Cloud computing is on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, applications, and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing to fulfill their business requirements. Existing businesses might choose a gradual movement to save money on infrastructure and administration costs (referred to as “lift and shift”), while a new company might start in the cloud. Cloud computing can be : public, private, and hybrid.
Benefits of Cloud Computing:
1. Cost-effective : Cloud computing achieve higher economies of scale which translates into lower pay as you go prices or consumption-based pricing model. You can rent hardware and pay for the resources that you actually use. It allows better cost prediction, consumer can also perform analysis based on future growth using historical usage data tracked by your cloud provider.
2. Scalable: Consumer can increase or decrease the resources and services used based on the demand or workload at any given time. Cloud computing supports both vertical (adding resources to increase the power of an existing server) and horizontal (adding more servers that function together as one unit) scaling depending on your needs.
Scaling can be done manually or automatically based on specific triggers such as CPU utilization or the number of requests and resources can be allocated or de-allocated in minutes.
3. Elastic : As your workload changes due to a spike or drop in demand, a cloud computing system can compensate by automatically adding or removing resources. (Eg. Imagine online shopping site during festive season can lead to spike in traffic. Since the cloud is elastic, it automatically allocates more computing resources to handle the increased traffic. When the traffic begins to normalize, the cloud automatically de-allocates the additional resources to minimize cost).
4. Security: Cloud datacenter have physical security – who can access the building, who can operate the server racks, and so on. You also have digital security – who can connect to your systems and data over the network.
Cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies, controls, and expert technical skills that can provide better security than most organizations can otherwise achieve. The result is strengthened security, which helps to protect data, apps, and infrastructure from potential threats. Cloud providers offer tools that help you mitigate security threats but you must use these tools to protect the resources you use.
5. Global: Cloud providers have fully redundant data-centers located in various regions all over the globe. This gives you a local presence close to your customers to give them the best response time possible no matter where in the world they are.
You can replicate your services into multiple regions for redundancy and locality, or select a specific region to ensure you meet data-residency and compliance laws for your customers.
6. Reliable: When you’re running a business, you want to be confident your data is always going to be there. Cloud computing providers offer data backup, disaster recovery, and data replication services to make sure your data is always safe. In addition, redundancy is often built into cloud services architecture so if one component fails, a backup component takes its place. This is referred to as fault tolerance.
7. Current: When you use the cloud, you’re able to focus on what matters: building and deploying applications. Cloud eliminates the burdens of maintaining software patches, hardware setup, upgrades, and other IT management tasks. All of this is automatically done for you to ensure you’re using the latest and tools to run your business.
Additionally, the computer hardware is maintained and upgraded by the cloud provider. If new hardware update becomes available, you don’t have to go through the process of replacing your hardware. The cloud provider will ensure that the hardware updates are made available to you automatically.