What is Cloud Computing & How Does ‘The Cloud’ Work?



A primary inspection may reveal cloud computing as a sector daunting and incomprehensible. Here, you can dive deep into the dynamics of the cloud computing industry and understand how it works.

What is Cloud Computing?

We know the internet as a virtual space that connects users across the globe. In this context, the cloud can be understood as a metaphor for the web. Therefore, ‘cloud computing’ can be explained as a virtual pool or network through which users can share resources for computation, storage, database, and other services on a large scale. The term ‘cloud computing’ has come to the forefront of the industry around the early 2000s, but as a cloud computing service, it can be traced as far back as the 1960s.

Instead of using individual physical hard drives, you may avail of computing functions and services over the internet through cloud computing hosted from a distant location via physical or virtual servers. Thus, users can eliminate the need for proximity to the physical hardware. A cloud computing service provider usually maintains and stores the data on a server. You may also personally run a ‘cloud computing’ server for your needs.

Service Types

An enterprise or a consumer can avail of cloud computing services using three service models. Below you can find the three service types.


  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) 


As the name suggests, Software as a Service or SaaS is the delivery of software or applications as a service. SaaS is relatively the most common type of service that an industry avails. Individual users also benefit from this service daily. In this service type, the end-user can access the software via a web browser or a web app. The underlying hardware requirements for the particular application, therefore, becomes irrelevant.


  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)


PaaS is the second most dominant type of cloud computing service. PaaS offers a cloud environment that supports the development and deployment of web applications. PaaS can also provide other development tools for the test, management, and updating of the application, all in one place. Through this type of service, businesses can work together to meet large business requirements and get intelligent solutions. The curated service model encourages creativity by freeing the burden of infrastructural demands on the part of the business.


  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)


IaaS delivers a layer of fundamental building blocks for the computing needs of a business. As the name suggests, it offers infrastructural elements like physical or virtual servers, storage, and networking. IaaS effectively eliminates the need for a large onsite physical setup. The public cloud environment that IaaS offers optimizes the industrial cost for any business. Moreover, the hassle of maintenance falls on to the service provider resulting in more creative time for the client.

How Does ‘The Cloud’ Work?

Satellite networks become the vehicle for sharing information through the cloud. Every cloud application runs via a host. The service provider companies become this host. They are responsible for managing the massive amount of data hosted in a server or data center. Providing security, storage capacity, and other fundamental computing needs fall within their ambit. Without the proper functioning of these principal elements, the client or the users cannot send and receive data via the cloud.

Some of the major cloud computing services providers include Amazon (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft (Azure), Apple (iCloud), and Google (Google Drive). They create the ecosystem on the cloud that other businesses and industries avail for their data transactions.

Delivery Models

The hosting companies deploy cloud services in different models. The three main cloud delivery models are public, private, and hybrid.


  • Public


This model creates an environment that offers consumers access to public cloud services. All the hosting companies mentioned above provide such a cloud platform as a cloud computing services provider. Consumers can access the cloud with individual credentials on the web or app. In a public model, there is no burden of infrastructural ownership on the end consumer.


  • Private


Unlike the public model, this deployment type requires the client to pay for additional infrastructural elements. The hosting company has to maintain the cloud environment. But, in a private cloud model, the client can enjoy an added layer of security.


  • Hybrid


In a hybrid model, the public and the private deployment types are combined. Resultantly, the users can get benefits like shareable storage and data recovery.


Technological advancements like high-speed internet access, significant investments in building and upgrading the infrastructure are the key factors that have contributed to the development of a robust cloud computing industry. But, the fact that the data is stored somewhere else is uncomfortable, and hence organizations raise issues regarding data privacy and theft. Therefore, the transition to cloud computing is likely to climb when vendors make their clients feel more comfortable by implementing better security and regulatory measures. However, undoubtedly, hiring a cloud computing services provider can significantly boost the overall productivity ,annual turnover of any business, and provide better cloud cost management.


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