The cloud is a network of servers, where each server has a unique function. The cloud consists of many remote servers all around the world that are connected and operate as a single larger system. These servers can run applications, store or manage data, or deliver content or a service to users. This global network is what allows users to access information from anywhere in the world.

Cloud computing simply means making use of a network of remote servers. It allows users to process, manage, and store data through the Internet, instead of through a personal computer.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

A cloud computing system has a front end and a back end, which are connected by a network, usually the Internet. The front end, also called the client side, is everything that a user can access and interact with. It includes a user’s computer, the user’s network, and the program that the user uses to access the cloud computing system.

The back end, also called the server side, cannot be accessed by the user. The back end of the system includes the servers, computers, and data storage systems that make up the cloud. Usually, each of a cloud’s applications has its own dedicated server.

A cloud also has a central server, which acts as an administrator to the system. The central server monitors interactions between the front end and the back end of the cloud. It has a set of protocols that it follows to ensure that the connection between the front and back end is functioning as it should. The central server uses middleware software, which allows the computers within the network to communicate with each other.

Servers in a cloud usually do not operate at full capacity. Because of this, the use of servers can be maximized through a technique called server virtualization. Server virtualization tricks a physical server by essentially making it think that it is multiple servers and that each of these servers operates with its own operating system. Server virtualization makes a cloud need fewer physical machines.

An overview of cloud computing (from HCL Technologies)

Types Of Clouds

There are three main types of clouds for cloud computing; public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds.

A public cloud is owned and operated by a cloud service provider, such as Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. This cloud service provider owns and manages all hardware, software, and any other supporting infrastructure on which the cloud relies. A public cloud uses the Internet to deliver its services to users. Users access these services and manage their own accounts through their web browser.

A private cloud is a cloud computing network used exclusively by a single entity. A private cloud can be owned and managed by this entity. It is also common, though for companies to pay a third-party service provider to host a private cloud for them. The services and infrastructure of a private cloud are managed through a private network.

A hybrid cloud has both a public and private cloud and allows information to be shared between the two clouds. A hybrid cloud allows users to access resources on both the public and private cloud networks and move information between the clouds.

Types Of Cloud Computing Services

Cloud computing services

There are three main types of cloud computing services; software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Software as a Service (SaaS), uses the internet to deliver applications to users. These applications are accessed by users and managed by a third party. SaaS applications are run in the users’ browser. Users do not need to download or install anything although some applications require plugins. A plugin is a piece of software that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. Plugins allow programs to be customized.

Platform as a Service (PaaS), provides users with a development and deployment environment within the cloud. With this platform, users can manage, develop, test, and run their applications. PaaS allows users to manage their applications without needing to build and maintain any infrastructure that may be needed to develop or launch their application. With PaaS, the cloud service provider manages the platform and the user manages their own applications. Applications built using PaaS can include software components that are built into the platform. This causes the application to inherit some characteristics of the platform, such as scalability and availability.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are self-service computing resources that allow users to access and manage data centers and their infrastructure. This includes computers, storage, networks , and other services. IaaS eliminates the need for users to buy their own hardware. Users can instead buy infrastructure and resources on an as-needed basis. With IaaS, the cloud service provider manages servers, storage, virtualization, and networking. Users manage their applications, data, middleware, and operating systems.

Full Stack Software Engineer/ Web Developer and former Mechanical Engineer

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