More than ever, businesses of all sizes are turning to the cloud both for the internal features and services they need and for those they offer to their customers and consumers. But before you can plan how to use it effectively, you need to understand how the cloud differs from the on-premises IT infrastructures you may be used to.
AWS became the first major cloud computing provider in 2006 when it began selling access to offsite computing and data storage resources. This laid the foundation for what commercial cloud computing has become.
Next, we will look at different aspects of modern cloud computing. You’ll learn to address the benefits and challenges of leading approaches by looking at seven main features of cloud computing that make it the world’s favorite way to build and deploy business applications.
On demand self service
What do providers like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS share? First, they make resources available to users remotely, putting almost anything just an API call or mouse click away.
They have data centers spread all over the world to make accessing them easy and efficient. And each has more computing power and storage on hold than the entire world could claim just a few decades ago. This was a game changer compared to the old way, where it could take months for an on-site IT team to bring new resources online.
But these are more on-demand resources. They are also self service. Most cloud providers have a self-service portal where developers can choose the necessary tools and resources and assemble their new remote infrastructure in minutes. Within the limits set by the local administrator, almost anything is possible.
Pooling of resources
One way cloud providers make more efficient use of their huge server banks is by pooling resources or allowing a single physical server to handle the workloads of multiple clients at once.
Most use a combination of hardware and software tricks (called abstraction layers, in this context) to prevent data from being scrambled and each user accessing strictly where it belongs.
But suppose you want to have an entire server to yourself, either for security reasons or to make sure your hosted resources never slow down at times of peak demand. In that case, some providers like Liquid Web also offer dedicated server packages for a small additional cost.
Scalability and elasticity
The key to optimizing resource pooling is to ensure that customer resources are scalable, ideally automatically. Many customers are on a pay as you go system. If you suddenly have a surge of users, your cloud-hosted resources scale up as needed so end users never experience slow performance. This is called rapid elasticity, and it was a game changer for cloud resources when it was first developed.
On-premises architectures typically couldn’t scale elastically or automatically simply because they didn’t have idle servers and there was no reason to develop software to spread the load that way. Few companies wanted to pay for equipment that sat idle most of the time.
Pay to use
One of the consequences of resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and near-infinite scalability is pay-as-you-go pricing structures. You are no longer renting access to a physical server. Your work can be handled by a small corner of a device or a large bench, depending on your needs.
Overall, this is a positive development. Cloud providers can accommodate many more customers on the same physical infrastructure using pooled elastic resources. Smart digital balancing acts mean very few resources are actually sitting idle. They then pass those cost savings on to the customer.
However, you still need to be careful. Since your resource needs are not static, neither is your hosting bill. So you need to make sure that your setup is automatically sized correctly. This means scaling down when not needed as quickly as it scales up under stress.
Both cloud service providers and their customers need to know what resources they are using and how much they cost. Virtual machines, bandwidth, compute cycles, and storage are all valid metrics for different purposes. However, make sure that the metrics you base your prediction on are the same ones your provider uses to bill you.
resilience and availability
Hosted service and resource downtime are as much your cloud provider’s worst enemy as yours. Anything they can do to prevent downtime gives you better performance and a steady stream of income.
However, outages and bottlenecks still occur, even with the best providers. There are a few things the customer can do to avoid a disaster, including having a backup provider or platform. This can be expensive, but getting that risk as close to zero as possible is worth it. This is especially true when the alternative is the possibility of losing millions due to downtime.
Companies initially steered away from cloud computing due to potential security concerns; however, the immense economies of scale that this realm goes through makes it a very attractive option. Additionally, by investing more in data protection than any individual customer can afford, cloud providers allow customers to take advantage of optimal security features at low cost.
All that said, customers still need to protect their public apps or risk falling victim to high-profile and costly data breaches, as seen in recent years, a compelling reminder that proper cybersecurity measures are investments. invaluable to organizations today.
In the end
Understanding these seven characteristics of cloud computing is critical to deciding which provider and deployment model is right for you. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which solution is best for your business.
From on-demand self-service to pay-as-you-go, the benefits of cloud computing are hard to ignore. While using the cloud does come with some challenges, it is a reliable and cost-effective solution for general business application needs.
Ready to implement a private cloud?
Liquid Web’s VMware Private Cloud gives you cloud performance on a fast and secure enterprise infrastructure. It’s like having your own fully managed personal data center, easy to migrate, with custom login, and powered by a simple and transparent pricing model. It is ideal for software providers, agencies and enterprises.
Private cloud environments are built using multiple nodes and therefore provide redundancy for the environment, eliminate downtime, and significantly improve disaster recovery time. These capabilities allow Liquid Web to provide service level agreements (SLAs) with 100% guarantees for all private clouds.