Everything You Need To Know About Cloud Computing

7 min read
29 April 2024
Ignas Anfalovas

Learn about cloud computing history, its advantages, and the biggest cloud services providers in the market today.

In today’s digital world, the term “cloud computing” has gained significant prominence. Both businesses and individuals heavily depend on cloud computing services to fulfill various needs.  

However, it is crucial to understand the essence of cloud computing and its significance. Continue reading the article to learn all the ins and outs. 

Brief History 

Cloud computing’s roots trace back to the 1960s.  

In 1963, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) gets $2 million funding from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for a project called MAC.  

But there was one requirement – to develop a system that enables two or more people to use a single computer.  

A mainframe computer became the ancestor to what has become collectively known as cloud computing. It acted as a primitive cloud with two or three people accessing it. 

A mainframe computer is the ancestor of Cloud Computing

However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that cloud computing began to take shape.  

Companies like Salesforce and Amazon played pivotal roles in popularizing the idea of delivering computing resources over the internet.  

Since then, cloud computing has rapidly evolved, offering businesses and individuals unprecedented access to scalable, on-demand computing resources. 

What is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing fundamentally involves providing computing services via the Internet. There are 3 main service models of cloud computing. 

3 main service models of Cloud Computing: SaaS, Paas and Iaas
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – provides virtualized computing resources over the internet, such as virtual machines, storage, and networking; 
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – offers a platform allowing developers to build, deploy, and manage applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure; 
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – delivers software applications over the internet on a subscription basis, eliminating the need for users to install and maintain software locally. 

Advantages of Cloud Computing 

Cloud computing offers plenty of benefits that have revolutionized the way organizations and individuals manage and utilize computing resources.  

Let’s explore some of the key advantages. 

Cost Efficiency 

Cloud computing eliminates the need for upfront investments in hardware and software, allowing organizations to pay only for the resources they use. This pay-as-you-go model reduces capital expenditures and provides predictable operating expenses.  

If you are looking to minimize your cloud spendings, consider rightsizing your environment, removing unused assets or even IPv4 leasing

Scalability

Cloud services are inherently scalable, allowing organizations to easily adjust their computing resources to meet changing demands. Whether it’s adding storage capacity or provisioning additional virtual machines, scalability ensures optimal performance and cost-effectiveness. 

Flexibility and Accessibility  

With cloud computing, users can access applications and data from anywhere with an internet connection, using a variety of devices. This flexibility enables remote work, collaboration, and seamless access to resources, fostering productivity and innovation. 

Disaster Recovery and Backup  

Cloud providers offer robust backup and disaster recovery solutions, ensuring data resilience and minimizing downtime in the event of unforeseen disasters. By storing data in geographically distributed data centers, organizations can mitigate risks and protect critical assets. 

Automatic Updates and Maintenance 

Cloud providers handle infrastructure updates and maintenance, freeing organizations from the burden of managing hardware and software. This allows IT teams to focus on strategic initiatives rather than routine maintenance tasks, improving efficiency and agility. 

Types of Cloud Computing Models 

Understanding the various types of cloud computing models is essential for organizations seeking to leverage cloud technology effectively. There are 4 main deployment models tailored to specific needs and requirements of the users.  

4 main Cloud Computing types: Public, Private, Hybrid and Community clouds

Public Cloud  

In a public cloud model, cloud resources are owned and operated by third-party providers, like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure or Google Cloud. These resources are available to the public to use or purchase over the Internet.  

Public clouds can save companies from the expensive costs 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. 

Public clouds can be installed faster than on-premises infrastructures and offer a scalable platform. Anyone using a particular public cloud can use the same application from anywhere in the world, if they have an Internet connection. 

Private Cloud  

Private clouds are dedicated to a single organization and are not shared with other users. They can be hosted internally or by a third-party provider and offer greater control, customization, and security compared to public clouds.  

Private clouds deliver a higher level of security and privacy through company firewalls and internal hosting. This ensures that operations and sensitive data are not accessible to third-party providers. 

Private clouds can also be combined with public clouds to create a hybrid cloud. This allows the business to take advantage of cloud bursting.  

Cloud bursting in action

Cloud bursting frees up more space and scales computing services to the public cloud when computing demand increases. 

Hybrid Cloud  

Hybrid clouds combine elements of public and private clouds, enabling sharing of data and applications between them. They allow organizations to optimize their infrastructure based on workload requirements, providing flexibility.

Community Cloud 

Community clouds are shared infrastructure used by several organizations with common concerns, such as regulatory compliance or industry-specific requirements. 

This model offers the benefits of shared resources while allowing organizations to maintain their distinct identities and control over their data.  

They are often used by government agencies, healthcare providers, and research institutions that need to collaborate securely while adhering to strict regulations. 

Major Cloud Infrastructures 

Just like every other market, cloud computing has its own leaders.

Currently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) ranks highest with 31% of the market share, Microsoft Azure is second with 24% and Google Cloud stands third with 11%. Let’s unravel each of these providers. 

Google Cloud 

Google Cloud was introduced by Google in 2008 and quickly become one of the leading cloud computing platforms globally.   

It started as a collection of cloud-based services, such as computing, storage, and application development tools.  

Over the years, it has expanded its offerings to include IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions.  

Google’s extensive network infrastructure ensures high availability and low latency for its cloud services. It also stands out for its cutting-edge technologies in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics. 

Another great thing about Google Cloud is that it offers a wide range of developer tools and APIs, enabling businesses to innovate and build scalable applications efficiently.  

AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the cloud computing division of Amazon, launched in 2006. It has since grown to become the largest and most widely used cloud computing platform globally. 

AWS offers a vast range of services, including computing power, storage, databases, machine learning, and more.  

With a global network of data centers, AWS provides high availability, scalability, and reliability for its services. Businesses benefit from reduced infrastructure costs, increased agility, and the ability to quickly deploy and scale applications. 

BYOIP with AWS

To avoid high AWS costs, consider utilizing Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP) feature that allows you to integrate leased IPs into ASWs infrastructure.  

Azure

Microsoft launched Azure in 2010s. It offers a wide range of services, including computing, storage, networking, databases, and AI.  

Its extensive global network of data centers ensures low latency and high availability for customers around the world. 

With a focus on hybrid cloud solutions, Azure allows businesses to seamlessly integrate on-premises and cloud environments, providing flexibility and control. 

Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud was established in 2009 and has expanded rapidly to become one of the world’s leading cloud service providers. It offers a wide range of services including computing, storage, databases, networking, analytics, and AI.

Its biggest advantages are robust infrastructure, extensive global reach, competitive pricing, and strong emphasis on innovation.

BYOIP in Cloud Computing  

Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP) is a feature offered by some cloud service providers that allows customers to bring their own IP addresses to the cloud environment. 

However, paying for IPs offered by your infrastructure provider can be pricey.  

Luckily, you can now lease IPs from IPXO Marketplace and integrate them into your cloud infrastructure. We have prepared instructions guides for major providers, like Google Cloud, AWS, Vultr, and Equinix Metal. 

According to our use cases, this may result in big savings in the long run. Visit our website to calculate your potential savings.

Conclusions

Cloud computing has come a long way since its beginnings in the 1960s, evolving into a cornerstone of modern business infrastructure.  

Major providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud dominate the market, each offering unique strengths and services tailored to various needs.  

The benefits of cloud computing include cost efficiency, scalability, flexibility, and robust disaster recovery.  

Additionally, the BYOIP feature, along with innovations like IP leasing from IPXO Marketplace, presents opportunities for significant cost savings.  

Overall, cloud computing continues to revolutionize how organizations manage and utilize computing resources, enabling agility, innovation, and cost-effective solutions. 

FAQ

  • What are the key benefits of cloud computing? 
    Cloud computing offers several advantages, including cost efficiency, scalability, flexibility, and robust disaster recovery. 
  • What is the difference between public, private, hybrid, and community clouds? 
    Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party providers and are accessible to the public over the internet. Private clouds are dedicated to a single organization and offer greater control and security. Hybrid clouds combine elements of public and private clouds, while community clouds are shared infrastructure used by several organizations with common concerns. 
  • Which are the major cloud service providers? 
    The major cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and others. Each provider offers a wide range of services.
  • How can businesses optimize their cloud spending? 
    Businesses can optimize their cloud spending by rightsizing their environment, removing unused resources, and leveraging features like Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP) to reduce costs.  

About the author

Ignas Anfalovas

Platform Engineering Manager

Ignas is a Platform Engineering Manager at IPXO with more than 7 years of experience in the IT sector. His expertise includes network design solutions and infrastructure maintenance. After working hours, you will find Ignas in Lithuanian folk-dance classes.
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