Cloud Computing – The Next Generation Computing Landmark
Cloud – An Introduction
Cloud has been a buzzword these days and most people are still not aware of what is it all about? Before we go deeper into the various aspects of the Cloud, we first need to understand what a Cloud is.
Cloud in an actual sense is a virtual computer remotely placed server to store and access data and programs using Internet as a source for computing instead of your own storage device i.e. Computer hard disk. Cloud and internet need to work hand in hand linked together so computing is possible with data and applications stored remotely and hence the name Cloud Computing and the process of performing computing on the cloud is referred to as Virtualization. Some of the examples of Cloud applications are Dropbox, Evernote, Mozy and Carbonite. One of the most important reasons people use cloud is for convenience and reliability.
Cloud Computing is an idea or a concept of delivering hosted services using Internet as a medium. In comparison, it is different than traditional hosting services with three main characteristics:
- Cloud computing is sold to the companies with minutes or hours in charges.
- Users of the Cloud can expect little or more services whenever they want.
- All of the Cloud services are managed by a Service Provider of the Cloud. Users only need to have a computer and a secured internet connection or if they are using mobile phone connection then they need to have a 3G or a 4G connection to host their data in the form of pictures, videos etc. to the Cloud. A good example is Google+.Layers of Cloud:
Cloud consists of three different layers such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas), Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) and Software-as-a-Service (Saas).
IaaS– In the IaaS environment, the Iaas provider will create a virtual machine to run the software needed for the organization. This will in turn avoid having machines as Infrastructure for the purpose of storage or computing. It works at the physical side of the cloud spectrum. Users can store their intellectual property documents, designs and drawings and source code proprietary to the business organization.
PaaS– Whereas with Iaas, the user has a good control of the virtual environment but with Paas, they are provided the tools to create the applications, run their websites, etc. A user required to use APIs to run their applications with the help of Paas environment e.g. Microsoft’s Windows Azure.
SaaS– Nowadays, everyone has a Gmail account. Now, the fact related to Cloud is that when you use a Gmail account then you are using SaaS cloud computing. It is the user who becomes the main focus in SaaS. The Cloud provider, specific to Saas, determines the software resources that are needed to perform user’s applications and allow the user to access it using a web browser. Apart from Gmail, other office productivity applications such as word processing, number crunching and online file sharing use the SaaS model. Other examples of Saas are Sharebee.com, 4shared.com, soundcloud.com, Rapidshare,Mediafire, Salesforce.com andQuickBooks.
Models of Cloud:
The different types of models of cloud are:Public,Private, CommunityandHybrid.
- Public cloud, the name itself reflects that the applications and resources are shared to the general public over the Internet. It is considered to be a “game changer” for small business organizations. Examples : Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), IBM’s Blue Cloud, Sun Cloud, Google AppEngine and Windows Azure Services Platform.
- Private cloudis a proprietary network or so called a data centre that uses cloud computing technologies. It is used by larger companies having their own IT staff and data centers. Example : Any cloud services availed for the internal usage of the company.
- Community cloudrefers to a shared cloud computing service environment that is specific to a limited set of organizations or employees (such as healthcare, banks or heads of trading firms). It is such an infrastructure that regulates pay-as-you-go billing structure. Examples : IGT Cloud and Optum Health Cloud.
- Hybrid cloudis a sum of Public cloud, Private cloud and Community cloud. It is such a computing environment in which an organization serves and manages some resources internally and provides other resources externally. It also addresses configuration management, change control, security and budgeting. Example : Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).
It is known that there are inherent risks associated with the use of cloud as it is a much less likely to lose the data as the data is being stored on the servers. Although any information that is stored online is not secured completely, it is always prudent to exercise strong password while storing information online and also to heed the advice on privacy settings for the service being used on the cloud.
In line with the TMC Academy’s Core Value of Continuous Improvement, new students joining the institution in the Higher Diploma in InfoComm Technology course can expect a rapid change with regard to the new modules that is going to be lined up next year and this offers a great opportunity for the students to learn those modules that are latest and up to date. The students will learn how to make use of the Cloud concepts and work through the practical aspects of it using “Data Center Virtualization” on a local set up. These students can further their skills by taking up VMware certifications such as VMware Certified Associate (VCA) or VMware Certified Professional etc. With TMC Academy’s positive outlook towards offering new and dynamic programmes, our potential stakeholders can look forward to receiving yet another qualification that is not only most modern but also make one job ready too.
Fareed Kaleem Khaiser
School of Information Technology, Digital Media and Mass Communication
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