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How Does Cloud Computing Work? A Beginner’s Guide

How Does Cloud Computing Work

Cloud computing is a popular topic, hardly surprising considering its continued steady growth. Whether you realize it or not, you often use or benefit from cloud computing. But how does cloud computing work? Is it complex? And more importantly, can you start a new career in this exciting field?

This article gives you a basic introduction to how cloud computing works. We will check out the different types of cloud computing, how cloud storage works, how cloud computing is used in different industries, and how to start a cloud computing-related career through an online cloud computing program.

Let’s begin our journey by defining cloud computing.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing consists of many services delivered via the Internet (“the cloud”) instead of through traditional locally-based hardware and data centers. Cloud computing uses remote servers to fulfill the roles typically fulfilled by in-house hard drives and other IT infrastructure.

Cloud computing delivers computing solutions (e.g., storage, analytics, servers, networking, software, and intelligence) over the Internet to provide flexible resources, speedy innovation, and economic scaling. Most cloud computing services are pay-as-you-go, so customers only pay for the services they use.

Sounds pretty good, right? So, how does cloud computing work? We know the basics, but how does it look in practical terms?

Also Read: Cloud Engineer Job Description: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

Instead of spending money and resources to maintain their on-premises data centers, organizations rent access to IT-related resources, everything from storage to processing to applications. This cloud-based infrastructure is divided into three main components:

  • Front End Interface. The front end covers everything the clients use to access the Internet for data. This component includes all the tools to access the cloud computing platform, including the user interface, applications, and management dashboards.
  • Back End Infrastructure. The back end includes all the components needed to provide cloud computing services; this component is the provider’s side. The back end covers the equipment needed to provide customers with different cloud computing services, such as compute, storage, software, applications, data — and everything it takes for cloud administrators, developers, and engineers to manage it.
  • Network. The network connects the front end with the back end is the network. In other words, this component is the Internet, which connects the clients and the cloud platform and services.

Cloud Deployment Models

There are three primary means of cloud computing deployment.

Private Cloud

The company’s data center provides private cloud computing resources to its internal users, allowing it to build and control its cloud infrastructure. The private cloud model offers the benefits of cloud computing, such as convenience and scalability, while keeping control, administration, and security typically provided by traditional in-house data centers. Open Stack and VMware are two popular examples of private cloud vendors.

Public Cloud

The public cloud service is delivered online by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP). Public cloud services are typically supplied on demand, and customers are charged only for the resources (e.g., central processing unit cycles, storage, or bandwidth) they use. The most popular public CSPs include Amazon Web Services (AWS for short), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM, and Oracle.

Hybrid Cloud

As the name implies, hybrid cloud computing combines an on-premises private cloud infrastructure with a public cloud service. Organizations can turn to the public cloud to handle workload surges while simultaneously running their sensitive applications and mission-critical workloads on their private cloud, giving companies the best of both worlds. The hybrid’s primary objective is to provide an automated, unified, scalable cloud architecture. Popular hybrid cloud vendors include VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services, Azure Stack, and Google Anthos.


It’s not exactly a cloud deployment model, but for the sake of completeness, let’s list it. Multicloud environments consist of more than one cloud service from a few different vendors. All hybrid clouds are actually multiclouds, but not all multiclouds are hybrids.

Also Read: How to the Pass AWS Solutions Architect Certification Exam?

3 Core Cloud Computing Services

Although cloud providers offer many more services today, these are the top three ones cloud providers have traditionally offered:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

The provider gives the customer access via the Internet to infrastructure resources, including compute, storage, and network. Users rent the infrastructure, accessing it through an API or dashboard. The user manages the apps, operating system, and middleware. At the same time, the CSP handles the hardware, data storage, networking, hard drives, and servers and deals with repairs, outages, and hardware issues.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

This service is typically a web application or mobile app that customers access through a web browser. The providers handle bug fixes, software updates, and other routine software maintenance, and users connect to the SaaS through a dashboard or an API.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

With a PaaS, the outside CSP provides and manages the hardware and an application-software platform, and the user is responsible for the apps running on the platform and the data the app needs to function. PaaS configurations are ideal for programmers and developers.

How Does Cloud Storage Work?

Cloud storage lets users use the Internet to easily access and download data from different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Users can also use cloud storage to edit files simultaneously with others, making cloud computing mandatory for remote workers or organizations with multiple locations across a country or the world.

Why is Cloud Computing Worth It?

Here are some of the most important benefits that cloud computing offers.


This is a huge advantage. Cloud computing removes the capital expense of buying software and hardware and installing and running on-premises data centers and servers. Additionally, cloud computing reduces energy costs and removes the need for IT staff to manage the organization’s infrastructure.


Top-tier cloud computing services operate on a global network of safe and secure data centers. These networks are constantly upgraded to the latest fast and efficient software and hardware iteration. This continual updating provides tremendous benefits to the end-user, such as more significant scale economies of scale and reduced application network latency.


On-premises data centers require vast resources such as hardware setup, software patching, and other IT-related tasks. Cloud computing removes the need for “racking and stacking” so that IT teams can instead focus on developing strategies and solutions to help the organization meet its goals and objectives faster.


Cloud computing is a highly reliable resource that mirrors data in multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network. This feature makes functions like data backup, recovery, and business continuity simpler and more affordable.


Security is a big concern for today’s IT professionals, and the best cloud computing services offer a vast range of policies, technologies, and controls that bolster a business’s overall security posture and help protect infrastructure, data, and applications from potential threats.

Speed and Flexibility

Most cloud computing services offer on-demand self-service, allowing considerable computing resources to be accessed with a few mouse clicks. This speed and convenience give businesses, organizations, and individual customers fantastic flexibility and eliminate the need for capacity planning and its typical headaches and stresses.

Also Read: Azure Active Directory: The Key to Managing and Securing Your Azure Cloud Environment

Applications and Examples of Cloud Computing in Various Industries

If you want a better understanding of how cloud computing works, look at how cloud computing is used in everyday life. This is not an exhaustive list.

Big Data Analytics

Before the advent of the cloud, big data analytics was an expensive and time-consuming process. Cloud technology removed the hard work of in-house development while facilitating compiling and data analysis. Today, companies worldwide collect data from disparate resources and leverage cloud technology to work in and understand real-time scenarios.

Business Processes

Well-known and innovative tools like Salesforce and Slack would have never gained such widespread use without cloud computing.

Communication and Collaboration

Google Suite’s applications are totally cloud-based. Popular apps like Skype and WhatsApp also rely on the cloud to help people communicate worldwide.

Data Backups

Many businesses, organizations, and institutions rely heavily on cloud computing for data backups. The cloud helps mitigate issues of data loss and physical hard drive recovery. Cloud Computing provides users with an easy and accessible backup solution to secure their data.

Media and Entertainment

Who doesn’t like watching a great movie in the privacy of their home? Cloud computing has considerably improved Internet speeds. Consequently, streaming leaders such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have taken advantage of these improvements, hosting huge databases of movies and television shows. Music lovers benefit, too, because the cloud makes it possible for companies like Spotify to exist.

How to Get Started in Cloud Computing

If you want to start a career in cloud computing, especially if you’re an absolute novice, follow these steps.

  • Nail down the fundamentals. Ensure you have a basic understanding of Windows and Linux and networking principles. It’s also wise to have passing knowledge of Agile development, databases, cybersecurity, and privacy basics.
  • Create your own cloud portfolio. Regardless of your vocation, a good portfolio shows your skills to potential employers. The field of cloud computing is no different; work on a few real-life projects, such as:
    • Creating a chatbot
    • Using an SQL injection to detect a data leak
    • Working on a cloud-based attendance system
    • Generating secure text transfers
  • Make connections. Networking is essential in any vocation. Foster working relationships with your peers as well as with experienced professionals.
  • Boost your education. Take classes and online cloud bootcamps to enhance your cloud computing skills. In fact, check out the next section for an opportunity to do this!

Also Read: What is Cloud Computing? What You Need to Know to Get Started

Do You Want to Learn More About Cloud Computing?

If you want to start a rewarding career in cloud computing or are presently in the field but want to upskill, consider this highly informative cloud computing program. This post-graduate cloud computing program uses live virtual classes and dozens of hands-on projects to help you master cloud architecture principles while focusing on the top two cloud platforms: AWS and Azure.

But since there’s no such thing as having too much knowledge, check out this cloud computing bootcamp as well. This intense, 32-week bootcamp uses hands-on industry projects to help you learn to design, plan, and scale advanced cloud implementations.

According to, the average annual salary of a cloud engineer working in the United States is $114,671. Cloud migration rates continue to climb. If you want a career on the cutting edge of today’s IT world and offer stability and generous compensation, start laying the groundwork by boosting your skills. Check out these online courses today and get the ball rolling!


How does cloud computing work?
Customers rent access to IT-related resources, everything from storage to processing to applications. The client uses a front end, such as a dashboard, to access the cloud-based resources in the back end. The Internet is the intermediary, connecting the front and back ends.

What are examples of cloud computing?

Examples of cloud computing vendors include:

  • Big Data Analysis: Cloudera
  • Cybersecurity: Palo Alto Networks
  • Data Governance: IBM
  • File Sharing and Data Storage: Dropbox
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): AWS
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): Google Cloud Platform
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Salesforce

What are the main features and benefits of cloud computing?

Cloud computing’s main features include:

  • Cost
  • Performance
  • Productivity
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Speed and Flexibility

You might also like to read:

How to Become a Cloud Engineer? A Complete Guide

Cloud Computing Technology: Your Complete Guide

Virtualization in Cloud Computing: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

What Are the Different Types of Cloud Computing? A Comprehensive Guide

Cloud Computing Salary: 2023 Guide, Trends, and Predictions

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