Cloud Computing Part-I

This article was originally written for VIT Reporter.

This is the first in the series of articles on Cloud Computing. In this article I will cover the basic idea behind cloud and the different services that are possible with cloud computing.

Cloud computing has been a buzzword for quite sometime now. Over the past few years cloud computing has matured from a mere buzzword to a dynamic infrastructure used by hundreds of organizations around the world. All the major IT companies already have a cloud related product in the market.

The cloud technology is still evolving and a rigid definition of cloud is not possible. In simple terms a Cloud is an infrastructure of dynamic resources which are utilized on demand. They are basically clusters of computer nodes which are scaled as and when required.

The three fundamental services possible through cloud computing are

a)Infrastructure as a service (Iaas)
b)Platform as a service (PaaS)
c)Software as a service (SaaS)

I’ll touch upon each of the services in detail.

IaaS:

Infrastructure service delivers virtualized hardware(processor, RAM, network adapters) as a service. So, instead of purchasing a server or data center or network equipments, clients can get these resources as a service. The service is billed on as per the amount of resource consumed. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most successful IaaS provider to date. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offers, as the name suggests, server power that can grow and contract in line with an organization’s demands.

PaaS:

PaaS offerings may include facilities for application design, application development, testing, deployment and hosting as well as application services such as team collaboration, web service integration and marshalling, database integration, security, scalability, storage, persistence, state management, application versioning, application instrumentation and developer community facilitation. These services may be provisioned as an integrated solution over the web. An example of PaaS is Google App Engine.

SaaS:

SaaS, is software that is deployed over a network. With SaaS, a provider licenses an application to customers as a service on demand, through a subscription or a “pay-as-you-go” model. Saas is also called “software on demand.” SaaS vendors develop, host, and operate software for customer use. Rather than install software on site, customers access the application over the Internet. The most common examples of SaaS are Gmail and Google docs.

Now, in the next article I’ll cover the different deployment models and the importance of open standards in Cloud Computing. The future articles will also contains detailed instructions of setting up your own private IaaS using open source tools. Till we meet again, Happy Reading!!!

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