From being the eponymous abstraction of the internet’s complex hardware and software infrastructure, holistic services of the ‘cloud’ emerged to deliver technology, from computing power to network and store infrastructure, services, and application interface, and as a service to a myriad consuming clients.
Cloud-based technologies have become an integral part of daily lives, with the prevalence of widely utilized web service technologies of social media, network-based communication tools like emails, messaging and calling apps like Skype and WhatsApp, and natural-language intelligent bots like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. The true potential of cloud computing, in addition to the implementation of rapidly deployed services in the cloud, is witnessed in the avenue of business transformation and sustainability.
Deployment, tools, and services of cloud computing
Cloud computing or internet computing mitigates the complexity of internet application architectures by virtualization, accomplished through partitioning, segregation, and encapsulation. Moreover, it significantly reduces the need for purchasing, powering, and managing multiple physical servers as well data centers.
Businesses exploring the power of cloud experience benefits like flexibility, efficiency, and strategic value. However, the greatest advantage is scalability in terms of handling the growing or diminishing resources through various subscription models. For instance, companies like Netflix and Airbnb are leveraging this potential flexibility of autoscaling and load balancing.
Organizational data like social media posts, purchase transaction records, cell phone GPS signal, searches, blog posts, digital pictures, and videos, and others equate to 2.5 quintillion bytes every day and necessitate cost-effective, efficient, and secure storage. In this regard, storage deployment options of public, private, or hybrid clouds offer sizeable, scalable storage, as well as on-demand backups & recovery through a vast network of physical servers. Robust and easy accessibility, security capability of identity management, and encryption are among the prominent features of popular backup solutions like Dropbox, EGYNTE, and Amazon S3.
Cloud management software addresses a larger ecosystem of connected cloud apps through integration-oriented application programming interfaces (API) in order to sync data from personal mobile devices, BYOD, multiple work locations. Furthermore, it also entails the challenging task of streamlining and optimizing the heterogeneous environment of ‘Multi-Cloud.’
On the other hand, cloud computing has become the medium of choice for developing, testing, and deploying software for creating scalable cross-platform experiences. Dev-test environments like LoadStorm and BlazeMeter and mobile game development tools like Amazon Lumberyard are popular cloud tools.
Cloud infrastructure offers optimal integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze the volume of data generated by IoT, data analytics, and blockchain. Its well-known examples include Amazon Web Services with Keras, IBM Watson, and Microsoft Cognitive AI, open-source big data tools like Hadoop, Cassandra, and HPCC.
The distinctive feature of cloud computing includes service models of commitment between a service provider and clients, namely SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Ranging from the most visible service offering on-demand software like software as a Service (SaaS) to middleware Platform as a Service (PaaS) platforms of Google’s App Engine, IBM BlueMix, and lowest level cloud service of infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are agreements controlling the storage, backup, bandwidth, and computing services levels.
Future Developments and Capabilities
Serverless technologies, 5G Networks, cloud-based container systems, and regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are among the core developments introduced to enhance cloud technology efficiency. Moreover, cloud computing is also projected to be a transformative technology in building a digital-first infrastructure of smart elevators, drone taxis and driverless cars, trains and subways, and others.
Data analytics and AI as a service feature enable the emergence of an industry constituting thousands of distinct and separate clouds, working in unison to form a digital ecosystem of different industry verticals like ground operations maintenance of airlines, fraud prevention by banking clouds, power grids monitored by utility clouds and video burglar alarms beamed to security clouds. Overall, the future of cloud computing is prospective, and the scope is limitless.