cloud computing for dummies

Demystifying Cloud Computing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

In the digital era, ‘cloud computing’ isn’t just a buzzword anymore, it’s an integral part of our daily lives. Whether you’re streaming your favourite shows or storing files for easy access, you’re likely using the cloud. But what exactly is cloud computing? And how does it impact you?

This article aims to simplify the complex world of cloud computing. It’s a beginner’s guide, designed to help you understand the basics, and unravel the mystery behind the cloud. So, if you’ve ever found yourself puzzled by the cloud, you’re in the right place. Let’s embark on this journey to understand cloud computing, one step at a time.

Cloud Computing for Dummies

Derived from the concept of Information Technology (IT), cloud computing entails delivering computer services over the internet. Instead of having programs and data on a personal computer or network, cloud computing houses them in an internet-accessible virtual environment, known as “the cloud.”

But why do businesses opt for cloud computing? Five main factors drive this move: cost-effectiveness, speed, productivity, reliability, and global scale.
  1. Cost-effectiveness: Cloud computing eliminates the need for upfront investment in hardware, software, and settings up of on-site data centres. Enterprises pay only for the cloud services they use.
  2. Speed: Cloud services are on-demand, providing businesses tremendous amounts of computing resources instantly.
  3. Productivity: Cloud computing frees IT teams from managing infrastructure and enables them to focus on achieving more important business goals.
  4. Reliability: Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier due to its ability to replicate data in multiple sites on the cloud provider’s network.
  5. Global scale: The ability to scale elastically is one of the benefits of cloud computing. This means delivering the right amount of IT resources—more specifically, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth—precisely when needed.

Cloud computing further encompasses three distinct models which dictate how these resources are deployed and consumed. These are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Each model provides different levels of control, flexibility, and management. 

Cloud Computing for Dummies: A Comprehensive Guide

Delving deeper into cloud computing, this comprehensive guide offers beginners a detailed view of how it works. It all starts with an internet connection. Once online, individuals or enterprises access computing services such as servers, storage, applications, and analytics. Companies like IBM, Microsoft Azure, and more make these services available over the internet. Rooted in convenience, cloud computing avoids capital expenditure, allowing a pay-as-you-go model.

Cloud computing’s structure rests on its models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Notably, IaaS provides an outsource for elements like virtual machines, while PaaS allows developers to build applications. SaaS, the broadest model, delivers software applications directly via the cloud.

Cloud computing also offers public, private, and hybrid options, each catering to specific user needs. Public clouds, owned by third-party cloud service providers, offer services and storage online. Alternatively, private clouds, owned by a single business or organisation, assure more controlled resources. Lastly, hybrid clouds combine both public and private options, creating a flexible and efficient environment.

Diving Into Cloud Models: SAAS, IAAS, and PAAS

Delving deeper into cloud models, three primary service models exist: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

SaaS, the most commonly recognized model, furnishes applications over the internet. Giants in the industry like Salesforce and Google Workspace offer services categorically falling under SaaS. These services negate the need for organisations in installing or maintaining software—the only requirement being an internet connection.

IaaS, a less hands-on approach, provides virtualized computing resources online. Services like those from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure constitute IaaS, allowing businesses to rent out IT infrastructures, which in the traditional sense, they’d have to procure physically. The approach translates into cost reductions and more focus on core business.