Technology has made several tasks easy for humans. It has allowed us to communicate more easily, travel more easily, learn more easily, and so on. Another task it has made easy for us is storage. It gave us cabinets and containers. Later on, it gave us electronic devices that could store data while taking up a negligible amount of space. Now, it has allowed us to store data while taking absolutely no space. The invention that has made this possible is cloud computing. It serves other purposes also. Even though it might sound magical, it has its own advantages as well as disadvantages.
WHAT IS IT?
As the name suggests, cloud computing refers to computing that does not take up any space. This means that companies do not own computing infrastructure or data centres. Instead, they rent these services. It usually happens over the internet. These services are delivered on-demand and usually are paid for simultaneously. They can range from applications to storage and processing power.
The essence of cloud computing is that it is not necessary to physically access the computer hardware required to perform certain functions.
There are various functions that can be performed via cloud computing. These include standard office applications, networking, storage, processing, et cetera.
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The concept of cloud computing became popular in the early 2000s. However, computing was being offered as a service in the 1960s as well. At that time, companies were allowed to rent time on a mainframe from computer bureaus. Due to this, they did not have to buy a mainframe themselves.
WHAT ARE CATEGORIES OF CLOUD COMPUTING?
On the basis of their access, cloud computing can be divided into sub-categories. These sub-categories are public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud.
Public cloud computing includes services that are offered to the general public. Vendors of public clouds give their customers access to large data centres of computer hardware.
Its exact opposite is a private cloud. A private cloud is reserved to be used by one specific party. There are various reasons as to why an organization or individual would choose to use a public cloud. These can be security reasons, because of which certain sensitive information is saved onto a private cloud. Some organizations, however, are mandated to use private clouds by certain rules and regulations,
When an organization or individual chooses to operate on a private cloud, they have two options. They can either install private clouds within their own data centres. Or they can also outsource a private cloud service. In that case, a public cloud vendor would set aside certain computing resources. Only this particular organization/individual would have access to these resources.
As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud is a combination. A part of a hybrid cloud is public and the other private. Under this, customers can maintain a private cloud for themselves. If they need additional storage/services, then they would have to use a public cloud. The exact workings of a hybrid cloud vary from vendor to vendor and customer to customer.
A multi-cloud environment is similar to a hybrid cloud because the customer is using more than one cloud service. However, a multi-cloud environment does not necessarily have integration among the various cloud services, the way a hybrid cloud does. A multi-cloud environment can include only public clouds, only private clouds or a combination of both public and private clouds.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Back-Up and Restore Data
Once the data is stored in the cloud, it is easier to get back-up and restore that data using the cloud.
Data has become our lifeblood in today’s day and age. Be it an individual or an organization, there’s a great deal of sensitive information that we store in the form of data.
If it gets lost, all hell breaks loose. In that scenario, cloud computing acts as a lifeline.
Cloud applications improve collaboration by allowing groups of people to quickly and easily share information in the cloud via shared storage.
Today, organizations need to be on their feet at all times to face the cut-throat competition. For this, they not only need to get work done quickly, but also efficiently. Having a common storage to which everyone has access, can allow all team members to greatly increase the level of communication and collaboration.
Cloud allows us to quickly and easily access store information anywhere, anytime in the whole world, using an internet connection. An internet cloud infrastructure increases organization productivity and efficiency by ensuring that our data is always accessible.
The logistical problems that existed with data was that it got lost with the change of device or locations. With cloud computing, this problem is certainly countered. Subsequently, it gives you the power of the internet to maintain a permanent database of information.
Thus, even if your phone gets lost, you can easily retrieve all your important data through the cloud computing system of operations.
Low maintenance cost
Cloud computing reduces both hardware and software maintenance costs for organizations.
All the infrastructure that might have been required to store the humongous amount of data now has one place to exist in.
So this provides an incredible degree of free hand to the management to use the excess funds in a better manner.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
As you know, in cloud computing, every data (image, audio, video, etc.) is stored on the cloud. And we access this data through the cloud by using an internet connection. So if you do not have good internet connectivity, you cannot access your precious data.
This has loads of disadvantages. For instance, if you require your data very urgently at the moment and cloud is your only source, you cannot access it if you have a poor internet connection.
In countries like India, internet is still not a very developed facility. This can cause great difficulties for the organizations.
Vendor lock-in is the biggest disadvantage of cloud computing. Organizations may face problems when transferring their services from one vendor to another. As different vendors provide different platforms, this can cause difficulty in moving from one cloud to another.
Therefore, this means that you have to choose your desired operator very judiciously. If you think that the partnership might not be long term, you should refrain from the deal.
Otherwise, a lot of problems might accrue in the greater process of giving effect to the transfer of data.
As we know, cloud infrastructure is completely owned, managed, and monitored by the service provider, so the cloud users have less control over the function and execution of services within a cloud infrastructure.
As mentioned before, we attach great importance to our data. This is also because a lot of our personal content is also present within it. That’s why, people want to have control and that’s exactly what they don’t get with this scenario.
Cloud service providers implement the best security standards to store important information. However, before adopting cloud technology, you should be aware that you will be sending all your organization’s sensitive information to a third party, i.e., a cloud computing service provider. While sending the data on the cloud, there may be a chance that your organization’s information is hacked by Hackers.
In addition, if you store your personal pictures and videos, they might be accessible to an external party if the security mechanisms of your cloud service provider are not very adequate.
Pros and Cons
|Back-up and restore data||
Low maintenance cost