Businesses relied solely on software, servers, databases, hardware and other peripherals to take their operations online. Before the inception of cloud computing, companies had to purchase these components to make sure their websites and other applications reach their customers or users.
However, all of these components – serves, hardware and software come with their own limitations such as high cost of setup, complex components, limited storage space and team of experts to manage and monitor the infrastructure to name a few. These limitations directly affect the rate with which businesses and industries are growing. This is where Cloud Computing comes to the rescue.
What then is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, such as servers, databases, software, virtual storage, networking and computing power, among others, without direct active management by the user. Generally, the term is use to describe data center services available to many users over the internet.
Cloud computing has been around for about two decades, over the years there has being a definite shift to the cloud experienced by industries. According to 2020 IDG Cloud Computing research, 92% of organization’s say their IT environment (infrastructure, applications, data analytics, etc.) is in the cloud to some extent today, and that it is expected to grow to 95% over the next year.
There are generally 3 types of cloud computing paradigms namely, public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud.
The public cloud is defined as computing services made available over the public internet by cloud provider, for anyone who wants to use or purchase them. They may be free or sold on-demand, allowing customers to pay only per usage for the CPU cycles, storage, or bandwidth they consume.
Public clouds saves companies from the expenses of having to purchase, manage, and maintain on-premises hardware and application infrastructure – the cloud service provider is held responsible for all management and maintenance of the system.
Private cloud can be define as computing services offered over the Internet or a private internal network and are only available to selected users instead of the general public.
Offering the same benefits as the public cloud, private clouds deliver a higher level of security and privacy through both company firewalls, the Only drawback is that the company’s IT department is held responsible for the cost and accountability of managing the private cloud.
This is a computing environment that combines both on-premises datacenter – private cloud with a public cloud, allowing data and applications to be shared between them.
In hybrid cloud, when computing and processing demand increases beyond the private cloud capabilities, businesses can use the public cloud to instantly scale capacity up or down to handle excess capacity. It also allows them to avoid the time and cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining new servers that they may not always need.
As interesting as cloud computing is, it has both it pros and cons.
Pros of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing delivers a lot of benefits for businesses and industries, which has led to a growing demand and adoption of it. Some of these benefits include Scalability, Cost, Accessibility, Security and data backup.
- Scalability: Whether there is an increase or decrease in traffic/workload demands, cloud solution enables organizations to respond appropriately and cost-effectively to increase storage and performance.
- Cost: with cloud computing you do not need to buy any hardware like the traditional computing. Instead, you pay to use the host or cloud provider’s hardware, and once it does not fit your needs, you can release it and can replace it with a better configuration saving you a lot of money.
- Accessibility: with cloud computing, you can access your resources, data, services, and applications anywhere, anytime, as long as you are connected to the internet.
- Security: the Cloud services providers are putting out a lot of investment to ensure the security and safety of client’s data by both physical and software means. There are also many security layers being introduced to the system which makes it highly encrypted, resulting to an almost impossible decryption.
- Data Backup: Cloud computing providers maintain the backup of data from different companies and enterprises which can be recovered in no matter of time if there is any accidental loss.
Cons of Cloud Computing
As much as there are amazing benefits of adopting cloud computing solutions, there are also challenges facing it. Some of these challenges includes: limited control, internet reliance, recurring costs, security compliance and bandwidth issues.
- Internet reliance: One of the drawbacks to cloud computing is the fact that it rely completely on the Internet. If your Internet connection goes down, you won’t have access to data stored in the cloud for the duration of the outage likewise those of the cloud providers.
- Recurring Cost: Although Cloud computing has little initial capital investment, you will be stuck with a recurring cost. You will have to pay this amount every month or every year if you want to keep accessing your data.
- Security Compliance: When you use the cloud, you are subject to standard data protection measures that cloud providers offer all their clients. In such a case, it may be quite difficult for you to determine if third parties are accessing your data.
- Limited control: A cloud customer can only have control over the front end of applications. The cloud service provider is responsible for managing all other backend activities such as firmware updates and serves shell access as such, companies that stores that data in the cloud as limited control over it
- Bandwidth Issues: Cloud computing without a proper network consideration can cause bandwidth bottleneck, creating data transport delays and related issues.
Before moving to the cloud, it is very important to do a thorough study of it pros and cons as much as it is important to conduct enough research before settling on any option. It could help you save a lot of money and much more over time.