“The cloud” has become a buzzword over the years, especially within the business space. So what exactly is it? The cloud is a collection of data centres that are located all over the world. These data centres consist of servers that are accessed by users over the internet, and provide users with access to software and data. A cloud exists through virtualisation, which is the process whereby physical computers, otherwise known as virtual machines, are mimicked using software. Many users can interact with these virtual machines at one time, where each virtual machine remains autonomous and doesn’t interact with the others.
There are a number of benefits to using the cloud:
Firstly, users don’t have to manage and provision the infrastructure that they require, allowing them to focus solely on their business use case. A cloud prevents users from having to download and run software programs onto their devices, but rather use programs on the cloud, making the software and data available from any device over the internet.
Secondly, using the cloud comes with the benefit of decreased IT costs, in terms of hardware and maintenance costs especially when wanting to scale up. The cloud allows for a company’s infrastructure to be highly available, so that when a server goes down, there are many other cloud servers available to take over immediately.
Within cloud computing, there are two domains that users can explore, the private cloud and the public cloud. The private cloud is solely dedicated to an organisation including all of the data centres and servers. A private cloud can be supplied by a service provider or built on-premise. The public cloud, however, is provided by an external vendor and many organisations share the public cloud and its resources, because of virtualisation. Organisations are able to access public cloud resources over the internet.
There are various key differences between the public cloud and private cloud:
Firstly, the private cloud is highly secure and offers more control over resources since the resources are for specific users. Public cloud providers, however, also ensure that they have the functionality in place to easily identify and notify users about security failover areas, allowing for the public cloud to be highly secure.
Secondly, The private cloud is ideal for organisations that require specific computing resources and are able to optimise their resources. Whereas, the public cloud is ideal for organisations whose infrastructure needs change constantly, since they can easily provision their required resources and only pay for what they use.
Thirdly, private cloud resources have to be continuously managed and provisioned to ensure that the required capacity is available. However, public cloud providers maintain your infrastructure and allow you to easily scale up and down when you need it, allowing you to focus solely on achieving your key business objectives.
The use of public cloud platforms has increased significantly, as more public cloud platforms become available. Some of the most popular and well-known cloud platforms include, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We will deep-dive into these three platforms, comparatively exploring their strongest and weakest areas.
If you are looking to move your data to the cloud and build cloud-based applications to reduce the cost of your IT infrastructure, then it is imperative that you know which cloud platform is most suited to your business needs. Give us a call at Pii Digital and allow us to assist you!A