Cloud Technology or Cloud Computing, according to Microsoft’s definition is the delivery of computing services over the internet or the cloud. The computing services include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and many others. Cloud Computing helps to access computer, information technology (IT) and software applications through a network connection, usually through WAN or internet. Almost all IT resources are cloud compatible and can stay in the cloud. Cloud providers are the various companies which offer these computing services. These companies charge for the services on basis of their usage.
The term “cloud computing” is one of the most common words in the tech industry. But its origins are still not clear. Some sources state the year like 2006 when companies like Amazon and Google began using “cloud computing”. But others trace the word back to late 1996, wherein an internal document of Compaq, there was the reference to the phrase “cloud computing”.
The widespread use of cloud technology started near about a decade ago. But due to its numerous benefits and efficiency, the variety of organizations, starting from small-scale start-ups to global corporations all implement this technology in their functioning. We as users of internet services also use the cloud technology often without realizing. For example, sending emails, editing documents, watching TV, listening to music, playing games, storing files and various other activities using an online service.
Some of the common uses of cloud computing are:
1. Create a new app and services
2. Store, back up and recover data
3. Host websites and blog
4. Stream audio and video
5. Deliver software on demand
Here are the 6 most important attributes of cloud technology:
Cloud computing helps in reducing the production in many ways. It cuts down the cost of buying hardware and software. There is no need for setting up and running on-site data centers or rack of servers. It eliminates the requirement of 24-hour electricity for power and cooling. Furthermore, the management of the infrastructure is easier and requires minimal IT manpower.
Device independence refers to the process where a software application is able to function on various devices irrespective of local hardware. As the cloud technology enables, the users to access the system via a web browser, one is no more dependent on the location or any specific device for use. Therefore, as the infrastructure is off-site, the users can connect from anywhere.
Cloud computing makes it easier to maintain applications. This is because of the device and location independence factor. Owing to this, one can access applications from different places like multiple work locations and even while traveling.
“Multitenancy” in terms of software architecture refers to the system where a single software runs on a server and serves multiple tenants at the same time. Cloud computing too works on similar terms and enables sharing of resources and costs across a large pool of users. This further results in centralization of infrastructure, increase in peak-load capacity, improvement in system efficiency.
With cloud computing, the performance of the computer systems improves a lot. It helps to increase user flexibility. This flexibility is in terms of re-provisioning, adding or expanding the technological infrastructure resources. In turn, it helps to improve the swiftness in activities of the organization.
Resource Pooling refers to the pooling of provider’s computing resources to serve multiple consumers in a multi-tenant model. Here assigning and re-assigning of different physical and virtual resources take place according to the consumer’s demand.
With cloud technology and easy access to data, productivity increases. Multiple users can work on the same data simultaneously. This also saves time and manual labor of re-entering the data for similar conditions. The reliability feature manifests itself in terms of business continuity and disaster recovery. Due to cloud computing, all the data in it remains intact, even if the hardware or the device malfunctions. And the scalability feature enables one to scale up or down with increase or decrease in cloud usage.
Contrary to popular belief, cloud technology is secure. Security here is at par with the traditional systems, at times even better. Cloud providers, therefore, solve the security issues promptly which prevents any hassle on the consumer’s end. But with the increase in the data distribution area, the complexity of the security increases as well. And therefore, to avoid losing control of information security and the user’s desire to retain control over the infrastructure, one can use private cloud installations.
Cloud Technology is still under research. This is because organizations want to minimize the risk of internal outage and reduce the complexity of the housing network. And for individual usage purposes, the cloud storage for storing data and accessing them anytime, anywhere is a huge help. To know more about the latest technology check here.