For Developers

A Complete Guide on Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing

Over years of advancements and rising demand for on-demand services, cloud computing has become the premier platform for building enterprise-level applications. It has quickly become the go-to choice for most developers and companies worldwide and offers immense scope of scaling solutions based on requirements. This guide intends to simplify concepts of cloud computing. Read through the following sections to learn more about cloud computing services different types and business models and their advantages.

Cloud-based development has come a long way and has quickly become a preferred solution. But even with the widespread integration of cloud computing services, not everyone has a clear idea about the technology. Let’s dive in!

What is cloud computing?

In simple terms, cloud computing refers to delivering computing services like servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, or BI to customers/subscribers using the web. Services distributed using the cloud are faster than their legacy counterparts, offering a scope of scaling solutions, flexibility, and financial control.

Public cloud computing solutions have become the most common choice among growing businesses. Businesses can take advantage of public clouds to run offshore data centers remotely. Since the introduction of cloud services, the market has also seen the rise of multiple public cloud service providers- Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Salesforce, etc.

Every cloud service provides the essential technologies along with unique solutions of its own. With increased awareness about the cost-effectiveness of the technology, companies are also looking into multi-cloud-based development strategies.

But even with a growing dependency on the solution, many do not understand how cloud computing services work.

To understand the basics of cloud computing, start by imagining a pool of state-of-the-art essential resources. That includes everything, from raw computing power to features, plugins, and added functionalities, all available at a single click. Customers procure licenses or subscriptions to necessary services, which are instantly delivered using automated protocols.

Incorporating cloud services can significantly improve development speed and set up an agile workflow. For this reason, understanding cloud computing and top services providers and offerings have become essential knowledge for working in the present industry.

Before making an enterprise-level investment, it is always better to fully understand the requirements. Cloud services are marketed in various models based on the solutions they offer. For this, you'll need to know what cloud computing is and the different types of cloud services.

Different types of cloud computing services explained

Cloud services are marketed in various models varying from enterprise-level packages for growing businesses. But the services can be primarily categorized as the following.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS services are applications delivered using the web that customers can deploy for specific operations. These primarily consist of unique applications developed by tech firms to automate different business processes. SaaS solutions are well known for their extensive configurable features. Most SaaS solutions offer the ability to code modifications and add features whenever required. SaaS is not just a popular choice but also has multiple major players in the market like Google G Suit, Microsoft Office 365, and ERP solutions powered by SAP and Oracle. So, plenty of reliable choices are available for companies looking to scale operations using SaaS solutions.

Advantages of SaaS

  • Minimizes development timeline
  • Helps to manage costs
  • Easy scalability features
  • Instant access to updates
  • User-friendly features

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS services are mostly cloud providers offering different storage and computing services in a pay-per-use model. Opting for an IaaS solution helps companies utilize easy-to-scale databases, VPNs, big data analytics and ML tools, product monitoring features, etc. The popularity of IaaS services has significantly grown in the past decade with multiple service providers in the market. Similar to SaaS, names like Microsoft Azure, GCP, IBM Cloud, and AWS are also common in IaaS cloud services. Before investing in an IaaS solution, it is best to understand project requirements to make an informed decision.

Advantages of IaaS

  • Improved performance
  • Minimizes capital expenditure
  • State-of-the-art security features
  • Improved scalability and flexibility
  • Realtime support for disaster recovery

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

The popularity of PaaS solutions has been on the rise for quite some time. This cloud computing services model quickly became a preferred option offering several benefits to developers. PaaS solutions mainly offer services and workflows to developers to share tools, processes, and APIs. Using these resources, developers can speed up applications' development, testing, and deployment phases. This is useful, especially for enterprise-level projects, as teams procured resources can align themselves with specific processes and arrays of services. Like the previous models, multiple major PaaS providers in the market are readily available to companies. Some popular options include Heroku, Force.com, Cloud Foundry, and OpenShift.

Advantages of PaaS

  • Dynamic scalability
  • Future-proof service
  • Improved security
  • Custom solutions
  • Cost-effective

FaaS (Function as a Service)

FaaS is another popular cloud computing service model chosen by developers worldwide. It works as a cloud version of serverless computing while adding a layer of abstraction to PaaS. This helps to keep all modifications insulated from the stack below the code. FaaS services allow developers to inject new blocks of code without having tampered with the original codebase. Moreover, almost every primary cloud service provider offers Faas over its IaaS, including names like AWS Lamda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk.

Advantages of FaaS

  • Cost efficiency
  • Improved scalability
  • Scale development agility

iPaaS (integration platform as a service) definition

Data integration is another critical requirement for most modern companies and is often managed using iPaaS solutions. The need for iPaaS solutions is even more popular among companies already using SaaS or on-premises applications. Using iPaaS solutions, companies can streamline their B2B, e-commerce integrations, cloud, or even legacy SOA-style integrations efficiently. As a developer, the ability to work with iPaaS solutions has also become an in-demand skill in the present industry. Some iPaaS offerings allow developers to integrate processes for data mapping, transformations, and workflows as part of the integration-building process.

Advantages of iPaaS

  • Support for low code development
  • Class-apart customer experience
  • Improved sand marketing alignment
  • Cost-effective
  • Improved decision making

IDaaS (Identity as a Service)

Concerns about how user identity and associated rights and permissions are managed across private data centers and public clouds are common when discussing IDaaS services. IDaaS providers can assist in maintaining cloud-based user profiles for authentication and enable access to resources or applications based on security policies, user groups, and individual privileges. Integrating with various directory services (Active Directory, LDAP, etc.) is essential.

Besides the mentioned models, teams often integrate private cloud solutions whenever required. Using this cloud, developers can share virtual resources for building, testing, and running applications while implementing metering models to charge back departments for resource consumption. Admins can also use private clouds to improve and streamline data center automation processes. This can help significantly reduce the dependency on manual provisions, allowing teams to be more efficient and agile.

Teams often settle for a hybrid cloud model along with private cloud solutions. As a combination of private and public clouds, hybrid cloud models use parallel environments for applications.

In addition to such services, companies globally use vertical clouds and collaborative platforms to streamline their operations.

Modern solutions like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and HipChat have all been popular in the industry. Allowing teams to stay connected in real-time helps improve efficiency and build an agile workflow. These are primarily user-friendly SaaS applications offering support for chat-style messaging and audio and video conferencing features.

Where collaborative solutions have helped connect remote teams and global workforces, vertical clouds have also seriously impacted. Offering specialized PaaS clouds, developers can build vertical clouds to tap into API-accessible services. Vertical clouds are globally used in financial services, health care, retail, life sciences, and manufacturing and can help accelerate B2B integrations.

So, now that we have a good idea about cloud computing and the different ways they are utilized, choosing one would be an easier job than before. But before selecting a type of cloud service, having clarity about the benefits of cloud computing should also be helpful. It should help you fully understand what ways cloud computing can help you to improve efficiency and scalability.

Advantages of cloud computing

Adopting cloud computing services can offer various benefits to businesses, from connecting a team of professionals across the globe to providing high flexibility and scalability features. Here are some of the most significant advantages of working with cloud computing services.

Reduced IT costs

Adopting cloud computing services can significantly reduce recurring expenditure for managing and maintaining an IT infrastructure. Using cloud computing, companies can avoid expensive procurements of on-premises solutions and limit operating costs.

Scalability

Understanding cloud computing should also help you understand how it can help businesses scale their services. Using cloud services, developers can scale up storage and processing power whenever there's a need to change. Moreover, development teams don't need to invest time and money in cloud computing service upgrades. The cloud service provider can manage such processes, giving teams more time to fine-tune the core solutions.

Scalability

Understanding cloud computing should also help you understand how it can help businesses scale their services. Using cloud services, developers can scale up storage and processing power whenever there's a need to change. Moreover, development teams don't need to invest time and money in cloud computing service upgrades. The cloud service provider can manage such processes, giving teams more time to fine-tune the core solutions.

Collaboration efficiency

How does cloud computing help businesses keep their teams and resources connected and available anytime and anywhere? Collaboration has always been an essential requirement for the agile tech industry. Using current cloud services, professionals can work and collaborate worldwide. With such features, teams can share resources and collaborate in real time with clients or teams using just the internet.

Flexibility

Cloud computing does not only help to reduce the cost of operations but also can offer a lot of flexibility. This makes it easier for developers and significant stakeholders to access essential data metrics from any location and time.

Automatic updates

Often people ask what cloud computing's most significant advantage is. Using cloud services, teams get access to a host of automatic updates from time to time. Automatic updates also help teams manage and meet IT requirements and allow them to work with the latest available resources.

Whether public cloud services, private cloud networks, or a hybrid setup, businesses worldwide are experiencing the benefits of adopting cloud computing solutions. While legacy approaches can help teams achieve the same goals, cloud computing can simplify the process. Utilizing the latest technology and resources without having to shell out massive amounts has made cloud computing an in-demand technology. It has quickly become the preferred choice for building enterprise-level applications, especially customer-facing services requiring frequent upgrades from time to time.

I hope this helps you understand cloud computing and how it can help businesses improve their services. Cloud computing is projected to be the future of all customer-facing services and seems to offer support for various niches. Using cloud computing, developers get instant access to various business-oriented services and applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cloud computing allows developers to build and users to use applications without having to rely on onboard resources. Developers are also choosing the technology to improve the availability of customer-facing solutions.

Cloud computing is currently one of the fastest-growing technologies. It is extremely cost-effective making it the preferred choice of companies looking to focus on growth. The future of cloud computing and associated professionals is bright and promises a range of benefits for both - developers and customers.

Cloud computing can be categorized into four different types - private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, and multi-cloud.

Cloud computing services are often marketed using business models like - Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

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