Cloud computing briefed to the deliveryof computing servicesrather than as a product. It is a computing paradigm of remote hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data; providing on-demand computational services with features like elasticity, scalability, safety and redundancy.
Cloud computing focus on reducing cost overheads of enterprises and users to focus on core development rather than investing time in set-up issues of a project. Additionally, small organizations have same computing power of access as much larger organizations.
Every design approach comes with a set of pros and cons and Cloud computing is no exception to this rule.
Cloud computing covers a vast area and it includes a lot of things in terms of technical and non-technical specifics.
Cloud computing offersa vast area and classified in four major categories in terms of technical and non-technical:
- Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS – This provides user computing, virtual infrastructure to the user over the internet as servers and the data storages, etc. The service provider is the owner of these components and is responsible for their maintenance.
- Platform as a Service or Paas – Here, the service provider provides the development platform where the consumer can develop and run their applications. Facilitates user with applications supported by web based tools to be run on different platforms (i.e. software environments).
- Software as a Service or SaaS – In this category, the service provider provides access to the user (irrespective of type of OS on client’s system) for an existing application that is running on the Cloud. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on any environment.
- Network as a Service or NaaS – In this category, the user is provided with services for network connectivity, such as a virtual private network (VPN).
Important terms used in Cloud computing: Following are some important terms used in Cloud computing.
- Public Cloud: This is the Cloud environment available for public use.
- Private Cloud: This is a completely separate environment specific to the owner organization.
- Virtual private Cloud: This is basically a public Cloud environment but the customer knows where the data is located.
- Converged Cloud: This is the hybrid Cloud with single view.
- Cloud brokering: This is emerging as more and more companies are moving into Cloud environment. Brokers are middle man providing the bridge between the client and the Cloud service providers.
These days, SaaS is a perfect for providing software/product services to userspay per use (who use the service and pay accordingly).
Pros of Cloud Computing
Let us go through some of the advantages of Cloud computing both from the perspective of the enterprise and the end users:
- Cost Efficiency – Cost efficiency is the major advantage of cloud computing. Cloud computing eliminate the venture cost on standalone servers and corresponding software. Cloud setup & infrastructure takes care of maintenance & software updates required on these servers. Organization can save the license cost and time for setting up the servers
- Backup and Recovery -Data backup & recovery process is the simplified in cloud as the data resides in Cloud and not on single physical devices. There are different offers for different services providers for reliable and flexible recovery & backup solutions.
- Scalability and Performance – Today scalability and performance is the major aspect of applications that are deployed in cloud as a built in feature. Depending upon the requirement, elasticity helps to scale up and scale down as another feature. These instances are dynamically deployed as required.
- Storage Capacity – The Cloud offers almost unlimited storage capacity. Thus the worry of running out of space is ruled out and as a consumer you do not have to think about upgrading the hardware.
Cons of Cloud Computing
Having discussed some of the advantages of Cloud computing, let us now explore some of the disadvantages of Cloud computing:
- Security and Privacy – When talking about data, Security and privacy are the two key concerns. By outsourcing the IT organisation, the service consumer company gives away data that might be sensitive and confidential. The consumer has to rely on the provider to maintain the security of their data. Data security is such a vital issue that all possible alternatives must be explored before taking the final call to implement Cloud computing, as the existence of the company could be in danger if data is leaked. At the same time, the Cloud service providers must ensure the privacy of the data by protecting them from unauthorized access.
- Dependency – Dependency is one of the major drawback of Cloud computing. This is known as “vendor-lock-in” as it difficult to migrate from one Cloud vendor to another because of the huge data migration. This may also lead to risking the security and privacy of the data.
- Downtime – Outage and downtime are two of the most important aspects that even the best service provider of Cloud computing can’t absolutely guarantee. Also you must keep in mind that the whole setup is Internet based. Thus, any downtime on the Internet side will lead to a connectivity issue.
- Limited Control – Since the services run on a remote virtual environment, the service consumer has less control over the hardware and the software.
When implementing Cloud computing you must consider these critical points since you are having an application, that potentially involves the personal data of millions of end users and any information leak may lead to a disaster.