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Notes of Information Systems [CT 751]

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a way of accessing compute and storage systems without actually owning and doing active management of the resources. In today’s world compute and storage demands are very dynamic hence purchasing, maintaining and upgrading systems could be a huge investment of time and money. Companies like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure,  Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provide compute and storage servers on demand and charge for what you use. These cloud services can be used to host static website, e-commerce store, company’s internal data, etc. It has proven to be extremely useful for startups where compute resources can vary largely over time.


Cloud Computing can be classified in terms of the following models:

  1. Service Models
  2. Deployment Models

Service Models


After learning about the Introduction to Cloud Computing, Now we are studying about the service models which are classified in terms of abstraction provided to the end user.


SaaS (Software as a Service)

In the SaaS-based model all the compute and storage needs are met by the cloud service provider, the user only needs to upload and download data. Maintenance, downtime, upgradation, security are all taken care of by the service provider.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

In PaaS user manages applications along with data. Lot of times the user wants to launch and maintain their own applications over the cloud which is where PaaS comes into the picture. All the Hardware, Networking, O/S needs are met by the service provider. The user can use any programming language of choice. PaaS services are cheaper compared to SaaS.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

In IaaS based service hardware, Virtualization and networking services are provided by the vendor while the user takes care of OS, applications, and data.



 Deployment Models

In the above section, we have already learned about the introduction to cloud computing and about service model, now we are going to know about the three kinds of Deployment models: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud




1. Public Cloud

  • Service Provider makes resources such as Compute, storage, and applications available to the general public over the internet.
  • Any user can log in and use these services.
  • You pay for the number of resources you use.
  • Users have lesser control over their data.

2. Private Cloud

  • The vendor offers hosted services to fewer users with firewall security.
  • Private cloud minimizes security issues.
  • It provides greater control over the data.
  • Typically used by organizations with a focus on data security.

3. Hybrid Cloud

  • Hybrid cloud computing as the name implies uses a combination of private and public cloud services. Certain services are hosted with private cloud while others with the public cloud.
  • With hybrid cloud service, enterprises can keep crucial data into private space and other data into public space thus leveraging the best of both worlds.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Saves Money

You do not have to buy software and hardware. They are provided by the cloud. Hence you save costs such as office space rent, electricity, air conditioning, maintenance as well as operational expenses. Also, you pay only for the services that you use. Earlier there used to be unused hardware and software for organizations using on-premises hardware and software. Cloud eliminates that aspect of the business.

2. Scalable

You can change the resources you need from the cloud up or down. This was not possible earlier. Companies had to buy additional resources when requirements increased. When requirements reduced, they were left with unwanted resources.

3. Allows companies to focus on their core areas of business

Earlier, businesses had to allocate human resources, time, money, and effort to manage in-premises hardware. Cloud takes care of all the hardware and software aspects of businesses. This allows the business to concentrate on taking care of their domain areas.

4. Swift Deployment

Thanks to the cloud your business system can be up and running in just a few minutes. This gives an early lead over companies using the traditional or conventional approach.

5. Competitive Advantage

Businesses leveraging the cloud has a strategic edge over those that don’t. This is because they can start off quickly and have the latest hardware as well as software services.

6. Compete with bigger players

Cloud creates a level playing field. Even small companies can afford it. They don’t have to spend a huge amount initially to start operating. The cloud subscription cost is much less than outright purchasing the new and latest hardware as well as software.

7. Employees can work from any place at any time

Cloud services are available round the clock. Even if the office is closed work can go on. You can work at any time and from any geographical location as long as you have an Internet-enabled device.

8. Superior collaboration

Thanks to the cloud technology company staff stationed in different places can collaborate conveniently while maintaining high levels of security.

9. Superior backup

Compared to on-premise technology where backup, as well as recovery, takes a lot of time you can easily and conveniently do backup and recovery on the cloud platform. There is less downtime involving cloud-based platforms. The latter provides quicker as well as relatively more accurate retrievals of information as well as applications.

10. Convenient as well as easy implementation

Cloud technology lets companies retain the same business processes while not having to handle the backend technicalities.

11. Saves office space

Since there is minimum hardware installed at the company premises and fewer people required to manage and administer the hardware and software considerable office space is saved. This is an important benefit given the current trend of costly commercial real estate rates.

12. Superior Security

The cloud host completely handles the important responsibility of security. You don’t have to worry about or handle security. The cloud host installs the latest security hardware and software. He/she also regularly update the security services, applies security patches and reviews the security level.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing


Following are the disadvantages of Cloud Computing.

1. Loss of control

By opting for cloud services you are handing over your data as well as applications. You are dependent on the cloud provider in case any hardware or software issues manifest themselves. The speed and quality of service in such situations may not match your expectations.

2. Disruption of Cloud Services

In case of a cyber-attack, power outage or loss of Internet connectivity at the Cloud provider’s end your business can suffer from unwanted downtime.

3. Cloud Vendor Shutting Shop

There is the possibility of your cloud service provider going out of business or changing its business domain. Your business will stop operating in this eventuality. You will have to quickly find another cloud service provider who is competent as well as reliable.

4. Potential Security Threat

Hackers are currently targeting high profile websites such as that of prominent cloud service providers. You have no control over the security of your data, applications, and software. Also, you can suffer losses and downtime if your cloud service provider’s security is breached.

5. Vendor lock-in

In the event of migration to another cloud platform from the current platform, you may encounter major issues as the two platforms may be quite different. The challenges may include lack of support, configuration issues as well as an extra cost.

6. Wrong choice of provider

If you have not done your homework well or asked for reliable references while selecting a suitable cloud services provider then you may be in trouble. The quality of service may not be as desirable or certain features of cloud services may not be offered. This can affect the whole or part functioning of your business or operations.

7. Inadequate support

Some cloud computing providers fail to provide adequate support to their clients. Also, they ask you to refer FAQs for technical problems which are a difficult task for non-technical persons.


Cloud Computing Technologies

The different innovation of cloud computing are listed below:

1. Virtualization

It is the process of sharing license keys to physical instances of application among different users of the enterprise. The main purpose of this technology is to provide a standard version of the cloud application to all clients. It is popularly used for its flexibility and instant running process. Few types of virtualization are

  • Hardware Virtualization: If the virtual machine is directly installed on hardware servers then it is called Hardware virtualization because it is easy to control a Virtual Machine than a physical server.
  • Operating System Virtualization: If the virtual machine is installed in a guest server instead of the hardware system, then it is called as Operating system Virtualization. It increased the testing situation of various software on various OS platforms,
  • Server Virtualization: If the virtual machine is installed on the system it is called Server Virtualization. It is divided into multiple resources and utilized for load balancing on-demand basis.
  • Storage Virtualization: The process of collecting physical storage from different network storage devices is called Storage Virtualization. It is mainly used for back-up and recovery.

2. Service-Oriented Architecture

SOA is an application which divides the services into individual business functions and procedure daily. This unique component of cloud application enables cloud-related arrangements that can be modified and adjusted on request as business needs. Service-oriented system diffuses two major components, one is Quality as service and other as software as service. The function of Quality of service is to identify the function and behavior of a service from a different view. Software as a service provides a new delivery model of software which is inherited from the world of application service providers

3. Grid Computing

This is a process of connecting multiple servers from multiple to achieve a common goal. Grid computing turns large problems into smaller ones and broadcast to servers and place them within the grid. It is mainly applied in e-commerce and intended to share the resources on huge scale cluster computing. A popular grid computing project is Folding@home. The project aims to find the protein folding, misfolding and related diseases. It involves utilizing the power of unused computers and solve complex scientific problems

4. Utility Computing

This process relies on the pay-per-utilize model. It gives computational services on demand for a metered benefit. It mainly helps in cost-cutting by reducing initial investment. As the computing requirements for a business change, the billing also changes accordingly, without acquiring any additional cost. If the client usage has decreased, then billing cost also reduces accordingly.


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