Part 1: An Overview of Cloud Computing

As the new decade started back in the 2000’s, the world saw the rise of cloud computing. From Amazon web services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing platforms grew from a concept to reality. So, what is cloud computing? In a single note, its nothing but “OnDemand availability of computing resources”. “on-demand availability”, “pay as you go”, “new era of computing “are some of the phrases which point to cloud computing in the market space.

In this article, we would look at some of the key concepts and terms of cloud computing.

Let’s look at a short story to understand these concepts. One Fine Day, our hero Tom had thought to grow some crops and makes some money for living. But Tom didn’t have any land to cultivate crops, so he went to a landlord named Jerry and asked for some land to cultivate his crops. Jerry examined Toms’s conditions and told he has a vast amount of land Available and Tom could pay for a part of the land and in the future, if he wants to expand, he could pay few extra bucks (Pay as you go).

Further, Jerry offered Tom three different choices on cultivation:

The first one was that he would give Tom land where crops are already cultivated, and Tom could do business with it (Saas). Jerry added, that he would take care of cultivating the crops into a stage where it could be used, and he would also keep guards to protect the crops from flies and animals. Tom was only responsible for protecting the way he does business with the crops. In this model, Jerry had to be paid for using his crops and land and Tom just had to do business with it.

The Second offer was that Jerry would offer land and seeds for Tom to cultivate. In this model, Tom has seeds and land where he has to determine how to cultivate (Program) and do business with it (Paas). Jerry told he would protect the land and Tom should only worry about if his method of cultivation shouldn’t go wrong and attract flies to it. He further warned Tom that in this model, he wouldn’t be responsible if the crops were destroyed because of the lack of fertilization.

The Third offer was that Tom would be offered land and he has to bring his own seeds, determine the model of cultivation, grow and maintain crops, and do business (Iaas). In this model, Jerry had less responsibilities and Tom would have to take care of the land and the crop. Jerry further added, that he would still do basic protection of the entire model and he would not be bothered on the crop or the cultivation and He would only protect the land being offered for cultivation.

On explaining the different models Jerry had to offer, Tom was happy to have these many models to choose from. Jerry told whichever model Tom chooses, the cost is still “pay as you go” and he wouldn’t be responsible for determining which workers have access to Tom’s crops, so Tom has to take care of handling workers’ identity (Authentication and Authorization).

Jerry’s offers didn’t end there, he added that while Tom is not cultivating crops at any time of the year he shouldn’t have to pay for using the land and should only pay a few bucks for the service Jerry offers. Jerry also had some interesting schemes along with these models. There are parts of the land which is available for public and Tom could just use it like others and pay for the service and usage (Public Cloud) and leave the major part of protecting Tom’s assets to jerry. Another scheme was that Jerry would make a land especially for Tom which Tom would have to major responsibilities of protection but is safer compared to the public one. (Private cloud). Tom asked Jerry that is it possible to keep some part of his cultivation on the public scheme and some part on private and Jerry just smiled and replied: “Yes” (Hybrid Cloud). Tom was happy with all the schemes, models and service which Jerry offered and decided that he would go with one of these models and schemes.

Now let’s look at definitions of each of the models and schemes which we discussed and above storyline.

Service Models:

“Infrastructure as a service” (IaaS) refers to online services that provide high-level API’s used tO deference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup, etc (Source: Wiki)

Paas (Programming as a Service) “The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider.” (Source: NIST)

Saas (Software as a service) “The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a Cloud computing Infrastructure” (Source: NIST)

Deployment Models:

Private cloud is cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third party and hosted either internally or externally.

A cloud is called a “public cloud” when the services are rendered over a network that is open for public use. Public cloud services may be free

Hybrid cloud is a composition of a public cloud and a private environment, such as a private cloud or on-premise resources, that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.

For more information on cloud computing, please refer: https://csrc.nist.gov/

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