What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing Basics – Everything You Need to Know

Cloud computing is one of the most useful technology innovations we’ve seen in the last couple of decades. This technology has had an impact on both individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises. Several businesses are now taking advantage of cloud computing to boost their productivity, increase revenue, and cut their operational costs.

What is Cloud Computing?

If you are hearing about cloud computing for the first time, or you probably don’t understand it well enough, this article is for you. We shall discuss all the important basics that you need to know about cloud computing. Let’s jump right in!

In simple terms, cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services, including storage, intelligence, analytics, databases, software, and networking over the internet. For example, if you use a cloud-based photo editing application like Canva, all the computation is done from Canva services. All the end-user needs is a device with a web browser to access the web app interface.

Cloud storage is another popular use case of cloud computing. With cloud storage, one can store files such as photos and videos on cloud servers and access them on any devices where they go as long as the device is connected to the internet. Some of the popular cloud storage platforms that you might have heard of include Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, and Dropbox.

Cloud computing delivery models

There are basically three cloud computing delivery models; Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Let’s talk about each of these in detail.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

With IaaS, users have access to all computing resources, including servers, storage, and networking over the internet. It is this delivery model that gives the end-user more power and flexibility regarding how they use the computing resources they paid for. When a user pays for a certain amount of computing hardware, they can choose what operating system and apps to install on it, just like they would with their local computers.

Some of the popular IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

With this delivery model, service providers offer developers computing resources, including hardware and software, and a development environment for building applications. PaaS providers also provide frameworks that make it easier and faster for developers to build and deploy applications on the web. Some of the popular PaaS platforms include Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Beanstalk, Oracle Cloud Platform (OCP), and Google App Engine.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

This is the cloud computing delivery model where applications (software) are made available to the end-users over the internet. That means users can access these apps right from their browsers instead of going through the tedious process of downloading and installing the apps on their computers. Some of the popular SaaS platforms include Slack, Google Workspace, Adobe Creative Cloud, Office 365, and HubSpot.

Benefits of cloud computing

  • Cost-saving: No need to have powerful computing hardware
  • Remote access: One can access apps or storage wherever there are
  • Continuity: You can easily pick off from where you left using any device
  • Access to multiple operating systems on a single device
  • Reliable for backing up files
  • Enables faster development and deployment of apps
  • Makes collaboration much easier and more convenient