Cloud Computing – I (Fundamentals)

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a comprehensive solution that delivers IT as a service. It is an Internet-based computing solution where shared resources are provided like electricity distributed on the electrical grid. Computers in the cloud are configured to work together and the various applications use the collective computing power as if they are running on a single system.

The flexibility of cloud computing is a function of the allocation of resources on demand. This facilitates the use of the system’s cumulative resources, negating the need to assign specific hardware to a task. Before cloud computing, websites and server-based applications were executed on a specific system. With the advent of cloud computing, resources are used as an aggregated virtual computer. This amalgamated configuration provides an environment where applications execute independently without regard for any particular configuration.

Advantages of being on the cloud?

There are valid and significant business and IT reasons for the cloud computing paradigm shift. The fundamentals of outsourcing as a solution apply.

  • Reduced cost: Cloud computing can reduce both capital expense (CapEx) and operating expense (OpEx) costs because resources are only acquired when needed and are only paid for when used.
  • Refined usage of personnel: Using cloud computing frees valuable personnel allowing them to focus on delivering value rather than maintaining hardware and software.
  • Robust scalability: Cloud computing allows for immediate scaling, either up or down, at any time without long-term commitment.

Cloud formations
There are three types of cloud formations: private (on premise), public, and hybrid.

  • Public clouds are available to the general public or a large industry group and are owned and provisioned by an organization selling cloud services. A public cloud is what is thought of as the cloud in the usual sense; that is, resources dynamically provisioned over the Internet using web applications from an off-site third-party provider that supplies shared resources and bills on a utility computing basis.
  • Private clouds exist within your company’s firewall and are managed by your organization. They are cloud services you create and control within your enterprise. Private clouds offer many of the same benefits as the public clouds — the major distinction being that your organization is in charge of setting up and maintaining the cloud. According to SFGate article, IBM’s cloud offerings ranked first among developers targeting private clouds.
  • Hybrid clouds are a combination of the public and the private cloud using services that are in both the public and private space. Management responsibilities are divided between the public cloud provider and the business itself. Using a hybrid cloud, organizations can determine the objectives and requirements of the services to be created and obtain them based on the most suitable alternative.

Summary

To be considered a cloud, a technology model must possess these five characteristics: on-demand self-service, meaning that anyone with a browser can subscribe to the service; measured service, meaning that monitoring capabilities allow providers to offer service by subscription, pay-per-use, or other pricing models; elastic scalability, which means that cloud subscribers can adjust computing resources as they see fit; resource pooling, which means that virtualized storage, servers, and networks are pooled together at a single location or across many locations to create a virtually infinite supply of resources; and broad network access. The cloud can be deployed in one of three methods: the public cloud, which allows you to pay only for the resources you use; the private cloud, which runs on dedicated IT only; and the hybrid cloud, which combines the scalability of the public model with the security of the private model.

A lot of channels on youTube are worth exploring:

  • The IBM Cloud channel on youTube has a short series of videos for getting started with cloud computing.
  • The IBM WebSphere Education channel on youTube provides a sampling of content from their course catalog, as taught by IBM instructors. There are over 25 videos available covering WebSphere Application Server system administration, SOA, BPM, and more.
  • IBM Education Assistant also has its own youTube channel here.
Disclaimer: The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions

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