Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Computing Services

Cloud Computing 2 (1)

Introduction

Cloud computing has revolutionized how businesses and individuals store data, develop applications, and manage IT resources. Here is a comprehensive guide on everything you need about cloud computing services.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to storing, accessing and managing data, apps and services over the Internet rather than on a local server or computer. Rather than owning their computing infrastructure, users can access technology services on demand from a cloud provider via the Internet.

Some key facts and figures on cloud computing:

  • The global cloud computing market is estimated to reach $791 billion by 2028, up from $371 billion in 2020 (Market Research Future)
  • top cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Alibaba Cloud, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud
  • 82% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020 (LogicMonitor)
  • 63% of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of enterprise computing infrastructure in the cloud (Cloud Adoption Statistics for 2022)
When Did Cloud Computing Start?

Types of Cloud Computing Models:

There are three main types of cloud computing models that services can be categorized into:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Provides access to computing resources like servers, storage, and networking over the internet. Users can deploy and run software but the cloud provider manages the physical infrastructure. Example: AWS EC2

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Provides a platform with tools and environments for users to develop, deploy and manage cloud-based apps without building the infrastructure. The provider manages the operating systems, servers, storage and networking. Example: AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Software as a Service (SaaS) – End users are provided access to readymade cloud-hosted apps over the internet. The service provider manages everything, including the apps, infrastructure, middleware, and operating systems. Examples: Gmail, Dropbox, Salesforce.

Advantages of Cloud Computing:

What are the Key Benefits of Cloud Computing?

Here are some of the main benefits of cloud computing services:

  • Cost savings – No need to invest in expensive on-site servers and hardware that need maintenance and upgrades. Pay only for the resources used.
  • Scalability – Scale services up and down easily to meet demands.
  • Flexibility – Use services on-demand to meet changing business requirements.
  • Mobility – Access applications and services from any device with an internet connection.
  • Disaster Recovery – Data is stored off-site and protected if disaster strikes on-premise infrastructure.
  • Collaboration Efficiency – Allows teams to collaborate easily on files and documents stored in the cloud.
  • Automatic Software Updates – No need to manually update software and servers, the cloud provider manages this.
  • Sustainability – Cloud data centres are designed for maximum energy efficiency.

Major Cloud Computing Services and Providers

A wide variety of cloud computing services are available from top providers like AWS, Azure, GCP and more. Here is an overview of the major categories:

SaaS PaaS and IaaS Diagram

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Popular IaaS services allow users to access scalable computing infrastructure, including servers, networking, storage, and operating systems:

  • Amazon EC2 – Provides scalable virtual servers using Xen hypervisors. Integrates with other AWS services.
  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines – Create Linux or Windows VMs and use enterprise-grade Azure infrastructure.
  • Google Compute Engine – Offers Linux and Windows VMs with management tools to deploy enterprise applications.
  • DigitalOcean Droplets – Provides developers with simple and affordable VMs for websites and apps.

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS provides environments for developing, deploying and managing cloud apps without managing infrastructure:

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk – Deploy scalable web apps using languages like Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, and Ruby.
  • Heroku – Supports languages like Java, Node.js, Scala, PHP, Python and more for developing and deploying apps.
  • Microsoft Azure App Service – Build web and mobile apps that scale automatically on Windows or Linux-based environments.
  • Google App Engine – A fully managed platform for building scalable apps in languages like Java, Python, PHP, and Go.

3. Serverless Computing Services

Serverless computing allows users to deploy app code without managing any servers. Services auto-scale:

  • AWS Lambda – Run code responding to the app or system events and charges only for compute time used.
  • Microsoft Azure Functions – Develop event-driven serverless apps with .NET and JavaScript.
  • Google Cloud Functions – Event-driven functions to build microservices with Node.js and Python.
  • Cloudflare Workers – Deploy serverless code written in JavaScript, C, C++, Rust, Swift, Kotlin.

4. Container Services

Container services provide ability to deploy and manage containers:

  • Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) – Highly scalable container management service that supports Docker containers.
  • Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) – Managed Kubernetes service for running containerized applications.
  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) – Provides managed Kubernetes clusters to deploy scalable container apps.
  • Red Hat OpenShift – Build and deploy containerized apps on Kubernetes across on-premise and public cloud infrastructure.

5. Storage Services

Popular cloud storage services for backup, archival and disaster recovery:

  • Amazon S3 – Scalable and durable object storage for data lake and cloud-native app requirements.
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Storage – Store massive amounts of unstructured data as blobs, files, disks.
  • Google Cloud Storage – Unified object storage for developers and enterprises.
  • IBM Cloud Object Storage – Highly scalable S3-compatible storage to securely store any amount of data.

6. Database Services

Fully managed database services eliminating time-consuming admin tasks:

  • Amazon DynamoDB – Fast NoSQL database service for apps needing consistent, single-digit millisecond latency.
  • MongoDB Atlas – Fully managed cloud version of popular document database MongoDB.
  • Microsoft Azure SQL – Managed Microsoft SQL Server with auto-scaling, self-healing capabilities.
  • Google Cloud SQL – Fully managed MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQL Server DB service.
  • Amazon Aurora – High performance MySQL and PostgreSQL compatible relational database.

7. Analytics & Big Data Services

Managed big data platforms for batch & real-time analytics:

  • Amazon EMR – Hosted Hadoop framework for processing vast amounts of data across dynamically scaling EC2 instances.
  • Google BigQuery – Serverless enterprise data warehouse for large-scale data analytics.
  • Microsoft Azure HDInsight – Manage Hadoop clusters in cloud for batch data processing.
  • Amazon Redshift – Fast and powerful data warehouse for complex analytic workloads.
  • Google Cloud Dataproc – Managed Spark and Hadoop service for big data workloads.

Cloud Computing Architecture and Design Patterns

What are Cloud Computing Services?

Developing robust cloud applications requires following the principles of scalable cloud architecture and leveraging cloud computing design patterns:

Cloud Computing Architecture Principles

  • Horizontal scaling out for peak loads vs vertical scaling up
  • Shared responsibility model between provider and consumer
  • Loose coupling between application components
  • Services, not servers mentality
  • Managed services over DIY infrastructure
  • Automation for provisioning and configuration
  • Elasticity to scale based on demand
  • Low-cost commodity hardware over expensive specialized hardware

Cloud Design Patterns

Popular cloud architecture patterns include:

  • Microservices – Deconstruct monoliths into independently deployable services
  • Serverless – Develop event-driven functions that run on managed containers
  • CQRS – Separate read and write operations between two models
  • Event Sourcing – Maintain an immutable log of actions that trigger events
  • Materialized Views – Cache frequently accessed queries and results

Cloud Security Best Practices

Cloud Infrastructure

While the cloud provider handles security of the cloud, you are responsible for securing your data, apps, identity access management, and networking configuration in the cloud. Follow these security best practices:

  • Encrypt sensitive data at rest and in transit
  • Use identity and access management tools to restrict access
  • Enable multi-factor authentication
  • Follow least privilege principle to limit user permissions
  • Monitor infrastructure and applications for threats
  • Use cloud security services like firewalls and intrusion detection
  • Ensure high availability across regions and zones
  • Backup critical data and infrastructure
  • Analyze security logs and metrics regularly
  • Comply with data regulations for your industry
  • Validate third-party apps and services for security
  • Continuously assess cloud environment security

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I'm Furqan, a passionate writer and technology enthusiast with a deep love for gadgets and the latest advancements in the tech world. I'm excited to share my knowledge and insights with you through my blog, Techuzy.
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