In the Networking world, “Cloud” is the term used to refer to the storage space for the data exchanged or saved. Since the introduction of the internet, there has been an expansive use of data across multitudes of networks across borders and continents. The infallible truth is that the exhaustive spread of data cannot be stored in a personal computer or its HDD (which may the maximum capacity of 16TB). This problem gave rise to the need for a storage space which can assimilate information (data, image or pictures, zip files, PSD files, etc.) without losing it.
Cloud computing refers to the access of the information proliferated in various distributed mediums into one centralized storage space. Given the magnitude of small, SME and large enterprises, there has been an extensive gathering of information via various IT channels. It becomes difficult for the enterprises to monitor every single data physically albeit tracking the history and performance of their staff and employees.
Most Compelling Characteristics
It creates an avenue to not only store insurmountable data in a centralized server but also allows an individual or an organization to access it from a distant location. There are five major and indispensable characteristics which are described as follows:
- On-Demand Service has created various cloud service and delivery model maneuvers.
- Broad Network Access is construed upon the information access through both internet and intranet channels.
- Resource Pulling feature entails the flexibility of accessibility of the database across various mediums and channels.
- Rapid Elasticity represents the performance of this feature while scaling rapid growth or dip in the data that is being interpreted.
- Measured Service ascertains the ability to extract an organization’s managerial and compliance regulations via computing.
Different Service Models in the delineation
Given the disparate nature of the clientele, cloud services have been classified into the following:
- SaaS (or Software-as-a-Service) – This model refers to the online software solutions like CRM, online mail, social media platforms, and project management The user or client enjoys a complete control over the software application using this model.
- PaaS (or Platform-as-a-Service) – This model is predominantly utilized by big organizations. Provides the client with a pre-built API (Application Programming Interface) Some of the popular PaaS providers are the Amazon web services and Google AppEngine respectively.
- IaaS (or Infrastructure-as-a-Service) – This model conforms to the concept of providing infrastructure components to the clients. These are primarily devised to access storage, load balancers, virtual machines, networks, etc.
Nature of Clients using the Service Models
The computing models are majorly distributed amongst:
- Public Cloud
The Public Cloud infrastructure is deployed to the public (individuals, business owners, government offices, or university authorities, etc.) to access the information from a centralized location.
- Private Cloud
A Private Cloud infrastructure is accessed by a larger organization with various business units. The nature of the work handled by such organization involves multiple customers and thus, excess storage space.
- Community Cloud
Sharing and retrieval of information by people belonging to the same community (with similar interests and missions) have given rise to the development and use of a Community Cloud infrastructure.
- Hybrid Cloud
The incessant usage of information across platforms has given rise to the need to deploy a contrasting infrastructure. This Cloud variant uses a combination of various infrastructures- like public, private and community-based clouds. This includes a further complex and integrated system.
Impact on Businesses and Technology
- The Public cloud service model architecture points towards a growing engagement of clients with more and more people joining the network and accumulating an elephantine database.
- Apropos of the Private and Hybrid computing architecture, they will be used for a longer period of time as opposed to their decreasing market share.
- IaaS models will likely lose their market presence as people intend to utilize the Software (SaaS) and Platform (PaaS) based applications as against the resource utilization towards the infrastructure building applications.
It is clearly a demanding computational resource with the growing digitization trend on a global scale. The ease of access to affordable storage platforms is due to the drop in the cost of the hardware resulting in its commoditization.