The hype around cloud computing (and why it matters).

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, study and work in a multitude of ways, no doubt. But some technologies have been at the forefront to minimize loss, and maintain business continuity. Cloud computing is one of them, thanks to its virtualized resources and round-the-clock access. Cloud support services provided by leading vendors have also heightened in the wake of this pandemic, both in terms of quality and quantity. As vendors initiate remote contact centres to accommodate a rise in inquiries from customers, they’ve also offered many of their premium services for free during a limited time.

While the very technology of cloud computing has helped facilitate remote work environments for businesses, vendors are also always on their toes to deliver more, and as precisely as they can to suit varying enterprise needs. The industry of software development in Sri Lanka has also manoeuvred to cater to application demands that suit the current economic climate for their clientele, with the likes of cloud computing. As a result, the cloud is indispensable – and today’s businesses will be in a state of isolation if not for its unified capabilities.

While the cloud advances its offerings from time to time, its foundations stay the same. In other words, the varying types and classifications which constitute the cloud today is a base that everything else is created on. So if you’re someone who likes to stay updated on the latest developments surrounding the cloud, it’s a good idea to also be well aware of the basics. In turn, this can help you understand how the latest trends fit in with the essentials, to give your business and your customers the leverage you’re always on the lookout for.

What are the different types of cloud computing?

Public cloud

The public cloud is offered by vendors for use on a pay-as-you-go basis, with each client being allocated a certain amount of resources depending on their needs. This means that all clients access the same pool of resources from the vendor, but with allocations within the overarching set being made accordingly for each client. While popular for ease of access and real-time synchronization, the public cloud can be limited in terms of security.

Private cloud

Private cloud systems are solely reserved for the client who purchases it (if it is sourced from a vendor). Else, they can also be bought, installed and maintained within the physical premises of an organization. While private clouds are a great option for high-security initiatives, they also require special IT personnel to ensure they’re run smoothly. Private clouds can extend over to community clouds, which can benefit larger organizations. This way, only employees and/or authorized personnel will be able to access on-site servers, to maintain complete confidentiality.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid clouds feature a combination of public and private cloud systems, and they’ve been gradually becoming popular especially for security reasons. They’re ideal for businesses that wish to continue using public clouds due to a budget, but without compromising on security. On the other hand, businesses that don’t need tight levels of security in certain areas also stand to benefit from hybrids.

In both cases, hybrids perform by providing public clouds to areas that are workable with moderate security levels (such as front-facing units), while providing private clouds to those that need tighter security (such as internal databases). The two are then connected accordingly to create a system that maintains seamless interaction and workflows.  

Multi cloud

Multi cloud systems consist of clouds that are sourced from multiple service providers. Often confused with hybrid clouds, multi cloud systems are instead inclined towards different vendors for the same type of cloud (public or private). Multi clouds are also getting popular for their own reasons, particularly because businesses aim to create 100% uptime and reliability for their customers. In turn, this has made vendors up the ante in terms of competing with other vendors, as the ability to integrate with other cloud providers is now as important as what’s offered on the whole.

What are the different classifications (or tiers) of cloud computing?

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Forming the base tier for the components above it, IaaS includes all the physical hardware needed to run the cloud. This consists of, but is not limited to servers, networking, data centres and security elements such as firewalls.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

On top of the infrastructure that’s used to power the cloud, PaaS includes tools for developers to build applications – without having to worry about the physical resources needed to run what they create. PaaS is also the entryway to FaaS (Function-as-a-Service), which basically triggers the use of resources only if a request is made from the application.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Many will be aware of SaaS, as it is the most commonly used tier of cloud computing. Instead of purchasing software off the shelf and then installing it for use, SaaS has revolutionized the way software is accessed – by simply using it from a web browser. Access apps for free or get a subscription for a nominal fee, and you’re ready to start using any app with a few clicks. As a result, SaaS has opened doors for cloud providers and software providers alike to pan out much more extensively, foraying into multiple markets (particularly emerging markets) across wider geographic regions across the globe.

In conclusion…

As an AWS partner, we’re well aware of how cloud computing has always been at the forefront, when it comes to the modern digital landscape. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made us revisit the very essentials that make this versatile technology so adaptable to changing circumstances. While the public cloud has been the most common source of access for businesses across the spectrum, private clouds are deployed by companies that are focused on tight security. Hybrid and multi clouds have recently gained popularity for providing the best of many aspects; whether it’s the public-private, or multiple vendor combination. Tiers on an infrastructure, platform and software level provide businesses all the resources they need on a pay-per-use basis, thereby making any requirement possible – no matter how unique it may be.

The article has been written by the EFutures team(www.efuturesworld.com).

This information is our opinion, through our experience in the industry and other content sources.

If you would like to contact us, please email info@efuturesworld.com