Cloud computing is a hot topic among developers, filling the conversation in every field of information technology and business. There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to the types of cloud computing and the cloud in general between non-specialists and even among some veteran technology specialists. In today’s cloud computing tutorial, we seek to clear up some of the confusion by defining the different types of cloud computing services.
Despite the fact that cloud computing has become an established technology over the past few years, it is still not easily available or free to the public in the same way that web hosting is. This may explain some of the reason why it is still misunderstood and most often confined to the role of cloud backup storage.
Up to this point in time, there are many businesses and companies that have not moved to the cloud, especially in developing countries and sensitive sectors such as financial, medical, government, and the military branches.
Despite the expectations, there are, in reality, some situations where the user still prefers on-premise solutions such as personal desktop computers versus cloud computer desktop services. There are also some states that put restrictions on companies, preventing them from moving to cloud servers outside the state for sovereign reasons.
With all of that in mind, let’s begin our journey to better understand what cloud computing is and how it applies to developers, programmers, and those in the information technology (IT) realm. We will also look at some of the more popular cloud services for developers.
What is Cloud Computing?
To begin, it is worth quickly offering a definition for cloud computing, if nothing else to make sure we eliminate some widespread stereotypes associated with the term. The most common thought about cloud computing is that it is just some kind of backup storage application. While that is technically correct – backup storage is one use of cloud computing – it is just one in a million of the different and wide variety of modern ways cloud computing is used.
Cloud tech technology is a versatile concept for a variety of terms like cloud computing, cloud infrastructure, cloud database, cloud storage, cloud-based, cloud server, and so forth. Simply put, it begins by using online remote resources (hardware and software functions) as a service in the sky (metaphorically). Although it is supposed to use the same computing physical hardware and software as regular servers, it has a different modern architecture to better suit servers’ availability and distribution over the Internet around the world.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
From securing cloud backup storage to enjoying sync apps across different devices, cloud computing is not confined only to such individual usage. At the business level, the advantages and use cases are more clear and numerous, especially in terms of reducing cost and minimizing capital expenditure.
Some examples of the benefits of cloud computing include:
- Cut part of the operational costs for hardware, databases, servers, and software.
- Get 24/7 uptime support and turn-to-zero probability of downtime.
- Ability to scale resources up and down as needed all at once.
- Stop worrying about any maintainability and updates; these are handled by the provider.
- Getting data centers in any location as the business needs to increase speed and reliability.
Cloud Computing Types and Models
Cloud types are typically categorized into two kinds of classification: Cloud Delivery Model and Cloud Deployment Model. In the Deployment Model, the resources are the same but the difference is in location and ownership. While in the Delivery Model there are different levels for distribution of responsibility between the provider and the user.
There are four main types of cloud computing based on the Deployment Model:
- Private clouds: Cloud environments solely dedicated to a single end-user or company. It is used for private and sensitive sectors.
- Public clouds: Pooled cloud environments shared for many users or companies. It keeps a good amount of privacy and independence and is less expensive.
- Hybrid clouds: Contains both private cloud and public clouds models connected through local area networks. It is for users who have some usual and special needs.
- Multiclouds: It is made from more than one cloud service and provider. Multiclouds are not hybrid clouds because they are separated. It is used for sensitive data and information.
There are also four main types of cloud computing services based on the Delivery Model:
Infrastructure as Service (IaaS): Provides cloud computing at the level of fundamental infrastructure either as a real bare metal server or dedicated virtual server, in addition to the network and data storage. The user can install any operating system and application of their choice. The infrastructure update and maintenance are the provider’s responsibility, but the user is responsible for updating his OS and applications.
Platforms as a Service (PaaS): Here, the provider is responsible for infrastructure, operating system, and software framework. The user can install or develop their own applications. It is an ideal choice for developing web applications, where many developers can work together.
Software as a Service (SaaS): In this solution, the provider is responsible for nearly everything down to the software. The user has only the end service via paid subscription. It’s a great choice for CRM and mobile applications sales software. No need for worrying about anything which makes it also suitable for short-term projects.
Function as a Service (FaaS) or serverless computing: For providing solutions that run code separately. It’s a great choice to make essential application tasks that run with no need for coding them in the user applications, which makes it easier to maintain and develop them with lower cost and cloud usage.
In all of these options flexibility, reliability, and scalability are considered main features. That also helps to reduce the burden of office hardware and even the software in the (SaaS) option. Also, with pay-for-use features, it has become an ideal cost-effective IT solution for business growth – especially for startups.
Many sectors can get great benefits from cloud computing. The sectors that can benefit the most from the cloud IT revolution include:
- Banking & Finance
- Search engines
- Robots and IoT
- Artificial intelligence
- Software development
- Web hosting
- Real estate
Cloud Service Providers for Developers
There are a lot of cloud service providers, but the top ten of are:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud
- Alibaba Cloud
- IBM Cloud
- Rackspace Cloud