Wherever there is talk of technology and progress, computer science and related technologies shine more than anything else because many human successes and advances, such as the aerospace industry, depend on the powerful processing power of computer systems; also massive data calculations and modeling, statistical analysis, and other cases rely on the same processing power of computers.
Although the presence of powerful hardware is not ineffective, software and cloud computing should not be neglected in the development and progress of computers. Of course, the progress of hardware in producing electronic components is commendable, but many different systems have molded a system’s processing power by integrating algorithms and specific architectures, and Cloud computing is the primary and most successful component in this matter.
One of the developing services of this technology is the cloud computing service, which has recently been a common sight in the workplace. You may ask What is cloud computing? How can it be so effective in the development of systems and businesses?
Cloud computing was an important development in the world of information technology. As defined by NIST, cloud computing is a model for convenient and versatile network access to a shared set of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services), That can be prepared and published quickly with minimal managerial effort.
Before the introduction of cloud computing to businesses, a lot of money had to be spent on buying the necessary services and equipment. In addition, storing large amounts of information on multiple hard disks was time-consuming and complex; they were also associated with risks such as loss, Damaged, and scratched.
Consequently, cloud computing has entered the commercial arena as a cost-effective and optimal option for using energy, which made the only concern of users in using cloud computing services is bandwidth connection, and other matters are the responsibility of the service provider.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is a term for providing hosted services through a wide network on the Internet, which is called the cloud. These services include three main types of cloud computing under the titles of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).
There are many definitions for cloud computing that can be defined from different aspects; In other words, cloud computing is the provision of computer and computing services such as servers, databases, storage, network, software, analytics, and communication through the Internet to provide users with flexible resources and fast technology and save on scale.
By using cloud computing, you only pay to the provider companies for receiving the cloud services, which are usually charged according to your use and consumption of cloud computing services. As a result, you will save on the operating costs of your business, and cloud computing can be upgraded according to your needs; by using cloud computing services, you will see the efficient implementation of your infrastructure.
According to the IEEE Institute, cloud computing service is a model and pattern for permanent storage of information on Internet servers and temporary cache of data on clients, which include desktops, entertainment centers, computers, notebooks, wall computers, handhelds, etc.
IT professionals believe that cloud computing is a new model for processing to serve users based on their demand and has virtual and comparable resources. Cloud computing is provided as a processing service through communication networks such as local networks and the Internet without needing special processing equipment.
Cloud computing can include public or private clouds, So that the private cloud is a dedicated service provider for a limited number of people with specific access settings, i.e., it offers a dedicated network or data center, but the public cloud is available to everyone and provides services to the public on the Internet. The purpose of defining public and private cloud in cloud computing is scalability and ease of access to IT services and computing resources.
The difference between cloud computing and network computing is that network computing divides a large project among several computers so that users can use its resources, but cloud computing does the opposite and allows the simultaneous execution of several smaller programs.
Clouds are more popular because of their virtuality and the possibility of automatic scaling, as well as offering a pay-as-you-go model compared to fixed network payments.
Unlike the network, Cloud is more efficient with the ability to scale resources according to the application’s needs than the traditional method. Additionally, each network has a different configuration, which results in more effort when moving an application to a new site.
But in cloud virtual machines, the application developer is allowed to create a customized and configured portable execution environment for his application. It can be concluded that the cloud is much wider than the network and is not limited to a network.
Behind the scenes of the cloud are clustering and virtualization. Virtualization in the cloud is related to different types such as server, storage, and network virtualization; Server virtualization means mapping individual physical resources to multiple logical representations or partitions.
Storage virtualization improves the performance of storage devices, and network virtualization provides the possibility of combining in one network and separating into several parts in a single network. Therefore, virtualization in the cloud infrastructure has been able to leave a favorable effect.
Cluster computing in the cloud system allows complex computing such as HPC to be managed on more than one computer and can combine multiple computers with embedded resources through hardware, networking, and software to create a single system image.
History of cloud computing
Cloud computing is not a new concept. It is also responsible for sharing various computer resources among several users by means of multi-tasking and multi-program capabilities.
Cloud computing was first proposed in the 1960s by John McCarthy, who also introduced the concept of Utility Computing. Cloud computing, like other technologies, was offered at its most basic level as a tool to replace a specific product or technology, which was developed after network computing and was defined as a user-friendly version of network computing.
In the 1950s, due to the high costs of central computer hardware and equipment, it was impossible to provide an independent system for each user. Several users could benefit from cloud services by accessing a central computer. Therefore, the development and progress of cloud computing was an ideal and cost-effective solution because it has a lower initial cost, and its computing resources are determined based on the demand and request of users, thus preventing underuse or overuse of resources.
In the 1970s, the introduction of virtual machines made it possible to use multiple computing environments on a physical system, and in the 1990s, telecommunications companies took advantage of the Sharing feature of physical infrastructure for large groups of users by providing access to virtual communications.
Amazon, which provided the web service in 2002, was able to play an effective role in the growth of cloud computing and provided access to its system through the web service and based on public processing.
In 2006, Google also released the Google Docs cloud service, which provides cloud services to the public, and after that, many companies benefited from cloud services to provide services.
How does cloud computing work?
Cloud computing consists of 3 main parts:
- Cloud service provider company that store and maintain applications and data in physical machines and data centers.
- Users who access data and programs stored on physical machines.
- Internet, which is the interface between users and provider companies.
Cloud computing technology has made the work of IT teams who were responsible for managing local data centers very easy, and they will no longer need to spend energy and money to secure, scale, maintain, and upgrade the infrastructure. Therefore, the only concern in cloud computing will be creating great customer experiences.
Cloud computing enables client devices to connect to physical servers, databases, and remote computers over the Internet and use cloud services by accessing cloud data and applications.
In the back end, servers and databases are connected to the front end, which consists of a browser, cloud applications, a network, and access to the client’s device through an Internet network connection. The back end acts as a warehouse to store the data that is available to the front end.
A central server oversees all communication between the front and back end of the application and uses protocols to facilitate data sharing. The central server uses middleware and software to control and manage the connection between cloud servers and different client devices. Each application or workload has its dedicated server.
A central server oversees all communication between the front and back end of the application and uses protocols to facilitate data sharing. The central server uses middleware and software to control and manage the connection between cloud servers and different client devices. In fact, Each application or workload has its dedicated server.
Virtualization and automation are critical components of cloud computing. With virtualization, services and underlying cloud systems are presented as logical entities that are delivered according to user requests. Orchestration and automation to deploy, connect services, and provision resources according to user needs are provided to users without direct intervention from the IT staff of cloud providers.
Cloud computing also played an important role in changing businesses’ approaches to IT resources. Users can benefit from services based on the subscription of cloud services in such a way that a monthly fee is paid to access all the required computing resources, and the user’s concerns about upgrading old servers, obtaining software licenses, upgrading Storage space, and software updates and measures related to increased security will be less.
Components of Cloud Computing
Among the main components of cloud computing, it refers to the three components of the client, data center, and distributed servers.
Client: are client devices through which users manage their data on the cloud. The client can be a mobile phone or a normal computer (Thick Client), or a computer without a hard disk (Thin Client).
Note: Thin Client refers to a web browser such as Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Google’s Chrome.
Datacenter: It is a place where a set of physical servers is kept, which contain common client programs, and access to these programs is provided for users through the Internet. It should be noted that on a physical server, it is possible to run several virtual machines simultaneously, which are defined as Hosts.
Distributed servers: Usually, to increase availability and reliability, servers are located in different geographical locations, and if one of the servers faces a problem, another server takes over the task of serving, and this action is also effective in increasing scalability.So that if a cloud needs more hardware, they can be added to another site and become part of the cloud without deploying more servers in the data center.
Cloud computing deployment models
Cloud computing services are offered to customers in 5 different models: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, Multicloud services, and HPC Cloud.
We will explain each one further.
1. Public Cloud Services
Public Cloud belongs to a third-party cloud service provider (CSP), which means that the infrastructure and computing resources are owned by a third-party company that provides its services through a public network, and they are responsible for managing and controlling all hardware, software, and general infrastructure; also users can use this service through accounts that are available to the public.
Also, they receive a lower fee for providing cloud services and computing resources such as servers and storage in the virtual space of the Internet. Usually, public cloud service receives fees according to the user’s request and consumption, in minutes or hours, or according to long-term commitments to receive services and only for bandwidth, central processing unit, and storage. Microsoft Azure, IBM, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), as well as IBM, Oracle, and Tencent, are among the famous and leading examples of public CSPs.
2. Private cloud services
This category of cloud computing is exclusively provided to a business unit or organization. It is not available to the public, and services are provided to internal users from the data center of that business. In the private cloud model, you enjoy the versatility of the cloud, increasing the productivity of existing resources, more control and management of cloud infrastructure, flexibility, and maintaining the common security of local data centers.
In other words, a third-party organization can maintain, create and manage the underlying cloud infrastructure or pay a fee to another provider for organizing a private cloud. Also, users of the organization may pay a fee for using private cloud services or use them for free. It should be noted that infrastructure and private cloud services are managed and maintained in a private network without bandwidth limitations. VMware and OpenStack are examples of common private cloud technologies.
3. Hybrid cloud services
Hybrid cloud services are a combination of private cloud and public cloud with automation and orchestration between them. These two clouds are connected by technology so they can share data and applications with each other; this matter has contributed significantly to the hybrid cloud’s flexibility, infrastructure optimization, and security.
In fact, by using a hybrid cloud, users can benefit from the public cloud to manage workload or increase demand and use the private cloud to run the sensitive workload. The hybrid cloud aims to create an integrated, scalable, and automated environment by benefiting from public cloud infrastructure while maintaining control over critical data.
4. Multicloud services
This cloud computing model is used when organizations benefit from multiple IaaS providers. By using Multicloud services, the organization can benefit from the functions and advantages of different cloud service providers in a combined manner. In Multicloud services, Applications can be run simultaneously on two or more cloud providers or shared between cloud service providers.
Organizations usually use Multi-Cloud to reduce the risk of cloud service interruption. It is natural that due to the difference in the services of cloud providers and APIs, the development of programs and the implementation of multi-cloud is not an easy task, but to make this process easier, APIs and service providers are becoming more standardized through industry initiatives.
As a result, MultiCloud can be helpful for multinational companies that want to use different cloud providers. Or it is used for those who have a sensitive project and want to run it on a cloud with more security features.
MultiCloud is shared between multiple organizations and supports a specific community with similar concerns, such as policy, security requirements, etc. Multi-cloud management is the responsibility of these organizations or a third-party vendor who is present inside or outside the same organization.
5. High-performance computing (HPC) cloud
HPC Cloud is the best model for supercomputers and traditional servers that need more power and capacity for computing, processing, and storing huge amounts of data. In this method, by integrating several computers and storage systems can quickly process a large amount of information.
The HPC Cloud solution has been created based on the latest technology to be a new and cost-optimal way to provide a powerful and flexible HPC foundation that has been able to respond to the world’s greatest engineering and scientific challenges.
HPC Cloud is used today as a solution to solve complex and performance-intensive problems in organizations, which has caused most organizations to transfer HPC workloads to the cloud, which has a positive impact on the economy related to the development of products; Because it was effective in reducing the time to supply the product to the market, accelerating the relevant tests, and reducing the need for prototypes.
Types of cloud computing services
Cloud computing provides various services based on user needs, and its three main services are software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service ( PaaS); also, they are known as cloud computing layers because each one is on top of the other.
In the following, we will introduce you to its various services:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the most fundamental part of cloud computing services; laaS provides the hardware to run PaaS and SaaS. With the Iaas service, you can request and use the IT infrastructure that includes operating systems, storage space, servers, network equipment, computing power, and virtual machines through a Cloud provider for a fee you pay and upgrade this infrastructure as needed.
This service is ideal for companies who utilize a certain operating system and require tools to maintain that system over time. Also, organizations can experience freedom in scale design by connecting to firewalls, servers, and other hardware and benefiting from pre-made components of this service.
Iaas is useful for an organization that plans to develop and test new software or even an organization that decides to host its site.
Therefore, this service eliminates the need to buy a server or software for users. Cloud and Microsoft Azure are some of the famous examples of Iaas systems.
- Website management
- Development and testing
- Backup and storage
- High-performance computing – HPC
- Big Data analysis
Note: Big data is a data set that includes patterns, trends, and complex combinations, that digging into this data set to extract and find hidden patterns requires a lot of processing power, which IaaS solves this need cost-effectively.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers applications and services that enable users to create applications and software using tools provided by the provider. It is one of the most complex layers of cloud computing that provides all the resources for developing And creating programs for users.
Paas provides the environment requirements for the development, testing, design, deployment, hosting, and management of applications, and supports platforms such as Salesforce.com and LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP, J2EE, Ruby, and Heroku). It differs from SaaS in that, unlike SaaS, which is an online software provider, it provides the platform and facilities for software development to the user. Google AppEngine and Microsoft Azure are two examples in this group.
Advantages of PaaS compared to IaaS:
- Application life cycle management
- The possibility of development without the need to increase employees
- Accelerate and facilitate coding with the help of pre-coded components available in the platform
- Economical use of sophisticated tools
- The possibility of easier development for multiple platforms such as mobile, computer, and browsers
- Support by development teams in different geographical locations
Software as a service (SaaS) provides users, Practical software based on their needs in the virtual space of the Internet. Software licenses are usually provided on demand and with a specific payment model. Customer relationship management (CRM), video conferencing, email and data sharing, Google Docs, accounting, and web analytics are just some of the software options available.
Most cloud service providers utilize SaaS to manage infrastructure and practical software, which allows them to organize, repair, maintain, upgrade, and security patching. In SaaS, the program can be accessed using a web-based user account. In addition, it is the service provider’s responsibility to keep the software updated and functional. Microsoft Office 365 is a good example of this service.
The main features of the SaaS service
- Ability to manage and access the software through the network
- Management and control of activities from the central server and remotely and through the web, not at the location of each user
- Management of software updates and development centrally without the need to download patches
Application of SaaS service
SaaS service is necessary and efficient for users who use web-based email services such as Outlook, Hotlook, and Yahoo Mail. The user can enter his email account through the browser with the help of the SaaS service. The messages you send and receive are stored in the service provider’s network, which includes the email program. Using a web browser, you can view your e-mails and saved messages through any computer connected to the Internet.
Additionally, for enterprise use, you can rent productivity programs such as email, collaboration, and calendaring, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and document management. It should also be noted that the payment conditions for receiving programs are based on the level of use or subscription.
Application of cloud computing
With the advancement of digital technologies and the possibility of benefiting from these services, many operating systems and programs have been developed and are expanding based on cloud computing. Right now, if you listen to music, watch a movie, use an online service to send e-mail, or play a game, there may be cloud computing in the infrastructure of all these technologies you are using.
Although several decades have passed since the introduction of this technology, large and small organizations, start-ups, and even government agencies are still widely using this technology. The uses of cloud computing are extensive, we will mention its most important use:
- Retrieving, storing, and backing up information
- Creating new programs and services
- Organization of websites
- Publication of audio and video files
- Providing software based on existing needs and demand
- Analyze data to provide patterns and predictions
Who should not use cloud computing?
For those who place high importance on speed and reliability, especially when it comes to video streaming and hosting online events, cloud computing may not be the best choice because of the increased network latency it causes.
As a result, before using cloud computing, they should ensure the high speed of the network so that the server is not under pressure beyond its capacity. If your access to the Internet is limited or if you use a very low-speed Internet (Dial-up limit), Cloud services are not a good option for you at all.
Advantages of cloud computing
Today, cloud computing technology is widely used by most organizations, and most businesses benefit from the unique capabilities of cloud computing to improve and develop their services. Next, we want to introduce you to the advantages and features of cloud computing.
For any business, cost saving is an important advantage that cloud computing has been effective in reducing business costs. Because by using cloud computing, you don’t have to acquire expensive equipment and servers, pay for high electricity bills, engage a team to maintain and support the equipment, and so forth.
Also, companies no longer have to buy and maintain computing infrastructure, which is also very effective in reducing capital costs because to benefit from good hosting, you have to pay a high price, and if you want to use low-quality hosting systems, You will face many problems. This applies not only to hosting but also to hardware and desktops.
By using cloud computing, you will also get rid of the costs of repairing possible failures because one of the costs that companies are likely to incur is the failure of network equipment, servers, and systems, which would challenge the overall process of the company. They also needed constant updating, maintenance, and spending money for repairs, which cloud computing has relieved businesses in this field and solves any possible cases in the fastest time.
Another point that needs to be mentioned is that in cloud computing, you pay according to the use of computing resources, so there is no need to pay high costs to start your activity, and only in exchange for the workload and resources that you benefit from, You will pay; so you can enjoy the ideal service by paying a reasonable fee.
Cloud computing services with high elasticity and scalability have provided the possibility of reducing and increasing resources and upgrading computing needs at any time according to the user’s wishes. For example, if you need more resources, cloud computing will automatically upgrade your bandwidth to prevent problems and disruptions.
In cloud computing, the user can freely customize and specify computing resources for any type of workload and determine network storage and server scheduling using computing facilities. It also eliminates the need for IT managers to manage computing resources.
With the help of the Cloud, the exact amount of IT resources (such as more or less computing power, storage, and bandwidth) is provided according to the demand and from the desired geographical location; the ability to transfer programs and specific workloads between different cloud platforms automatically or at will is one of the practical features of cloud services.
Also, to ensure the storage and execution of sensitive workloads, CSPs can implement data in different regions of the world with the help of the high flexibility of cloud services.
Having high speed
Setting up and installing cloud computing services is simple and fast and can be easily set up in a short period of time with a few clicks. With high flexibility, cloud services make any change and increase or decrease services and other possible things.
Cloud services impact the rapid implementation of companies’ projects because it enables the use of new services without the effort and time associated with traditional IT procurement to accelerate program implementation.
And also, you don’t need to spend time on updates and upgrades required by cloud services because cloud service providers automatically perform these tasks, thus saving your effort and time; this speed and agility is a key advantage for many businesses.
One of the features of cloud services is the smooth and optimal performance of this service. The providers of cloud computing services, with regular and fast updates, are effective in improving the efficiency of cloud services; therefore, you will not see possible software and hardware problems that disrupt the activities process.
With cloud services, you don’t have to worry about hardware and software issues or the risk of losing data, and you get smooth and high-quality performance. Also, By paying a fair fee, you will gain access to greater resources, and you won’t have to worry about processing power, updating storage space, or server memory. Also, you will not face outages of services, cloud computing services can give you a much higher user experience than many systems due to their high quality, and you can perform your tasks without seeing any problems.
Cloud service providers have considered control tools and policies in place to protect applications and infrastructure from vulnerabilities and threats and strengthen your systems’ security.
Cloud services enable organizations to access information even in emergencies such as power outages or natural disasters. For this reason, it is known as a reliable service, and it guaranteed confidence in accessing information and workload even during a business disruption.
Providing remote working conditions and access to the network from any place
Access to information from any place and at any time was one of the ideals that the Internet sought to achieve. Cloud computing is one of the platforms that is trying to provide information to users in any geographic location. Therefore, in organizations, employees can access the information stored in the cloud at any time and from any geographic location and upload data by connecting to the Internet and through any device.
In other words, users will not have to carry a USB or external hard drive to access the organization’s data through any device, even mobile, they can use the company’s data and communicate with their colleagues, and use up-to-date information. This ability has enabled employees to work remotely and is considered an important advantage for companies, especially in certain circumstances. In addition to remote data access in certain situations, telecommuting brings results for organizations such as increased productivity and reduced costs.
Disadvantages of cloud computing
All services, along with their advantages, also have weaknesses that must be aware of.In the following, we will mention some of the drawbacks of cloud services.
Cloud computing services do not allow users to manage and control the infrastructure, and users just can play a role in managing applications and information, and services; users may not even be able to intervene in the management of executive tasks such as updating and accessing the server, etc.
The security of cloud services is controversial, considering that cloud service providers try to strengthen and maintain safety through policies and providing the most valid certificates, but storing important information and files always carries risks. Hackers are one factor that endangers the security of cloud services by identifying and exploiting the vulnerable points of cloud-based systems and hacking APIs and interfaces through easy access to cloud services.
in addition to that, we will also face risks such as the possibility of a data breach and authentication problems. Also, cloud service providers are not transparently accountable for how to manage sensitive information; this matter will also bring security risks. Therefore, we need to focus more on cloud configurations and business functions to increase security.
Failure and lack of access to the service
Because cloud service providers serve a large number of users daily, there is a possibility of problems occurring, which can have unpleasant consequences for businesses.
Lack of price control and lack of predicting final costs
As resources are scaled to meet changing workload demands, the final cost cannot be estimated as planned. In addition, a cloud service may use multiple other cloud services, all of which are included in the monthly fee. Therefore, cloud costs are related to each other and cause the final cost to be more than you expected and planned.
Lack of infrastructure control
In cloud computing, there is a lack of control over infrastructure operations, which undermines security, data quality, and IT compliance.
Complexity in transferring data between different cloud-based platforms
The process of transferring important files and information from local storage space to the cloud and controlling compliance by a third party in cloud services is a complex task, and for this, you need to know where the data and workloads are hosted.
Increased network latency in Cloud performance
Possible latency in cloud services is not under the control of cloud service providers. Therefore, organizations should remember that when the network and provider are interrupted, there is a possibility of disruption in your business processes and reduced productivity.
Difficulty in creating a private cloud
IT departments and personnel face a difficult challenge when trying to design, build and manage private clouds, either for an Independent purpose or as part of a hybrid cloud strategy.
Are services based on cloud computing safe?
It's impossible to guarantee the security of any system, but the cloud offers a higher level of protection than traditional hard disk storage. Data on hard disks can be corrupted or lost very simply. With services based on cloud computing, information is encrypted and backed up continuously. Cloud computing service providers monitor systems carefully for security vulnerabilities.
What are the various infrastructures that need to be prepared when migrating to a cloud-based platform?
Cloud services run over the Internet, so it's important to have fast, reliable, and secure services with enough capacity to meet your business needs. Bandwidth is a major component of cloud services. If your network specifications are insufficient, consider upgrading.
What is the reason for businesses to use cloud computing?
Cloud computing is used to back up data, deliver software, and provide additional processing capacity in a reliable and scalable manner. Cloud-based services are used for processes such as accounting, inventory control, human resources, and customer relationship management.
For cloud computing, what are the most important considerations?
The first issue that you should pay attention to when using cloud computing is choosing a cloud computing model that is public, private, or hybrid. After determining the appropriate cloud computing model for your purpose, you should consider things such as the compatibility of the operating system with the cloud service, the availability of the infrastructure, the exploitation of the current infrastructure, and the possibility of data recovery.
What are some of the most challenging problems that cloud computing faces?
The most important challenges of cloud computing are in the field of security, especially password security, lack of infrastructure control, lack of cost management, the challenge of multiple cloud management, increasing network latency, and the complexity of transferring files between cloud platforms.
How to access data on the cloud?
This will vary depending on the server type, but access is generally based on user login credentials and permissions.
In general, cloud computing is defined as a major revolution in networks and computers that has grown significantly in the last few years and is a suitable model for easy access to shared resources such as networks, servers, storage devices, etc.
By combining time and space, cloud computing has made it possible to access cloud services based on user demand and from the farthest parts of the world in a way that is close to you. Likewise, you can count on your internet as a supportive and powerful computer for processing. In other words, cloud computing can be introduced as a new model for the consumption, supply, and delivery of information technology services.
In this article, we talked about cloud computing in detail, introduced you to its various models and services, and explained its advantages and applications, so there is no ambiguity. If you still have questions about cloud computing, share them with us in the comments section. We really hope that the information presented here was useful to you.
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