When i hear the word cloud, i think sky, space, out of earth, nowhere near humans. In movies and cartoons, people use the word cloud making it sound like this safe, incorruptible haven for files, a place with no virus.
is that what it really is? what do you think?
well, you're not here to think. You're here to hear what i have to say so i'll just go on.
The cloud is, well, someone else's resources. Period. The cloud is not a cloud at all, it is a company's resources that can be accessed over the internet. It is a huge network of infrastructure such as servers that are all connected together which we can use. So yeah, it is a metaphor.
It is also only as safe as the cloud provider's capability to secure their platform.
We use these servers to host our applications, store our data, even rent server space. The act of using these services is called cloud computing and companies that provide these services are called cloud providers. Examples of cloud providers are Microsoft (Microsoft Azure Platform), Google( Google Cloud), Amazon(Amazon Web Services), Digital Ocean and many others.
So cloud computing simply put is paying to utilize the services of cloud providers. You pay, they allow you host your site or app/or create a new one on their platform, create virtual machines online, create containerized applications, increase compute power on your system (maybe through virtual machine), store your data and so many other things.
The best part about cloud computing is (you might not really understand how huge this is if you're a one man business) you don't have to spend so much on infrastructure and hiring technical skills. Most businesses have to rent space for their own data centers, buy their own servers and hardware, hire people to manage the servers, install any upgrades themselves, backup their data, manage every single tiny detail themselves. Just thinking about this alone is really stressful especially when all you want to do is deploy your software so people can use.
In cloud computing, the providers have already provided all the infrastructure and more. They have a whole team of technical experts (I mean, come on, it's freaking Microsoft and co) and all you just have to do is sign up (and pay of course, there are also free tiers however) and carry out your activities on their platform. It is literally that easy, the hard part is understanding what the heck you are installing and creating on the platform.
The second best part is you only pay for what you use on their platform. You don't pay the team, or buy new servers, or contribute to the upkeep of their data centers. If you create an application, you only pay for the resources used in creating it. A spike in traffic however will increase your bill (naturally) for the interaction with the server. There are also guidelines providers make available to help you manage your costs and ensure you don't run up a huge bill.
The third best part is it's scalability. i'm sure you've heard this word thrown around a lot. It just means that something is able to increase without affecting whatever is in place. For example, adding more storage as space gets filled up or adding more servers as the current one is getting overwhelmed by a spike in traffic. This scalability can be either achieved manually or automatically.
Cloud computing is basically a very smooth and efficient way to get software running without worrying about things that could potentially slow down your business or project. The providers provide most of what you need to get started thereby making it easier for you to focus on managing your applications and other things.
All the services cloud providers provide can be lumped into three: Infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service and Software as service.
The cloud is a really amazing place where you can do a lot of things and all you have to do is just click a button that says CREATE or DEPLOY. Not to mention it's a really sought after skill in the industry.
It is definitely worth anyone's time.
Let me know what you think in the comments, we could learn from each other:)