The word “cloud” has probably been one of the most used words in the tech world for the past decade.Despite its popularity, a lot of tech newbies have a hard time understanding what cloud computing really means.This article will provide a brief introduction to the cloud.It will look at the cloud from the perspective of a remote data center and from the perspective a remote pay as you go tech services provider. It is meant to provide a baseline for people without a strong tech background though people with a strong tech background might also see find it useful.
What is the cloud ?
First of all there is nothing in the sky. The word cloud in tech is meant to signify that something is far away not that it is in the sky. Cloud computing is basically moving or keeping your data in a remote data center instead of on premises.Think about it as renting a house instead of buying a house. The most popular cloud data center providers as of the writing of this article Amazon web services(AWS) from Amazon inc,Azure from Microsoft and Google cloud from Google. So for a company looking to save money on their data center that’s a way to look at the cloud but what about software or web developers that are thinking of building and hosting software on the cloud. The best way to think about the cloud in this terms will be to look at as pay as you go service providers.
Cloud providers are more than data centers
It is crucial to note that current day cloud providers are more than just remote data centers. These cloud infrastructure providers are also cloud service providers. So for a software developer or data analyst without an in house data center to manage, the cloud could still be useful to you through its cloud services.
There are literally thousands of cloud services provided by both small and big players in the space. Most of the services provided fall into the categories of compute, storage, database,networking, tools, and security. For compute, a common compute service will be provisioning of cloud based web servers to host websites. Storage on the other hand will entail the storage, archival and retrieval of data in the cloud. Services like Dropbox, and Google Drive are good examples. While a common networking service will be the provisioning of a content delivery network(CDN) ; used to speed up the load time for websites.
To conclude, the best way to understand the cloud is to think about it in two ways. One as a secure scalable remote data center to house data and two as IT services provided by third party companies on pay as you use bases. There is no clear cut definition of the cloud but the commonality for most things cloud is that it is highly scalable,remote, and payment is done on pay as you use bases.