What is Cloud Computing? Everything You Need to Know about the Cloud

What is Cloud Computing? Everything You Need to Know about the Cloud

Cloud computing is the dominant environment for new applications and the adaptation of a large number of existing applications, facilitating and improving the flexibility of infrastructures, tools, and components for agile development of applications and services. Since cloud computing has amassed great popularity, IT professionals are familiarizing themselves with the concept of cloud computing training as well.

There are three main types of cloud computing services:

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)

Access to storage and computing capacity. It is the most basic category and allows to "rent" IT infrastructure from a cloud service provider (servers and virtual machines, storage, networks, and operating systems).

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)

Offers developers tools to create and host web applications. It is designed to give users access to the components they need to quickly develop and use the web or mobile applications, without worrying about configuring and managing the infrastructure of servers, storage, networks, and underlying databases.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS)

It is a way of providing software applications where cloud service providers host and manage applications in a comprehensive manner. It makes it easy to have the same application on all your devices at once because all the intelligence and application data are hosted in the cloud.

Initially, all these cloud computing services were offered by their manufacturers through the internet (public cloud). The purpose was to allow users to install it on private physical infrastructures so that customers could deploy their own private cloud, allowing the service providers to bill users on a pay-per-use basis, or by means of fixed costs depending on the assigned capacity.

The Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is an ICT environment where one or several public and private clouds are combined with one or several local ICT environments or "OnPremise," in a way that allows data, applications, and services to be shared in a transparent and secure way among all these environments. Organizations can keep critical applications and data for the company in local protected infrastructures while obtaining the flexibility and capacity offered by public or private clouds for the scaling of ICT capacity.

These hybrid environments also allow the delocalization of specific applications or services, so that if they must communicate with corporate systems, this communication can be secured. For these purposes, it is essential to implement hybrid messaging services that allow a secure and transparent integration between all environments while promoting the decoupling between different services and applications.

Currently, cloud services have become an integral part of all IT strategies, and the adoption of this technology coexists with privately hosted systems.

It is foreseeable that by the year 2020 there will be more computing capacity deployed in the public cloud than in private datacenters. It is also expected that in 2021, 70% of the cloud publishes this managed by the top 10 providers.

Recommendations for Designing Business IT Architecture

Private clouds are run in their own facilities or by a hosting provider that offers its physical infrastructure exclusively and may offer similar benefits to public cloud computing. Hybrid cloud computing involves significant integration between internal and external environments in the data, process, management, and security layers. Nowadays, the leading manufacturers of traditional virtualization platforms also offer native integration with the most essential public clouds and their management from their own administration tools.

The following are the seven main recommendations to date when designing business IT architecture:

  • Use an approach that allows creating a cloud strategy that offers flexibility for current business needs, while supporting innovation for future needs and integration with the company's existing information systems.
  • Develop a structured decision framework that identifies potential use cases for cloud computing, analyzing the benefits and challenges for workloads of specific applications.
  • Evaluate if and how the company should build its own private cloud infrastructure capabilities as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS).
  • Assume that the company will use cloud services from internal (private cloud) and external (public cloud) sources from multiple vendors, and that security, management, and governance processes will be created for this hybrid cloud environment.
  • Creating a multifaceted strategy to determine when to re-host, rewrite, rebuild, or replace applications offers value, and how new applications can be generated using design principles optimized for the cloud and native cloud.
  • Recognize that cloud computing represents the best practice model for creating scalable web class services for the delivery of applications, content, or business process functions to partners and customers.
  • Create a hybrid and agile data center incorporating simplified provisioning services with elastic capabilities as soon as possible.

It is also essential to manage cloud service providers in the same way as other external service providers, emphasizing the focus on service levels and not just on prices.

Cost management is also one of the aspects of cloud computing that still requires improvement, especially in the form of payment for use, since, although it is relatively easy to perform a calculation of costs per consumption in processing time or in storage capacity, in many cases costs related to some consumptions are not very transparent.

Cloud computing is becoming the dominant design style for new applications and for the adaptation of a large number of existing applications, facilitating and making the deployments of infrastructures, tools, and components for the agile development of applications more flexible. This paradigm is directly related to the agile methodologies of development, the construction of micro-services, and is one of the most determining levers in the digital transformation. It is estimated that, in a couple of years, any IT strategy related to new initiatives that are not based on cloud computing, will require justification in more than 30% of large companies.

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