Cloud Computing ; Using the sky as a storage facility metaphorically
Stallone been an old head looked up to the sky and asked “what cloud?” Exactly what cloud, pardon my storytelling but you get the gist, If you are a tech-savvy person or visit tech blogs, you must have seen cloud computing related topics come up a thousand times, the hype is deafening, which makes me wonder what is this technology or concept?
The popularity of cloud computing has gained a lot of attention recently and a lot of research seminars and discussions have been conducted on how cloud computing can improve the usage and development of information systems. If you’ve ever wondered about this like me, reading this might shed more light on it.
What is Cloud Computing
The concept of cloud computing must be understood, it dates back to 1960 when it was predicted that computation may someday be packaged as a public utility like gas, electricity and the likes, cloud computing has reemerged in recent years as a fashionable term. The cloud is the key to the definition of cloud computing but there's no exact definition of the cloud,”What cloud?” Here is your answer Mr. Stallone, The cloud is a metaphor used for the internet, and according to Wikipedia the
cloud is a type of parallel distributed system consisting of a collection of interconnected and virtualized computers that are dynamically provisioned and presented as one or more unified computing resources based on service level agreements established through negotiation between the service providers and consumers.
Then cloud computing is a way of delivering information technology services to individual and organizations through the cloud, if you have used apps like Instagram, google apps or even access to your Gmail then you have certainly used cloud computing as a service.
A cloud can be public, private or hybrid. Public clouds are the most familiar flavor of Cloud, a public cloud is a data center readily available for public use, it is provided to the public in form of purchase or on some pay as you use basis, it is the most scalable, it is a cloud completely housed out of your corporate firewall.
Hybrid Clouds are the type that mixes Private and public Cloud, i.e the combo of on-premises investments with emerging Cloud Technologies. This is becoming an increasingly accepted approach.
Ok, why Cloud Computing?
The main reason for adopting this model is cost. (Main reason why everybody wants a piece of the cake), for a startup company looking to have an edge for technology, instead of you establishing or rebuilding a data centre from the scratch you can just pay as you use for a service from a prominent cloud company which will save you a lot of money and time, and ever since inception, the main aim of a startup company is to compete and to make money without spending too much. Cloud computing is cost saving and it is really really scalable and flexible. Major cloud computing services come in three Shapes.
Software as a service which is the provision of a software over the internet for easy use, the software can be used from anywhere in the world from a phone or computer that has internet access, example of a popular cloud computing service is Gmail, when you use Gmail you don't need to install the software on your computer or phone which would have been stressful anyway, but you use the Gmail from the internet which means your accessing the software on google cloud service (So simple).
Infrastructure as a service, This is provision of computer, computer servers or computing infrastructure or hardware on a pay per use basis instead of you have a lot of data recovery centres, storage servers, and the likes to store information about your company or maybe some archival data you can just pay as you use and any cloud computing vendor can just provide you with space for storage. Example when you have a google account you are automatically entitled to a 15 GB storage drive online whereby you can save a lot of things like pictures and the likes which is small scale.
But consider an instance where you have a newspaper company and you need to have an archive of past publications and all, imagine the overhead, why not let a company like Google which has a data center as big as a football Stadium, by the way, worry about that? You pay Google, they provide a portion of their data center for your use, you don't have to worry about maintenance and all, Everybody wins!.
Another example of a category of cloud computing services is a platform as a service, Platform as a service
provides customers with the platform to develop, manage and run an application without the added complexity of maintaining the application.
So if you have a dream of developing an application but you require a lot of computer overheads you can just use the platform as a service whereby you are provided with APIs (application programming interface) and SDKs (Software development kit), All you need to do is just develop which is relatively easier honestly and pay on a subscription basis.
If you're thinking of starting a company you should consider a cloud computing concept in your business model because it is much easier, scalable and less costly. Let me tell you about someone who tried it.
A successful story of a company using a cloud computing model for their business is Dangote Nigeria, a pan African multinational industrial conglomerate which used to spend approximately 3 billion dollars on operating an On-premises data center in a geography which can be challenging in terms of power supply and access to replacement hardware while on-demand access must be provided to information.
But when a new, valuable Refinery Project Contract was awarded, the Company decided it was time to switch it up, the company had the challenge to develop a solid hybrid cloud infrastructure solution that would allow Dangote to preserve its investment in its proprietary data center while also making good use of remote cloud reliability.
A solution in form of hybrid enterprise cloud from Microsoft Azure was developed, the solution which initially focused on data recovery as a service, made use of Azure’s reliable, useful backup and disaster recovery features, the success of these initial cautious approach strengthened their belief in Cloud based solutions, this prompted a new enterprise software app, an Important Internal Enterprise content management System to be carried over to the cloud platform ensuring that Dangote staff all around the world can work on the platform.
The refinery project and Dangote has really benefited from a cloud computing model, with this Cloud migration they have been able to save a lot of money and they now have a really stable working environment and a lot of inefficiencies has been removed from all their business processes.
In case you didn't know, Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service owned by Microsoft.
Comparison of cloud computing attributes
Today's world wide web and the convergence of new and complex technologies contribute directly to the transition from traditional computing to cloud computing, There is a tendency towards off-premises computing services instead of on-premises software products. Let's compare cloud with traditional computing based on some parameters.
First off, let's try acquisition.
Traditional computing spends a lot of money buying assets and building technical architecture while with cloud computing you can rent services you need rather than investing in ownership of IT infrastructures.
Another parameter I will be discussing is based on business, traditional computing requires you pay for fixed assets and administrative overhead and personnel expertise while with cloud computing all you have to do is pay based on use, subscription model(pay per use).
However with cloud computing, it's so convenient, as end-users can use any device to access information as long as there is internet access on the device, they can get access, even when they are away from the home or office. You can have a job in California and do the actual job from a beach in Hawaii.
To drive home the point that cloud computing is a must have, let's see the advantages of cloud computing. Cloud computing, is very cost-effective it is relatively cheaper, traditional desktop company software cost a lot to maintain and update in terms of finance and work overload, you need to update every single software your company use but with cloud computing software as a service, all you need to do is just update the software once and it will be automatically updated for everyone, therefore, making it cheaper.
With cloud computing, you need not worry about storage capacity, in cloud computing model you have almost unlimited storage capacity you don't have to worry about expanding your storage capacities or space running out which actually make it cheaper in the real sense. There's a phrase I like to tell my friends, it goes like “in this jet age, nothing is truly lost”. Most cloud service providers have a reputation for recovering your lost data since all your data is in the cloud, it is easier to back it up and recover it when needed or in case of data crash.
And lastly, cloud computing offers easy access to information, when you register for a cloud service you can easily access your information from anywhere as long as there's an internet connection which makes it less stressful and gives people the added advantage of working from home instead of the traditional internal network or data center.
While cloud computing is a cutting-edge technology, it has disadvantages too which includes technical issues, although it is true that your data can be accessed from anywhere as long as there's an internet connection but sometimes these cloud services have some kind of dysfunctions and this can result in a very, very terrible technical problem or if you have some kind of internet connectivity issues may be a result of slow broadband it can as well render everything useless.
Another major disadvantage of a cloud computing model is concerns about security, storing your confidential information online or in the cloud can make you vulnerable and prone to hack attacks and threats. As you're well aware nothing on the internet is safe There's always the possibility of a state attack or a denial of service which can be really detrimental
Just like everything else has its pros and cons cloud computing can prove to be really helpful and can also prove to be dangerous if not managed, understood and used properly.
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