What is Cloud Computing
Almost everyone uses the cloud these days, whether they know it or not. But not everyone knows what the cloud is, how it works, or what it does.
So what is cloud computing, and what makes it special, or even necessary, in today’s digital environment?
Summary: “The cloud” is a synonym for the internet. So cloud computing is nothing more than the delivery of computing services through the internet. Providers of cloud computing, like Amazon and Microsoft, have massive warehouses filled with servers. Other companies can rent these servers, either on long-term contracts or on demand. This allows them access to computing power, storage and specialized software, without having to invest in building and managing server infrastructure.
How Cloud Computing Started
Many people think of the cloud as something that appeared almost overnight in the last decade or so. In reality, cloud computing has its roots in the 1950s.
Back then, companies that needed processing power had to use massive mainframe computers. Giving every user access to their own computer wasn’t feasible due to outrageous costs and limited available space.
This caused companies to switch to a time-sharing process during the 1950s and 1960s.
Time-sharing was intended to solve resource usage problems and increase the efficiency of using mainframe processors.
For example, users could benefit from multiple computing mainframe instances. This increased the overall processing power and reduced the downtime.
While this was a process that still relied on on-site computing power and resources, it set the stage for what was to become modern cloud computing.
After sharing physical computing resources proved effective, an idea for a global network for delivering computing resources was proposed by J.C.R. Licklider.
Licklider was one of the computer scientists who helped build the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. According to general consensus, this was the precursor to the internet.
The goal of the ARPAN was connecting computers from anywhere around the world and enabling users to look up information and use programs with ease.
But it wasn’t until the 1970s that cloud computing became more of a reality and the first virtual machines (VMs) were created. These allowed users to access multiple computing systems using a single physical device.
VMs introduced and established the idea of virtualization.
Then, companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Apple took over, innovated, and introduced technologies that would develop the cloud environment and enable cloud servers, server hosting, etc.
In 1999, after decades of innovation, Salesforce was able to offer users business applications over the internet.
Amazon became a major cloud storage and cloud computing player in 2006 with its AWS service. Then, other tech giants followed suit, and both Google and Microsoft started carving their own shares of the cloud computing market.
Interestingly enough, Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt is often believed to have coined the term “cloud computing” during an industry conference on August 9, 2006.
There aren’t any notable reports of cloud computing being used to describe the idea of network-based computing in the previous 40 to 50 years of actually developing the service.
Cloud Computing Types
There are three main types of cloud computing – private, public, and hybrid. These are categorized based on their deployment models.
A private cloud service enables organizations to create, customize, and maintain their own cloud infrastructure.
It comes with all the bells and whistles of cloud computing but allows companies to retain complete control over the management and security using local data centers. Such a deployment model delivers the service from a company’s data center to its internal users.
This also means that users aren’t necessarily billed through IT chargeback-like services.
Two cloud computing examples of private cloud services are VMware and OpenStack. The former enables companies to run multiple operating systems and app workloads on the same virtual server. In contrast, OpenStack can be used as a platform capable of pooling virtual resources to enable the creation and management of private and public clouds.
A public cloud deployment model sees a cloud service provider delivering the cloud service via the internet instead of a local data center.
This cloud computing type is mostly sold on demand and can be quantified in minutes or hours necessary to deliver the service. Alternative models with long-term commitments are also available.
When a company wants to use public cloud computing, it typically pays for storage, bandwidth, or processing unit cycles as it uses them.
The most popular examples include IBM, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle, Tencent, and Microsoft Azure.
Hybrid cloud services combine on-site private cloud infrastructures with public cloud services and are designed with custom levels of automation.
Resource management is key with this type of service. In most cases, companies handle their workloads on the private cloud, especially for mission-critical applications.
However, businesses can also access public cloud resources when the private cloud resources are no longer enough. This is beneficial when faced with unexpected workload or service demand spikes.
A hybrid approach can create a more flexible and scalable environment with plenty of access to public cloud infrastructure without compromising access or relinquishing control of mission-critical data or sensitive data.
While multi-cloud computing isn’t exactly a type, it is a kind of deployment model. Companies that use multi-cloud computing basically work with multiple providers.
Doing this allows them to migrate applications easily between infrastructures and be more selective with their benefits package.
For instance, a business can take advantage of the most competitive pricing for different services from various providers.
It can also double down on uptime by protecting themselves against cloud service outages and having a backup provider.
Of course, a multi-cloud implementation isn’t necessarily easy. Although it’s generally intended to automate and streamline workflows, working around incompatibility issues and differences between APIs and service packages isn’t always easy.
Cloud Computing Services Types
There are four main types of cloud computing services that individuals and organizations can use to simplify business operations, manage costs, and access all the resources they need to deliver their products and services to the end users.
Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS cloud computing, is a service that provides essential resources on demand, such as networking, storage, and computing resources.
Typically, clients pay for IaaS based on a subscription model and how many resources they need to maintain their organization’s infrastructure.
IaaS cloud computing examples include the packages offered by Amazon Web Services.
As an IaaS provider, AWS give clients access to virtual servers, storage, and application programming interfaces. This allows them to move their workloads on virtual machines.
The machines can be customized based on how many resources or what type of resources the clients need to manage their workloads. In essence, IaaS gives clients everything they need to have a remote data center and can be used by any small to enterprise-level business and organization.
Benefits of Infrastructure as a Service
As cloud computing becomes more advanced and better at managing resources, more businesses move their entire workloads into the cloud or at least some of them.
But what are the benefits of IaaS?
By switching to IaaS, organizations no longer need to manage physical data centers. This means that cloud migration can help companies reduce their operating costs.
Furthermore, most IaaS providers have pay-as-you-go subscriptions. Therefore, businesses don’t have to pay for more resources than they need. Since IaaS also simplifies management and maintenance, in-house IT teams can dedicate more of their attention to core business processes instead of network administrative tasks.
Companies that want to scale are often limited by infrastructure. However, cloud computing and IaaS enable businesses to scale globally and even meet the resource requirements of spikes in demand.
A good disaster recovery strategy is crucial for every business’s continuity. Unfortunately, some companies may need a lot of staff and high-end technology to put together a good disaster recovery plan.
IaaS helps due to its easy scalability, cloud backups, resources, and ability to facilitate access to information and applications even during outages.
Cyber security is a growing concern for even the smallest businesses. But putting together a reliable security suite and ensuring 24/7 support is costly and hard to do without a reputable in-house security team.
Many IaaS providers have enhanced cloud security options and allow clients to customize how much cloud security they want to protect their data and encrypt communications.
Thanks to its potential for global scaling, IaaS can create a virtual network that isn’t limited by physical boundaries.
This enables businesses to adopt a more remote work-oriented working environment and hire qualified people from all over the world without compromising workload efficiency or denying network access to remote employees.
Software as a Service
The SaaS distribution model enables businesses to access various software applications online. These web services can be used from most, if not all, devices with internet access.
This is arguably the most common form of cloud computing used by individuals and organizations.
SaaS makes the client’s hardware and OS somewhat irrelevant because the services they need exist and operate in the cloud.
Unlike other types of cloud computing, SaaS probably offers the highest variety of applications.
A cloud computing example that many are familiar with is the SaaS from Microsoft Office 365. This cloud-powered app suite includes productivity-focused software like PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, and many others.
As of 2020, SaaS had a 47.5% share of the cloud computing market, pulling in revenue of over $148 billion. This was equal to year-over-year growth of 18.6%. Although SaaS applications were this successful partly due to the pandemic-induced workplace restrictions, the segment is still growing at a fast pace.
Benefits of SaaS
SaaS is one of the most complete cloud computing solutions for organizations that need access to a wide range of specialized applications.
The variety of high-end apps available through SaaS is staggering. Even advanced software solutions like ERP and CRM for enterprises can be made available to organizations with limited resources.
Free Client Software
The majority of SaaS applications are run from a browser. While plugins could be required in some cases, there’s no need to buy additional software or provide expensive hardware to run apps that make business operations go smoothly.
Almost any computer or mobile device with a good internet connection can use applications available by SaaS providers.
This solves many incompatibility options between different devices and operating systems. In addition, SaaS also solves various security concerns and eliminates the need to hire an on-site security team.
Apps and important data are stored in the cloud, making it easy for everyone on the team to gain access from anywhere at any time.
Furthermore, loss of power or connection doesn’t lead to data corruption or information loss, thanks to automatic cloud backups.
Platform as a Service
The PaaS model enables cloud computing providers to host a wide range of development tools on cloud infrastructures. Clients can access development tools using provided APIs, gateway software, or specific web portals.
In general, PaaS is associated with software development and can even help clients with hosting the finished product.
Essentially, you could get a package that includes virtual servers, storage, networking infrastructure, along with software development tools, database applications, and everything else you need to create and host your own software.
Benefits of PaaS
As the next logical step from IaaS, PaaS has added benefits for the development and analytics departments.
Reduced Coding Time
Most PaaS models come with workflow and security-focused pre-coded applications. This enables companies to accelerate their development times by building on top of existing app components that exist in the cloud platform.
Catering to all users and devices is key to succeeding in a modern business environment. This could mean anything from supporting different computer operating systems to having a mobile-friendly website.
Cloud computing PaaS providers offer the right combination of infrastructure and development tools for companies to create cross-platform applications faster and better while eliminating incompatibility issues.
As with most cloud computing services, PaaS is also a pay-as-you-go model. This means that clients can use highly specialized tools and access resources more affordably by only paying for what they use based on current needs.
Remote Team Support
All development platforms within a PaaS package are accessed on the internet. The physical, technical resources, or geographic location of team members is irrelevant.
This enables businesses to provide better remote support for geographically diverse development teams and streamline communications to optimize the workflow.
Application Lifecycle Management
Creating an app or a service is done in multiple stages. The lifecycle includes development, testing, launching, managing, and updating said app or service.
PaaS providers offer stable platforms that allow clients to manage the entire lifecycle in a familiar, integrated environment, making it easier to optimize how the product functions based on real-world results and user feedback.
Serverless Cloud Computing
Also known as serverless computing, this type of service is intended to maximize the focus on creating app functionality while eliminating the need to manage servers and networking infrastructure.
In essence, the serverless computing provider engages in taking on setup, capacity planning, and server management tasks.
It differs slightly from PaaS because it’s more of a collaborative effort with the cloud computing provider. However, it has the same type of scalability due to the serverless architecture being event-driven and using resources depending on specific triggers or predefined functions.
Benefits of Serverless Computing
There are four main advantages of subscribing to a serverless computing model and letting the provider share in some of the workloads.
One of the biggest benefits of serverless computing services is dynamic scaling. The infrastructure scales to meet the resource demand of the client’s workload. This means it can increase or decrease the number of resources and adapt to every situation while keeping the service affordable.
Efficient Resource Use
Total cost of ownership can create financial problems and bottleneck companies into using inefficient infrastructures.
However, switching to a serverless computing model with high-end technologies allows companies to reallocate resources efficiently and focus on innovation without stunting their growth or affecting their service delivery.
Hassle-Free Infrastructure Management
Infrastructure management involves a lot of admin work. This takes time away from business logic processes.
Serverless computing offers fully managed services and takes on those admin tasks. Hence, clients can use the serverless platform to deploy the code and continue working on business logic tasks without worrying about menial, time-consuming management problems.
Getting to Market Faster
Speed is an important factor, especially in a highly competitive market. Serverless computing plays a key role in minimizing operation dependencies throughout the app development lifecycle.
This means development teams can focus more on functionality and go to market faster.
Three Most Common Cloud Computing Examples
Cloud computing is used on a massive scale by individuals and organizations. But the definition of the service can seem hard to grasp for less technology savvy individuals.
The following examples highlight the cloud computing services that see daily use. You could be using cloud computing as a core element of your business without knowing that.
Many companies use Google Docs instead of the more traditional Microsoft Word. Why? It’s free and doesn’t come with licensing limitations.
In addition, it allows organizations to create and access presentations remotely at any time and anywhere from a wide range of devices.
Going a step further, you could use Microsoft 365, which is the cloud-based version of Microsoft Office. Again, this allows creating and sharing documents, PowerPoint presentations, and various other files, with the only limitation being internet access.
The video conferencing platform was enjoying steady growth prior to the pandemic. But in 2020, Zoom’s popularity and use exploded due to social distancing and a massive shift to remote workplace environments, homeschooling, etc.
Zoom is cloud-based software. Users can access it from most devices with an internet connection and use it to communicate without restrictions, hold meetings, collaborate on projects, and maintain an optimal workflow rate.
A similar cloud-based collaboration service is Microsoft Teams. This option wasn’t as popular as Zoom but was also helped immensely by the pandemic-induced situation.
WhatsApp and Email Service
Most email services or apps like WhatsApp are cloud-based platforms used to access and share data with ease over the internet.
These are everyday services many people use without specifically referring to them as cloud computing services.
Cloud Computing Benefits in a Nutshell
There are three main advantages of using cloud computing that are often cited as the primary reasons by business leaders when switching to cloud services.
Not everyone can afford the massive upfront expenses of software or hardware infrastructure components to build their own data centers. Cloud computing equals ready-to-use infrastructures that can be easily accessed.
Users don’t have to worry about racking servers, maintaining cooling units, paying for electricity, or managing everything, which always requires experienced and dedicated staff.
Cloud computing is designed to spark productivity. That has been the case since the early iterations of time sharing on room-sized computer mainframes.
Productivity can be increased by eliminating tasks like software patching, admin work, hardware management, etc. These are taken on by the cloud providers. Thus, in-house IT teams can focus on more productive activities.
In some businesses, using cloud computing can even eliminate the need to hire a dedicated IT workforce.
Scaling companies need physical hardware as they grow. But this poses problems due to various potential location limitations.
In addition, sometimes scaling requires a global presence which can’t be achieved by relying on private, internal infrastructure.
Cloud computing services help break geographical boundaries and enable companies to scale at will, easily accessing more resources on a per-need basis.
Is Cloud Computing Different Than Traditional Web Hosting?
While cloud computing isn’t a new concept, it is a relatively new term that causes plenty of confusion. One of the common misconceptions is that cloud computing equals web hosting.
It’s true that public cloud services can be used for web hosting. However, a cloud provider offers three distinctive elements that make cloud computing different than traditional web hosting.
First, it provides massive computing power to users. This is done on demand and might be charged by the minute and hour and in rare cases, based on other predefined considerations.
Secondly, cloud computing is all about flexibility. Users don’t have to pay or use more than they need.
Lastly, the virtualization innovations and advancements in distributed computing have allowed cloud computing services to be managed by the cloud provider. Therefore, clients might not need anything besides a device with internet access to make use of the resources.
Cloud Computing Security Concerns
Just because cloud computing can address some security issues doesn’t mean the concept itself is infallible or not at risk of data breaches.
Although security is often cited as one of the main benefits of using cloud computing, that’s not always the case.
The way cloud computing offers data security is by integrating security applications into the platforms. If clients use cloud platforms, they don’t need to invest as heavily into security suites. Cloud providers handle that aspect on their end.
That said, cloud computing platforms, especially public clouds, are multi-tenant environments. This means that a provider’s own underlying cloud infrastructure is shared by multiple users.
One of the security concerns stems from ensuring sufficient isolation among logical computing resources. Another concern comes from the fact that many of the resources are guarded by login credentials. These could theoretically be stolen or breached with various methods.
These are the main reasons why some organizations and enterprises are still wary about trusting some of their most important data and workloads to a public cloud.
Luckily, security improvements are becoming more noticeable. Logical isolation, for instance, is more reliable than ever. Adding data encryption and various access management and identity management tools offer more protection to public cloud platforms.
But even better security protocols can be implemented if the end user works together with the cloud provider to maximize the potential of cloud resources, services, and workload architectures.
Drawbacks of Cloud Computing
Aside from the obvious security concerns, there are other reasons for some companies to avoid using cloud computing or switching entirely to cloud-based services and infrastructures.
Believe it or not, the cost is a concern. Despite being over half a century in the works, modern cloud computing is relatively new. It will take years until it becomes the undisputed affordable method for accessing resources and streamlining workflows.
At the moment, cloud computing helps reduce the total cost of ownership. But think about it in terms of real estate. Renting makes sense when you can’t afford to buy a home. However, buying is always cheaper than renting in the long run.
This is a top concern because not all applications have the same predictable computing requirements, so it’s hard to tell when cloud computing is more economical than an in-house service.
Another interesting problem is shared services. SaaS models are popular due to their flexibility and the massive range of applications the client can use.
But what happens when a competitor or multiple competitors end up with the same SaaS provider? Mission-critical applications are developed in the same environment with the same tools and using similar resources.
This could make it very difficult to build a competitive advantage. Despite the overall flexibility of cloud computing, competitors would use the same tools for core business applications.
Upfront migration costs are also deceptive. Although cloud providers advertise their services as total expense savers, moving data and apps to the cloud can be complicated and costly.
Migration can be an even bigger problem for certain organizations that are bound by various regulatory limitations.
There’s also something to be said about a skills shortage. Cloud computing is growing fast and evolving. But that doesn’t mean people can keep up with it.
In many ways, it’s going through the same problems that machine learning technology, AI, and cyber security experienced. Something new takes time to learn and adapt to. There aren’t many generations of skilled cloud DevOps teams.
Multi-cloud monitoring professionals are in an almost equally short supply. That’s perhaps partly the reason why only a few cloud providers have the biggest pieces of the marketplace.
The skills shortage appears even bigger when you consider the complexity of creating a private cloud. Creating the architecture, building the cloud, and handling the managerial tasks don’t make life easier on IT departments, especially if they’re not highly specialized.
Another heavily advertised benefit of cloud computing can be flipped around and presented as a drawback. Using IaaS, SaaS, or any other type of cloud service restricts access to data due to the internet connection requirement.
In many instances, it’s more likely to experience connection loss or slow speeds than having a physical server room broken into or multiple computers breaking down simultaneously. Besides, power outages also take routers and modems out of the equation, which leads to the connection dropping.
Now, say your connection is as stable as it can be with little to no chance of dropping. You can still experience performance issues. Latency is a common problem for any internet-based service, including cloud computing. Therefore, the productivity and operations uptime isn’t as guaranteed as some cloud providers like to advertise.
Any type of computing requires power. Given the scale of cloud computing, it requires tremendous amounts of power. Microsoft alone secured a 15-year contract with GE to use all of its power from a wind farm in Ireland.
For reference, that’s a 37-megawatt facility.
If the energy demand for cloud computing was barely 2% in 2015, Irish energy producers expect that data centers and cloud computing will account for up to 15% of the energy demand in the next four years.
Using wind farms is a great way to integrate renewable energy into a power-hungry industry. But that’s not sustainable enough to guarantee maximum uptime or top performance. Similar issues hit the crypto mining industry.
Its demands for power and cooling couldn’t be satisfied by renewable energy resources. Hence the backlash it received from environmentally-conscious agencies, organizations, and activists.
As cloud computing grows, it will need more power. The ways of getting it could have some negative effects on the environment. And this also raises concerns surrounding uptime.
Can cloud providers guarantee they have enough to support the infrastructure and applications their end users need?
Cloud outages aren’t uncommon during periods of slow productivity or highly stressful data center conditions.
What You Need to Know About Cloud Data Storage
A big part of cloud computing revolves around data storage. Despite the computing element of the terminology, storage is crucial to manage, maintain, and back up data after being processed.
But where is this data stored? Is it floating around in the digital ether? Not exactly.
Cloud computing relies on data centers. Those data centers often come with massive physical servers with immense storage capacity.
The only difference between cloud storage and using multiple SSDs or hard drives in your personal computer or workstation is that you can only access that using an internet connection.
Of course, when dealing with massive amounts of data, dedicated servers become a requirement. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of buying, securing, and maintaining physical servers. Hence the reason companies and even individuals turn to cloud storage.
Despite all other benefits of cloud computing services, cloud data storage is arguably one of the biggest money savers for cloud users. Buying CRM software licenses isn’t super expensive or the type of action that’s a top priority to replace with SaaS.
However, building a dedicated local or even on-site server room, securing the infrastructure, hiring a team to maintain it, and so on can be a very big undertaking, even for companies in the IT industry.
How Irrelevant Is Geography for Cloud Service?
The services of cloud providers aim to streamline and improve the efficiency of remote work environments. This is easily achieved by enabling people to use cloud computing from computers and mobile devices connected to the internet.
As great as that sounds, it’s not without considerable drawbacks in some cases.
Geography can affect cloud services. Having access gives little comfort when trying to access data or applications hosted on data centers located thousands of miles away. Add a congested network with slow traffic to that distance, and the latency can become a massive problem for productivity tasks.
But there’s another problem that business owners have identified and cloud service providers don’t always highlight. The issue is data sovereignty.
Each country has its own data protection legislation that may or may not be particularly friendly. For example, European organizations using US-based cloud providers will have their data stored on US data centers. That makes the data available to US law enforcement.
The reverse scenario also applies. Although some cloud providers are working tirelessly to create regional data center networks, not all of them do it. Even then, there are certain limitations to the size and availability of these networks for various regions.
Keeping data private is increasingly harder. Government agencies from around the globe haven’t wasted time passing laws to ensure that cloud computing platforms are strictly regulated, monitored, and can be accessed in specific scenarios.
Fortunately, this has an upside too. Data sovereignty concerns are forcing cloud providers to open data centers in multiple locations worldwide. Geographic diversity will solve access issues and address latency problems. But this ongoing process will require more time to make geography as irrelevant as advertised.
Top Cloud Computing Companies
As previously noted, Salesforce was the first provider on the scene because it was the first to offer multiple enterprise services using a web platform.
However, Amazon was the first generally recognized cloud provider with the AWS or Amazon Web Service. Although Microsoft, Google, and IBM quickly followed suit, Amazon has remained the world’s leading provider since 2006.
As of 2021, the company owned 33% of the total cloud market share. In comparison, Microsoft Azure had 20% of the market while Google owned just 10%.
Thanks to the fast-paced growth of cloud computing performance, use, and demand, these top three players will be hard to beat over the next couple of years.
But that doesn’t mean that other players don’t have enough to eat. The companies that are battling for the remaining 37% of the cloud marketplace are each taking a piece of the $17 billion left on the table.
Granted, gaining significant ground and catching up with Amazon, Google, or Microsoft may be an insurmountable task. These tech leviathans have nearly endless funds they can pour into growing and perfecting their cloud services.
Luckily, smaller companies can always niche and focus on more specialized cloud computing services. This is enough to keep the competition interesting and give end users even more pertinent options.
Even the top three players play to their strengths instead of competing head-on.
Of course, AWS has the advantage of being first to market and does a great job of providing scalable resources for seasonal demand spikes.
Microsoft Azure focuses on enterprise-level solutions and enabling companies to migrate to the cloud easier.
Google’s 10% of the cloud market share comes from its almost unparalleled expertise in advertising solutions.
Cloud Computing Outlook
Part of the answer to the “what is cloud computing” question has to do with the future outlook of this innovative tech service.
It’s no secret that cloud computing experienced a massive spike due to the 2020 pandemic. Despite the world slowly returning to normal after two years, the use of cloud computing hasn’t stagnated or slowed down.
But even without the pandemic, it was already on track to experience exponential growth.
By 2019, at least 30% of the top decision-makers in enterprise IT solutions were determined to make cloud computing their number one priority. A report showed that the public cloud was seen as almost a must-have for improving resource management and workflow efficiency.
Of course, moving mission-critical applications to the public cloud still raised security and control concerns. The migration wasn’t happening at an accelerated pace among enterprises and large organizations.
But the increase in resource demands and the need to stay competitive in the digital age eventually convinced more and more executives to take notice of the benefits of the public cloud.
Today’s business leaders are more appreciative of the elasticity and flexibility of the public cloud.
Furthermore, leading cloud providers, companies like VMware, IBM, and others, are more focused than ever on meeting enterprise IT demands. This is evident in the removal of previous cloud adoption barriers.
With more services available now than ever before, mission-critical applications can thrive in the public cloud. It’s simply a matter of picking the correct cloud platform equipped to service the specific requirements and resource demands of enterprises.
Due to the massive competition against providers, the public cloud is constantly expanding, evolving, and adding new services.
Another reason why the future outlook of cloud computing is great is the increasing resource drain of big data processing. It requires so many resources these days, especially in short bursts, that cloud computing often seems like the most feasible and cost-effective way to get results.
Furthermore, advancements in machine learning and AI have made it possible to offer these technologies via the cloud. And when it comes to computing power, fewer applications are as resource-hungry as AI and machine learning emerging technologies.
Is Cloud Computing the Ultimate Solution?
No matter how you look at it, cloud computing can solve a wide range of problems and help accelerate innovation, business development, and service delivery on a global scale.
But modern cloud computing is still new. Sure it experienced fast-paced growth in recent years. Yet you could still argue that it’s in its infancy stage. There are plenty of problems to solve like uptime, power consumption, security, skills shortages, etc.
Although it’s in high demand and will be adopted by more and more companies moving forward, it’s not the be-all-end-all solution to processing power and workload optimization.
Physical, on-site infrastructures are still relevant and likely to remain relevant for a long time, especially for certain organizations.
The great thing about cloud computing is its potential to eliminate many redundancies and offer exciting alternatives.
While it’s possible to start a company solely reliant on cloud computing, completely moving a well-established business into the cloud might not always be the best option.
In its current state, cloud computing is an amazing complementary service for businesses of all sizes. But there are plenty of kinks that need fixing before it can be definitively called the gold standard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it called the cloud?
The term cloud, when referring to the internet, is used metaphorically. It comes from an old visual representation of how the internet works. The same type of cloud drawing was used to explain telephone networks before depicting computer network infrastructures.
What are the main types of cloud computing?
The main types of cloud computing include private, public, and hybrid clouds. Although multi-cloud services are also referred to as a separate type, it’s not a distinctive category that can be defined by a specific deployment method.
What is cloud computing used for?
It can be used for a wide range of applications, from simple data backups and email communications to software development, big data processing, and various customer-facing applications, depending on each individual or organization’s computing needs and goals.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab
Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.
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