Module: Cloud Computing, Virtualisation and threats associated with it.
Cloud computing is the method of delivery computing service with respect to servers, storage, network, database analytics and so on. The companies that provide these services are called cloud providers but they are not freely available. Client is required to pay for these relatively inexpensive methods of storage and hence useful. A variety of clouds hosting services are available for different purposes.
The concept of cloud computing, clouds hosting services, its benefits and security alliance. Also, the concept of cloud deployment model, cloud architecture, cloud computing attacks and the cloud computing tools.
Types of cloud computing
Not all clouds are the same and not one type of cloud computing is right for everyone. Several different models, types and services have evolved to help offer the right solution for your needs.
Types of cloud deployments: public, private and hybrid
First, you need to determine the type of cloud deployment or cloud computing architecture, that your cloud services will be implemented on. There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.
Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider, which deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.
A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimize your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.
How cloud computing works
While cloud computing services all work a little differently, many provide a friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easier for IT professionals and developers to order resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud computing services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line interface, giving developers multiple options.
Companies can use cloud computing to increase their IT functionality or capacity without having to add software, personnel, invest in additional training or set up new infrastructure. Below are the major types of cloud computing:
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is the lowest level of cloud solution and refers to cloud-based computing infrastructure as a fully-outsourced service. An IaaS provider will deliver pre-installed and configured hardware or software through a virtualized interface. What the customers accessing the cloud services do with the service is up to them. Examples of IaaS offerings are managed hosting and development environments.
Benefits of IaaS Solutions
- Reduces total cost of ownership and capital expenditures
- Users pay for the service that they want, on the go
- Access to enterprise-grade IT resources and infrastructure
- Users can scale up and down based on their requirements at any time
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This type of cloud computing is similar to IaaS but is more advanced. With PaaS, apart from simply providing infrastructure, providers also offer a computing platform and solution stack as a service. The IT infrastructure may come with a graphic user interface, run-time system libraries, programming languages or an operating system.
PaaS services are mostly used by companies that need to develop, test, collaborate and deploy cloud solutions for particular applications. However, the hosting of the application is done by a third party i.e. the PaaS provider.
PaaS providers offer a fully configured sandbox and deployment environment for customers to develop, test and deploy their cloud applications. Examples of PaaS solutions include Salesforce.com’s Force.com, Rackspace Cloud Sites, Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure.
Benefits of PaaS Solutions
- Community – Most of the time, many people are involved in building cloud applications in PaaS environments. This creates a strong supportive community that can help your development team along the way.
- No more upgrades – Companies are not required to update or upgrade the infrastructure software. Instead, the PaaS provider handles all upgrades, patches and routine software maintenance.
- Lower cost – Companies face lower risk since they do not have to make upfront investment in hardware and software.
- Simplified deployment – The development team can concentrate on developing the cloud application without having to worry about the testing and deployment infrastructure.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
When talking about cloud services, most people think of Software as a Service (SaaS) providers. SaaS providers provide fully functionally web-based applications on demand to customers. The applications are mainly targeted at business users and can include web conferencing, ERP, CRM, email, time management, project tracking among others.
The payment models for SaaS solutions can include subscription based (Salesforce), pay-for-use (WebEx) or free. More examples of companies that offer SaaS solutions include Citrix, NetSuite, and others.
Benefits of SaaS Solutions
- Rapid Scalability
- Accessibility from any location with Internet
- Eliminates infrastructure concerns
- Custom levels of service offerings
- Bundled maintenance and Support
4. Recovery as a Service (RaaS)
According to a Gartner report, 30 percent of midsize companies will have adopted cloud recovery service by 2014. Recovery as a Service (RaaS) solutions helps companies to replace their backup, archiving, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions in a single, integrated platform. RaaS providers protect and can help companies recover entire data centers, servers (OS, applications, configuration and data), and data (files and databases).
RaaS helps businesses to reduce the impact of downtime when disasters happen. RaaS is also referred to as DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)
Benefits of RaaS Solutions
- Prevent temporary or permanent loss of critical company data
- Prevents permanent loss of physical infrastructure, including IT infrastructure
- Is a cost-effective way of recovering data
- Enables faster recovery while maintaining accuracy
- Offer greater flexibility on the type of backup required (either primary or secondary backup)
Businesses can benefit from cloud services by improving efficiency and reducing costs. Companies can adopt cloud services based on their priorities, areas of expertise and business processes. Like is the case with an IT project, careful planning and preparation should be done before switching to cloud services.
Uses of cloud computing
You are probably using cloud computing right now, even if you don’t realize it. If you use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games or store pictures and other files, it is likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes. The first cloud computing services are barely a decade old, but already a variety of organizations—from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits—are embracing the technology for all sorts of reasons.
Here are a few examples of what is possible today with cloud services from a cloud provider:
Create new apps and services
Quickly build, deploy and scale applications—web, mobile and API—on any platform. Access the resources you need to help meet performance, security and compliance requirements.
Test and build applications
Reduce application development cost and time by using cloud infrastructures that can easily be scaled up or down.
Store, back up and recover data
Protect your data more cost-efficiently—and at massive scale—by transferring your data over the Internet to an offsite cloud storage system that is accessible from any location and any device.
Unify your data across teams, divisions and locations in the cloud. Then use cloud services, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to uncover insights for more informed decisions.
Stream audio and video
Connect with your audience anywhere, anytime, on any device with high-definition video and audio with global distribution.
Use intelligent models to help engage customers and provide valuable insights from the data captured.
Deliver software on demand
Also known as software as a service (SaaS), on-demand software lets you offer the latest software versions and updates around to customers—anytime they need, anywhere they are.