What Is Cloud Computing?

4 min read

When considering different cloud vendors, organizations should pay close attention to what technologies and configuration settings are used to secure sensitive information. Serverless computing is a cloud computing code execution model in which the cloud provider fully manages starting and stopping virtual machines as necessary to serve requests. The right PaaS offering also should include solutions for analysts, end users, and professional IT administrators, including big data analytics, content management, database management, systems management, and security. For most organizations, the current way of doing business might not deliver the agility to grow, or may not provide the platform or flexibility to compete.

Organizations are increasingly embracing a multi-cloud model, or the use of multiple IaaS providers. This lets applications migrate between different cloud providers or operate concurrently across two or more cloud providers. PaaS gives customers the advantage Cybersecurity threats of accessing the developer tools they need to build and manage mobile and web applications without investing in—or maintaining—the underlying infrastructure.

This process is transparent to the cloud user, who sees only a single access-point. To accommodate a large number of cloud users, cloud applications can be multitenant, meaning that any machine may serve more than one cloud-user organization. Today, hybrid cloud architecture has expanded beyond physical connectivity and cloud migration to offer a flexible, secure and cost-effective environment that supports the portability and automated deployment of workloads across multiple environments. This feature enables an organization to meet its technical and business objectives more effectively and cost-efficiently than with a public or private cloud alone. For instance, a hybrid cloud environment is ideal for DevOps and other teams to develop and test web applications. This frees organizations from purchasing and expanding the on-premises physical hardware needed to run application testing, offering faster time to market.

IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) provides on-demand access to fundamental computing resources—physical and virtual servers, networking and storage—over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. IaaS enables end users to scale and shrink resources on an as-needed basis, reducing the need for high up-front capital expenditures or unnecessary on-premises or "owned" infrastructure and for overbuying resources to accommodate periodic spikes in usage. Public cloud is the classic cloud-computing model, where users can access a large pool of computing power over the internet (whether that is IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS). The cloud-computing suppliers have vast amounts of computing power, which they share out between a large number of customers – the 'multi-tenant' architecture. Their huge scale means they have enough spare capacity that they can easily cope if any particular customer needs more resources, which is why it is often used for less-sensitive applications that demand a varying amount of resources. Security remains a primary concern for businesses contemplating cloud adoption -- especially public cloud adoption.

Cloud computing has also become indispensable in business settings, from small startups to global enterprises. Organizations of every type, size, and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer-facing web applications. For example, healthcare companies are using the cloud to develop more personalized treatments for patients. Financial services companies are using the cloud to power real-time fraud detection and prevention.

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