Getting Started with Cloud Computing – Easy Explanation!
When we were young, we had a cloud which would rain. We only knew the ‘cumulus cloud’ which was ‘Puffy’ and would ‘float through the sky’.
As technology advanced, we came to know that there was one more ‘cloud’! And, soon, it became as important a part of our lives as the traditional cloud.
We could no longer tell him to ‘go away and come again another day.’
Why? Because it has our data!
We didn’t realize how and when our lives became dependent on it.
There was a time when everybody around us was talking about this ‘cloud’ even more than they discussed Justin Biber. We did not want to sound naive so we decided to dig down (or fly up?) in the ‘cloud’!
Hosting a fully managed cloud server is always more profitable than…
- Are you in any field other than information technology?
- Have you ever stored your data on Google Drive and wondered where did it go?
- Have you ever used ‘websites’ such as a doc-to-pdf converter, image compressor online?
- Have you ever heard of ‘Dropbox’ where you can store your images without having the slightest idea of how it does that?
If yes, then this little article is where you start!
What is ‘Cloud’?
To begin, we cannot see this new-‘Cloud’ the way we see the traditional cloud in the sky. It is not a physical entity or a thing, as such.
‘Cloud’ is an umbrella term used to refer to a global network of servers.
It is an ecosystem… An ecosystem of servers!
What is a ‘Server’?
A server serves the client.
This server can be a computer program/application or a computer device itself.
Similarly, a client can also be a computer program/application or a computer device itself. Search for ‘Google server’ or ‘Facebook server’ on your browser and see how magnificent their machines are!
These servers serve various ‘specialized’ services.
Let’s take an example…
When you use your Gmail account to send mail, you are using the services of the ‘Mail server’.
This mail server stores your account details and receives emails for your account.
This is the reason you can sign in to your account from any desktop, cell phones or tablets and still find the latest mails unread in your inbox.
These mails are not really stored on your computer but are stored on the server of Google somewhere far away.
You are just fetching these details from that server (which of course, you can do anywhere from any machine!)
Coming back to ‘Cloud’…
So, these servers are not confined to any specific country/area. They are all over the world and connected to each other by some means. (LAN/MAN/WAN/Internet).
‘Cloud’ is an umbrella term given to this global network or ecosystem of the servers. This network is so huge that we can just call it a juggernaut!
This explanation escorts us to the fact that ‘the cloud is not the internet!’
There are many distinct clouds present.
Anyone from any corner of the world can access any of those clouds, at any time, through the Internet.
What is ‘Cloud Computing’?
You are cloud-Computing when you store and retrieve your data ‘on/from the internet’ rather than storing it ‘on your computer’.
Alice: I can’t take more pictures! My phone’s ‘memory’ is all full.
Bob: Ohh! Why don’t you store them on Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive etc.? stuff?
Alice: Yeah, I guess, I have to now!
That’s cloud computing! However, there is a lot more to it than just storing ‘stuff’ on the internet. Gartner defines cloud computing as “a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies.” Local means anything that is present in your computer system.
In simplest terms, cloud computing means delivering computing services such as the following over the internet (cloud!).
Who are ‘Cloud Service providers’?
Cloud Service provider (CSP) or simply, the cloud provider is a company that provides us above (or some of the above) services over the internet (‘Cloud’).
For example, we are a cloud service provider. So, if you want a large storage place or a server to carry out large functions, you will contact us. We will rent you space.
What if the cloud service provider runs away with my data?
This is a very common safety concern that holds us back from leveraging cloud computing.
We are a cloud service provider. You are our customer. The agreement that will happen between us is called SLA – Service Level Agreement. It will be created by us and we will abide by our agreement.
What will the agreement have?
It will contain the level of services we will be providing. For example, we promise a 99.9% uptime SLA. That means we assure that 99.9% of times your website will always be up. Have you ever heard someone saying that the server is down? Well, our server almost NEVER goes down!
So, we saw the basic concept of what cloud computing is and how it is different from the internet. If you have any more queries, feel free to reach us at +91 22 6142 6099 or visit www.qualispace.com.