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The Fundamentals of Cloud Computing and Why It’s Important for Your Business

Fundamentals of Cloud Computing

It’s inevitable. Whenever you power on your laptop or smartphone, you will engage with the cloud at some point. The cloud is everywhere and is used for everything. No one can understate the importance of cloud computing.

This article explores many different aspects of cloud computing. First, we will cover cloud computing fundamentals, like the definition of cloud computing, its characteristics and service models, basic cloud computing concepts, cloud services, and cloud deployment models, and why cloud computing plays an essential part in the success of your business. Plus, we will share a great way for you to upskill in cloud computing.

We begin our journey in the clouds with a definition, then get into the cloud computing fundamentals.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is an Internet-based IT solution where shared resources, like electricity, are allocated and distributed on a public power grid. Computers accessing the cloud are configured to work together. They and the many virtual applications use the cloud server’s computing power like everything runs on an actual system.

The cloud infrastructure, including servers, operating system software, networking, and other infrastructural components, is virtualized. These elements are shared among the cloud users. Cloud computing architecture can be split into multiple servers dedicated to different aspects of the network (e.g., database, laptop, mobile, network, smartphone, etc.).

These resources are scalable, so the consumer only needs to pay for what they use. This degree of flexibility and cost-effectiveness is responsible for much of cloud computing’s popularity.

Now, it’s time to focus on a cloud platform’s typical characteristics.

Also Read: What is a Cloud Server? A Basic Guide

The Common Characteristics of Cloud Computing

These cloud computing fundamentals are common to cloud computing networks, regardless of the organization selling cloud services.

  • Broad Network Access. Cloud computing services are typically provided over standard networks and various devices.
  • Measured Service. Resource utilization is tracked and monitored for each occupant and application, providing the resource provider and the user with an accounting of what has been used. This measuring is done to monitor billing, security concerns, and the effective use of cloud resources.
  • On-Demand Self-Service. Cloud services do not require human intervention or administration. Instead, the users can provision and manage computing resources as needed.
  • Quick Elasticity. The cloud provider should have IT resources that can be scaled out quickly on a needed basis. Whenever the user needs cloud services, they are provided to them, and if the requirements are exceeded, the resources are scaled out.
  • Resource Pooling. All resources (e.g., applications, computing, database services, networks, and storage) are shared across numerous applications and users in an uncommitted manner. As a result, multiple customers receive service from the same physical cloud resources.

Let’s check out some cloud networking aspects that attract customers and help drive home the importance of cloud computing.

Cloud Computing Fundamentals: Why Turn to the Cloud?

As we discuss the importance of cloud computing, we inevitably focus on its benefits and why companies migrate to the cloud. Which of the cloud’s networking aspects are most attractive to people and organizations? Here are the most common reasons.

Scalability

Depending on your situation, you can quickly scale your operation and storage needs up or down. In addition, rather than buying expensive upgrades, the cloud service provider takes care of all updates and maintenance. As a result, the cloud frees up your time so you can focus on the vital task of running your business.

Accessibility

Cloud computing allows customers to access their data from the home, office, or any other location with an internet connection. Customers who need data access while off-site can quickly and easily connect to their virtual office.

Flexibility

Cloud computing offers organizations more overall flexibility than a local in-house server. Additionally, if you require extra bandwidth, your cloud provider can instantly meet your demands instead of updating your own IT infrastructure, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Security

Security is a priority for most online users, including cloud customers. As a result, users will opt for more cloud-based resources, provided the hosts have a good reputation for confidentiality, integrity, safety, and resilience. This expectation incentivizes cloud host providers to enhance and maintain security best practices and stay competitive in the cloud hosting field.

Cost Reduction

Moving to the cloud will likely reduce the costs of managing and maintaining your IT resources. Rather than buying costly resources and equipment, you can decrease expenses by hiring your cloud service provider’s IT resources. Reasons you will most likely save on infrastructure costs include:

  • The costs of new hardware and software and system upgrades will likely be included in your contract
  • Since your organization will have less IT-related hardware, energy consumption costs will probably be reduced
  • You don’t need to pay wages for expert, dedicated staff
  • There are fewer costly time delays

High Availability

“High availability” refers to systems designed to avoid service loss by managing and reducing failures while minimizing planned downtime. Since many organizations rely on IT resources to conduct their everyday operations and business, those cloud resources must always be available on demand.

Disaster Recovery

Unfortunately, no matter how firmly an organization controls its own processes, situations will always arise where things are entirely out of the company’s control. These incidents typically result in downtime, leading to lost productivity, revenue, and reputation. Cloud services supply quick data recovery for emergencies, from natural disasters to power outages.

It’s time we looked at some cloud service models.

Also Read: Cloud Computing Trends for 2024

Cloud Computing Fundamentals: Cloud Service Models

A handful of cloud service models are available, but three are the most popular. Given the widespread use of these models, cloud computing and its importance is undeniable. They are as follows:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS lets you rent IT hardware and features the fundamental building blocks for cloud and IT processing. In addition, it offers the users complete control over the application’s hardware (e.g., network servers, storage, operating systems, and VMs). As a result, IaaS provides customers with the best level of flexibility and management control over their IT resources. IaaS examples: Cherry Servers, EC2 (from AWS), Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, or VM.

Platform-as-a-Service

PaaS provides a ready-to-use development environment for developers to write and execute high-quality code for making customized applications without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. For instance, customers don’t have to install the OS, web server, or system patching. However, users still have the flexibility to scale resources and add new features to the services. PaaS examples: WebApps, Functions or Azure SQL DB from Azure, Cloud SQL DB from Google Cloud, Elastic Beanstalk or Lambda from AWS, or Oracle Database Cloud Service from Oracle Cloud.

Software-as-a-Service

SaaS is the most used cloud service, and many people may not even know they’re using it. SaaS offers a complete software application run and fully managed by the service provider. The software resides online and is made available to customers via subscriptions or for purchase (this is typically differentiated between a perpetual license and a subscription). Users don’t have to concern themselves with how the software is maintained, updated, or upgraded. SaaS examples: Gmail, Microsoft Office 365, Netflix, Oracle ERP/HCM Cloud, Salesforce, Spotify, Zoom, or Dropbox.

Cloud Deployment Models

Another aspect of cloud computing fundamentals you can learn in an online cloud computing course is the deployment method. There are three primary cloud deployment models.

Public Cloud

As the name implies, the public cloud consists of an assortment of clients who store their applications, data, files, and other resources on a shared virtual server. These services are available to the public and shared among multiple users via a service provider. Public clouds are free or offered through a pay-per-use pricing model. Typically, service providers own and operate the infrastructure and offer access only through the Internet. Examples include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud.

Private Cloud

Private clouds offer a proprietary environment dedicated to one business or organization, hence the name. Like other types of cloud computing environments, private clouds provide extended, virtualized computing resources through on-premises physical components stored on-premises or at a vendor’s data center. Private clouds arguably offer better security since they limit access to only company or organization members.

Hybrid Cloud

As the name says, hybrid clouds combine two or more cloud solutions so the user can subscribe to both a private and public cloud. The primary benefit of hybrid clouds is the variety of services available to clients, such as multiple deployment models. Users can have a private cloud setup yet still access a public cloud provider, with each type dedicated to a specific aspect of the organization’s IT processes.\

Also Read: What is AWS? A Detailed Guide For Beginners

A Word About Cloud Service Providers

The cloud’s popularity has resulted in an explosion of cloud service providers. The three most popular providers are:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure

However, there are other providers available, some of them even gaining more attention and users:

  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud
  • IBM Cloud (Kyndryl)
  • Tencent Cloud
  • OVHcloud
  • DigitalOcean
  • Linode (Akamai)

How to Choose the Right Cloud Environment for You

Before deciding on what type of cloud deployment or model you will commit to, ask yourself these questions regarding your requirements:

  • Scalability. Is user activity growing quickly or consistently? Or are there random spikes in demand?
  • Privacy and security. Do you have sensitive data that shouldn’t be stored on a public server?
  • Ease of use. How much time and money do you have for training employees in new cloud computing skills?
  • Pricing model. What is your organization’s subscription budget? And how much capital can you spend upfront?
  • Flexibility. How flexible do you need your computing, processing, and storage?
  • Legal compliance. Are there any relevant laws or requirements in your nation or organization?

Want to Upskill on Cloud Computing Fundamentals?

If you want a career in cloud computing, you need the right cloud computing skills. This cloud engineering bootcamp will help train you as a cloud professional in just six months.

You can fast-track your cloud computing career by learning the cloud architecture principles that cover today’s two top cloud platforms: AWS and Azure. Aided by over 40 hands-on industry projects and sandboxed labs, you will master the required skills to design, plan, and scale advanced cloud implementations.

According to Indeed.com, cloud engineers in the United States can make a yearly average of $117,643.

You might also like to read:

A Guide to AWS Certification Courses

How Does Cloud Computing Work? A Beginner’s Guide

A Guide to the Top Service Models Of Cloud Computing

Carve Your AWS Career Path: A Comprehensive Guide

Azure vs. AWS: Cloud Computing Comparison

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Career Breakdown: Who is a Cloud Data Engineer?

Wondering who is a cloud data engineer and how to become one? Learn about the role, essential skills, and the benefits of a cloud computing bootcamp to help you build a career in this field.

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