Outage.
2. Compromised Security: The Internet is always prone to attacks, hackers, and virus. Since your entire data will be handled by a third party we need to ensure that they are trustworthy.
3. Control: You will not get complete control over the data as it will be with the service provider, they are the ones who will decide the upgrade of their application.

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