What is cloud technology? About cloud computing has technology explained.

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources via the internet, with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning and maintaining physical data centers and servers you can access technology services, such as computing power,storage and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services.     Organizations of every type, size and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer facing web applications.

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources via the internet, with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning and maintaining physical data centers and servers you can access technology services, such as computing power,storage and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services. 


Organizations of every type, size and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer facing web applications. 



What are examples of cloud computing?

For example, health care companies are using the cloud to develop more personalized treatments for patients. Financial services companies are using the cloud to power real-time fraud detection and prevention. And video game makers are using the cloud to deliver online games to millions of players around the world. 


With cloud computing your business can become more agile, reduce costs, instantly scale, and deploy globally in minutes. Cloud computing gives you instance access to a broad range of technologies so you can innovate faster and build nearly anything you can imagine, from infrastructure services such as compute, storage and databases, to Internet of Things, machine learning, data analytics, and much more. 


You can deploy technology services in a matter of minutes and get from idea to implementation several orders of magnitude faster than before. This gives you the freedom to experiment and test new ideas to differentiate customer experiences and transform your business, such as adding machine learning and intelligence to your applications in order to personalize experiences for your customers and improve their engagement. 


You don't need to make large, upfront investments in hardware and overpay for capacity you don't use. Instead you can trade capital expense for variable expense and only pay for IT as you consume it. 


With cloud computing you access resources from the cloud in real time as they're needed. You can scale these resources up and down to grow or shrink capacity instantly as your business needs change. Cloud computing also makes it easy to expand to new regions and deploy globally in minutes. 


For example, Amazon Web Services has infrastructure all over the world so you're able to deploy your application in multiple physical location sin just a few clicks. Putting applications in closer proximity to end users reduces latency and improves their experience. 


No matter your location, size or industry, the cloud frees you from managing infrastructure and data centers so you can focus on what matter most to your business. 



How does cloud computing work?

Instead of having their own computer infrastructure or data centers, companies can hire access to anything from applications to the end from a cloud service provider.

Another advantage of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the cost and complexity of having IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it.

Similarly, cloud computing service providers can benefit from a significant level of economy by delivering the same services to different types of customers.


What cloud computing services are available?

Cloud computing services cover a wide range of options now, from the basics of storage, communication, and energy efficiency to natural language processing and artificial intelligence and general office resources. Almost any service that does not require you to be close to the computer hardware you are currently using can be delivered with a cloud.



How important is the cloud?


Building infrastructure to support cloud computing now accounts for more than a third of all IT spending worldwide, according to a study from the IDC. Meanwhile traditional spending, indoors continues to decline as the computer burden continues to go to the cloud, whether that is public cloud services provided by retailers or private cloud built by businesses themselves.

Building infrastructure to support cloud computing now accounts for more than a third of all IT spending worldwide, according to a study from the IDC. Meanwhile traditional spending, indoors continues to decline as the computer burden continues to go to the cloud, whether that is public cloud services provided by retailers or private cloud built by businesses themselves.


A study of 451 predicts that about one-third of IT spending will be spent on cloud hosting and services this year "reflecting increasing reliance on external infrastructure, deployment, management and security services". 


Analyst Gartner predicts that half of the world's cloud-based businesses will now enter the entire country by 2021. According to Gartner, global spending on cloud services will reach $ 260bn this year from $ 219.6bn. And it is growing faster than analysts have expected. 


But it is not entirely clear how much that demand comes from businesses that actually want to move to the cloud and how much is being done by retailers now offering versions of their products (usually because they want to go on to sell licenses exclusively for commercially viable and unpredictable cloud sales).


What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service?

Cloud computing can be scaled down to three models of cloud computing. Infrastructure-like-a-Service (IaaS) refers to basic computer building blocks that can be rented: portable or virtual servers, storage and communications.

Cloud computing can be scaled down to three models of cloud computing. Infrastructure-like-a-Service (IaaS) refers to basic computer building blocks that can be rented: portable or virtual servers, storage and communications. 


This is appealing to companies that want to build applications from the ground up and want to control almost everything themselves, but it requires firms to have the technical skills to be able to plan services at that level. 


A study by Oracle found that two thirds of IaaS users said that using online infrastructure made it easier to innovate, reduced their time to apply for new applications and services and significantly reduced ongoing maintenance costs. However, half said IaaS was not adequately protected against the most sensitive data.



What is the history of cloud computing?


Cloud computing as a term has been around since the early 2000s, but the concept of computing-as-a-service has been around for a long, long time - back in the 1960s, when computer offices allowed companies to hire time on the mainframe , rather than buying for themselves.

Cloud computing as a term has been around since the early 2000s, but the concept of computing-as-a-service has been around for a long, long time - back in the 1960s, when computer offices allowed companies to hire time on the mainframe , rather than buying for themselves.


These 'time-sharing' services have been largely fueled by the rise of PCs which have made computerization more affordable, and then with the advent of company information centers where companies will store more data.


But the idea of ​​hiring computer access re-emerged again and again - for software service providers, utility computing, and grid computing in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 


This was followed by the installation of cloud computing, which greatly hampered the emergence of software as a service with cloud computing providers such as Amazon Web Services.



Why is it called cloud computing?

The basic idea of ​​cloud computing is that the service environment, with many details such as the hardware or operating system on which it operates, does not matter much to the user.

The basic idea of ​​cloud computing is that the service environment, with many details such as the hardware or operating system on which it operates, does not matter much to the user. 


What is Software-as-a-Service?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the delivery of applications — like a service, perhaps a computing version of the cloud that most people are familiar with on a daily basis. The hardware and operating system does not work for the end user, who will access the app through a web browser or application; usually purchased per seat or per user.


According to researchers, IDC SaaS is - and will remain the dominant cloud management system in the medium term, accounting for two-thirds of all cloud cloud expenditure in 2017, which will drop slightly below 60% by 2021. SaaS spending is done through applications and system infrastructure, and the IDC has said spending will be dominated by purchasing applications, which will make up more than half of all public cloud spending by 2019. 


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications and enterprise resource management (ERM applications) will account for more than 60% of all cloud applications spent by 2021. The variety of applications submitted via SaaS is huge, from CRM like Salesforce to Microsoft Office 365.



Cloud computing benefits

The specific benefits will vary depending on the type of cloud service used but, basically, using cloud services means companies do not have to purchase or maintain their own computer infrastructure.


No more purchasing servers, updating of applications or operating systems, or removal from work and disposal of hardware or software if it has expired, as all care is provided by the provider. In property applications, such as email, it may make sense to switch to a cloud provider, rather than relying on in-house capabilities. A company focused on operating and securing these services is likely to have better skills and more experienced employees than a small business could hire, so cloud services can provide a secure and efficient service to end users.


Using cloud services means that companies can quickly move on to projects and test ideas without long purchases and huge previous costs, because firms only pay for the resources they use. This concept of business sustainability is often cited by cloud advocates as an important advantage. The ability to quickly access new services and the effort associated with traditional IT purchases should mean that it is easy to implement new programs quickly. And if a new application is found to be very popular in an environment of cloud expansion it means it is easy to scale quickly.


For a company with a large application, for example used only at a certain time of the week or year, it would make sense for the finances to be hosted in the cloud, rather than having dedicated hardware and software installation that do not do much time. Moving to a cloud-based application for services such as email or CRM can remove the burden on internal IT staff, and if such systems do not bring significant competitive advantage, there will be less impact. Moving to the services model also stimulates spending from capex to opex, which can be useful for some companies.


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Cloud computing advantages and disadvantages

Cloud computing is less expensive than other types of computers, just as renting is not always cheaper than buying in the long run. If an application has a common and predictable need for computer services it may be more economical to provide that service in-house.


Some companies may be reluctant to handle sensitive data in the service and used by their competitors. Moving to a SaaS application could also mean using the same programs as a competitor, which can make it harder to create any competitive advantage if that application is at the core of your business.


While it may be easy to get started using a new cloud system, moving existing data or applications to the cloud can be very difficult and expensive. And it seems that there is now something lacking in cloud capabilities with employees with DevOps and more cloud monitoring and management experience with very little availability.


In a recent report a large portion of experienced cloud users said they thought the cost of advance migration ultimately outweighed the long-term savings made by IaaS.


  1. Also, you can only access your apps if you have an Internet connection.



What is cloud computing adoption doing to IT budgets?

Cloud computing often shifts spending from capital expenditure (CapEx) to capital expenditure (OpEx) as companies purchase a computer as a service rather than a portable server. This would allow companies to avoid major increases in IT usage that would otherwise be traditionally reflected in new projects; using the cloud to make room in the budget would be easier than going to a CFO and wanting more money.


"CIOs are increasingly turning to cloud infrastructure and services to increase power flexibility and reduce pressure on large budgets," notes a ZDNet IT budget survey. Of course, this does not mean that using the cloud is always cheaper or actually cheaper that keeps apps in-house; for applications with an unexpected and stable computer power supply can cost (from the power point of view at least) to keep them indoors.


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How do you build a business case for cloud computing?

To build a cloud business enterprise case you first need to understand what your existing infrastructure actually costs. There is a lot to look for: obvious things like the cost of using data centers, and more like rental lines. Cost of portable hardware - servers and specifications such as CPUs, cores and RAM, and storage costs. 


You will also need to calculate the cost of applications - whether you plan to discard them, retrieve them in the cloud unchanged, build a complete cloud or buy a new SaaS package each option will have a different cost effect. 


The business of the cloud business also needs to incur human costs (usually second only to infrastructure costs) as well as many irrational concepts such as the benefits of being able to provide new services quickly. Any cloud business case should also address potential downsizing, including the risk of being trapped in a single vendor for your technology infrastructure.


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Cloud computing adoption

It is difficult to get statistics on how companies use cloud services even though the market is clearly growing. One study group estimates that about 12% of businesses consider themselves to be 'cloud-first' organizations, and about a third of them run some kind of load in the cloud - while a quarter of firms insist they will not continue to be in demand.


However, it is possible that cloud acceptance statistics depend on who you are talking to within the organization. Not all cloud spending will be run in the middle of the CIO: cloud services are easy to sign up for, so business executives can start using them, and pay their budget, without having to inform the IT department. This can give businesses the ability to move faster but can also pose a security risk if the use of applications is not controlled.


Admission will also vary by program: cloud-based email - much easier to accept than the new financial system for example. A study by Spiceworks shows that companies plan to invest in cloud-based collaboration and disaster recovery tools, but are less likely to invest in asset management.



What about cloud computing security?

Indeed many companies are always concerned about the security of cloud services, even though security breaches are rare. How secure cloud computing is to protect you will largely depend on how secure your existing systems are. Internal systems run by a team that has a lot of other things to worry about may be more rewarding than programs hired by cloud provider engineers dedicated to protecting that infrastructure.


However, concerns remain with security, especially for companies that move their data between multiple cloud services, which has led to the growth of cloud security tools, which monitor and migrate data to and from cloud and cloud platforms. These tools can detect fraudulent use of data in the cloud, unauthorized downloads, and malware. 


There is a financial and operational impact however: these tools can reduce the return on cloud investment by 5 to 10%, and the operational impact by 5 to 15%. The world of origin of cloud services is also a concern for some organizations (see Does geography not work when it comes to cloud computing? Below)


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What is public cloud?

The public cloud is an old-fashioned cloud model, where users can access a large pool of computer power over the Internet (whether that's IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS). One of the key benefits here is the ability to quickly measure the service. Cloud computing providers have a lot of computing power, which they share among a large number of customers - the ‘multi-employer’ build. Their large size means that they have enough capacity to easily handle if there is a particular customer who needs a lot of resources, which is why they are often used for less sensitive systems that require a number of resources.



What is private cloud?

The private cloud allows organizations to benefit from some of the benefits of public cloud - but without the hassle of losing control of data and services, because it is left behind the company's firewall. Companies can directly control where their data is stored and can build infrastructure the way they want - especially for IaaS or PaaS projects - to give developers access to a pool of computing power that balances demand without compromising security. 


However, that extra security comes at a cost, as few companies will have an AWS rating, Microsoft or Google, which means they will not be able to create the same rating economy. However, for companies that need extra security, a private cloud can be a useful tool, helping them understand cloud services or rebuilding internal cloud systems, before embedding them in a public cloud.



What is hybrid cloud?

The Hybrid cloud is probably where everyone is actually: a little of this, a little of this. Some public cloud data, other cloud-based projects, multiple vendors and different levels of cloud usage. According to a study by TechRepublic, the main reasons for choosing a hybrid cloud include disaster planning and the desire to avoid the cost of hardware when expanding an existing data center.


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Cloud computing migration costs?

For beginners who plan to use all their programs in the cloud getting started is very easy. But most companies are not so simple: with existing applications and data they need to look at which best programs are left to work like them, and which ones should start moving them to cloud infrastructure. This is a risky and costly move, and migrating to the cloud could be very costly if companies underestimate the scale of such projects.


A survey of 500 businesses that were the first cloud developers found that the need to rewrite cloud-based applications was one of the biggest costs, especially if applications were complex or customized. A third of those interviewed stated that the high cost of data transfer between programs was cited as a challenge to deliver their most important applications.


Forrester's report also found that the skills needed for migration are difficult and expensive to acquire - and that even if organizations could find the right people they put themselves at risk of being stolen by cloud computing vendors with deep packages. One third of those surveyed said that their software license fees had increased significantly when they submitted applications.


Apart from this the majority also remained concerned about the performance of critical programs and one in three cited this as a reason for not attending other critical programs.


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Is geography irrelevant when it comes to cloud computing?

It actually comes from where the cloud really is important; indeed geopolitics is forcing a big change for the cloud computing user and vendors. First, there is the problem of latency: if the app comes from a data center on one side of the planet, or on the other side of a crowded network, then you may find it frustrating compared to a local connection. That's the problem with delays.


Second, there is the problem of data dominance. Many companies - especially in Europe - should be concerned about where their data is processed and stored. European companies are concerned that, for example, if their customer data is stored in data centers in the US or (owned by US companies) it may be accessed by US law enforcement. As a result, large cloud vendors have been building a data center network so that organizations can store their data in their region.


In Germany, Microsoft has moved forward, offering its Azure services from two data centers, set to make it increasingly difficult for US authorities - and others - to seek access to customer information stored there. Customer information in data centers is owned by an independent German company acting as a "data trustee", and Microsoft cannot access data from sites without the consent of its customers or data manager. Expect to see cloud vendors open more data centers around the world to cater to customers with data storage needs in certain areas.


And the regulation of cloud computing is very different elsewhere in the world: for example AWS recently sold a piece of its cloud infrastructure in China to its local partner due to China's strict technology regulations. Since then AWS has opened a second region of China (Ningxia), operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology.


Cloud security is another problem; The UK government's cyber security agency has warned that government agencies need to consider their country of origin when it comes to adding cloud services to their supply chains. While antivirus software has been warned in particular, the problem is the same with other types of services as well.


Consultants Accenture has warned that ‘digital segregation’ is a consequence as various countries enact legislation to protect privacy and improve cyber security. Although the objectives of the legislation are commendable, the impact is on increasing business costs. Three-quarters of the 400 CIOs and CTOs audited expect to exit the national market, delay their entry plans or abandon market entry plans over the next three years due to increased land use constraints.


More than half of business leaders interviewed believe that increasing barriers to globalization will jeopardize their ability to use or provide cloud-based services (cited by 54% respondents, compared to 14% disagree); use or provide data and statistics services to global markets (54% compared to 15%); and is effective at various national IT levels (58% compared to 18%).


More than half said the growing barriers would force their companies to reconsider: global IT infrastructure (60% quoted) local IT strategy (52%); cyber security and power strategy (51%); relationships with local and international IT providers (50%); and local IT talent strategy (50%).



What is a cloud computing region? What is a cloud computing availability zone?

Cloud computing services are run from major data developers around the world. AWS divides this into ‘regions’ and ‘availability areas’. Each AWS region is a different part of the country, such as the EU (London) or the US West (Oregon), where AWS also divides into what it calls the AZs. AZ is made up of one or more data keepers who are far apart in the sense that a single disaster will not take both offline, but close enough to enter business applications that require a quick failover. Each AZ has multiple internet connections and power connections on multiple grids: AWS has over 50 AZs.


Google uses a similar model, separating its cloud computing services into segregated regions, including one or more datacenters where customers can run their services. It currently has 15 sites made up of 44 sites: Google recommends customers install applications in multiple locations and regions to help prevent unexpected failures.


Microsoft Azure separates its resources separately. Provides descriptive regions as "a set of databases sent within a latency-defined perimeter and connected to a low-level regional network". It also offers 'geographies' usually consisting of two or more regions, which can be used by customers with specific data retention needs and compliance requirements "to keep their data and applications closer". It also provides access to one or more data centers equipped with independent power, cooling and communication.



Cloud usage and energy consumption

Those data centers also absorb large amounts of energy: for example Microsoft recently bought an agreement with GE to buy all of its output from its new 37-megawatt wind farm in Ireland over the next 15 years to power data centers. Ireland said it now expects data centers to account for 15% of total energy by 2026, from less than 2 percent back in 2015.


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Which are the big cloud computing companies?

When it comes to IaaS and PaaS there are only a few major cloud providers. Leading the way is Amazon Web Services, followed by Microsoft's Azure package, Google, IBM, and Alibaba. While the next package is likely to grow faster, their combined revenue is still smaller than that of AWS, according to data from Synergy Research Group.


Analysts 451 Research say that for many companies the strategy will be to use AWS and another cloud provider, a policy they describe as AWS + 1. These key players will dominate cloud service delivery: until 2021.


It is also worth noting that while all of these companies are selling cloud services, they have different capabilities and priorities. AWS is very powerful in IaaS and PaaS, but it has advanced information technology projects. Microsoft in contrast has a strong focus on SaaS due to Office 365 and its other software specifically aimed at user productivity, but also attempts to rapidly expand IaaS and Paas offering Azure.


The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) (which also provides office production tools) is between the two. IBM and Oracle cloud businesses are also made up of a combination of Saas and other infrastructure-based offerings.


There are a large number of companies offering cloud applications using a SaaS model. Salesforce is probably the most well-known of these.


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AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure -- what is the difference?

Cloud giants have different powers. While the AWS and Microsoft cloud businesses are almost equal, Microsoft includes Office 365 in its calculations. IBM, Oracle, Google and Alibaba all have big cloud businesses too.


Increasingly, large cloud computing vendors are trying to differentiate themselves by the services they provide, especially if they are not able to compete with AWS and Microsoft on average. Google, for example, is developing its own technology in artificial intelligence; Alibaba seeks to attract customers who are interested in learning from its marketing experience. 


In a world where most companies will use at least one cloud provider and often more, IBM wants to position itself as a company that can manage all of these many clouds. Meanwhile AWS is positioning itself as a developer platform, something new for engineers.


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Cloud computing price wars

The cost of certain cloud computing services - especially virtual machines - has been steadily declining due to the ongoing competition between these major players. There is some evidence that price reductions can spread to other services such as storage and data, as cloud vendors seek to win the massive burden from business deputies to the cloud. That could be good news for customers and the prices could go up, as there is still a heavy margin and in the overcrowded areas of cloud infrastructure services, such as the provision of tangible equipment.


Cloud computing and power usage

Those data centers are also sucking up a huge amount of power: for example Microsoft recently struck a deal with GE to buy all of the output from its new 37-megawatt wind farm in Ireland for the next 15 years in order to power its cloud data centers. Ireland said it now expects data centers to account for 15% of total energy demand by 2026, up from less than two percent back in 2015.


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What is the future of cloud computing?

Cloud computing is in the early stages of acquisition, despite its long history. Many companies are still considering which apps will go when. However, usage is likely to increase as organizations become more comfortable with the idea that their data is located outside of a sub-server. We are still in the process of adopting clouds - some estimates suggest that only 10% of unloaded workloads are actually transferred across. Those are the simplest ones where the economy is hard for CIOs to contend with.


In all portfolios of business cloud computing applications are likely to be less frequent. As a result cloud computing marketers are increasingly pressuring cloud computing as a digital transformation agent instead of just focusing on costs. Moving to the cloud can help companies rethink business processes and accelerate business transformation, depending on the issue, by helping to break down data and organizational silos. Some companies that need to boost the momentum surrounding their digital conversion programs may find this argument appealing; others may get excited that the cloud is falling as the cost of making the switch is increased.


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It is with this in mind that the metaphor of the cloud was borrowed from the old systems of the telephone network, where the social network (and later the internet) was often represented as a cloud to show that that just didn’t matter - it was just a cloud of things. This is made too easy; for many customers the location of their services and data remains a major problem.

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