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Cloud computing is a word which is quite famous nowadays. Whether it is a big company or an SME, everyone wants to shift to cloud. Everyone has his own definition about cloud. Basically cloud is a space on the internet that is reserved for use by a user or a group of users. The concept is simple. You are storing all your data and applications on the cloud, rather than storing it on your local machine.
Cloud Computing has several advantages over the conventional storage and processing. It also reduces various hardware costs and makes the processing quite cheaper. This is the main reason why everyone wants to shift towards cloud computing.
Now, let us understand what a cloud can offer to its user. A cloud offers a huge storage space on the internet that can be increased further as required. So, instead of storing our data like images, documents, videos, etc on our local hard drive, we can store it on our personal cloud. You may think that why should we store our data on cloud rather than storing it on our hard disc. The reason is very simple. It may be possible that there will be a hardware failure in our machine like a system crash or hard disc crash. Whatever be the reason, the result is loss of critical data that we can't get back. So, to avoid such loss of data, cloud can be very helpful. But clouds are not just meant for storage. They are also meant for other kinds of computing and processing.
In present days, we use various Software like MS Office, Visual studios, registry cleaners, media players and several games. To use these softwares, we need to install them on our system. This will need some amount of space on our hard disc. Suppose we have ran out of space on our hard disc and we want to install another software or application on our system. Since we don't have enough free space on our system, we are left with only two options. Either we should delete some items from the system or we should increase our hard disc storage. Any of these two options will provide only a temporary solution. Cloud computing plays an important role in effectively solving this problem. Instead of installing these softwares or applications on our system, we can directly use them from the cloud where they are pre-installed. Yes, clouds can also be used for installing softwares and applications. So, with the help of clouds, you can use unlimited number of softwares without worrying about the storage space.
In cloud computing, all the data is stored on the cloud (internet), so a lot of time and enery is saved during the processing of that data. We need not to upload it again and again. We can directly share, retrieve and delete it from our cloud. Cloud computing improves the computing speed along with unlimited storage. This is why the big companies want their infrastructure to be on cloud.
Some cloud service providers
Right now, there are a lot of cloud computing service providers in the market. Some big names in this list are :
List of some cloud service providers in India
Types of clouds
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Clouds can be classified into three types :
Public Clouds : These clouds are for general public. Here, vendor offers a cloud service that is shared amongst several users. The entire cloud infrastructure is on vendor's side. Users can register with the cloud through the vendor and can utilize the services of the cloud without knowing about its implementation. Its implementation is not known to its users. Public clouds may be available free of cost or may charge some amount if you want to increase the storage.
Private clouds : Private clouds are built for a particular organization or company according to their requirements. The vendor provides a cloud specific to that organization only. Organization has the full control over the cloud and its implementation is transparent to the organization.
Hybrid clouds : Hybrid clouds provide services which is a mixture of public and private cloud services. Hybrid clouds are used when a company wants some of its critical data to be available on a private cloud while leaving the rest of the data on a public cloud. This helps them in saving cost. Private clouds are expensive as compared to public clouds. So, utilizing the private cloud only for critical data is a cost saving decision.
Types of cloud services
Following are the three most common services provided by cloud computing :
Infrastructure as a service (Iaas) : User has the ability to use all the resources available through the cloud. User can run applications, store files, etc. User has the full control over the cloud. Iaas provides the users with a virtual PC and all the resources like server, storage and network access as a service over cloud.
Software as a service (Saas) : In this, users use a software that is installed on the cloud of the software provider. User does not have the control over the cloud. He can't see the implementation of the cloud. He can only use the softwares installed on that cloud as a service provided by the software owner.
Platform as a service (Paas) : In this, you can store and install all of your applications on a cloud. From there, you can run those applications as per your needs. Here you get a platform where you can store your applications. The owner of the cloud is providing its platform to the users as a service which they will use according to their needs.