Despite being introduced several years ago, Cloud Computing or Cloud Technology has continued to be the buzzword among IT experts and businesses. Though invented way back in 1996, Cloud Computing just started to gain attention in recent years. 2012 was the time when Cloud computing blew up, and since then, its applications have spread to every industry possible.

Since its invention, Cloud Computing has overcome skeptical concerns, expanded into many industries and proven its capability to support businesses and improve productivity.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing simply means the capability to provide computing services (servers, storage, databases, network, and software to analytics etc.) over the Internet, also known as “the Cloud”. In other words, Cloud Computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the Internet. Popular examples of cloud computing include online files or photo-sharing via iCloud or Google Drive, emails, credit and debit card transactions etc.

Cloud Computing allows its users to operate virtually, compared to the traditional way of processing data with on-premises facilities.

The most visible financial benefit of cloud computing is that businesses can avoid costly upfront capital expenditures, including hefty license fees and investments in hardware required to operate on-premises software.

Additionally, cloud-based systems also require less customization and take less time to deploy. Therefore, the associated costs are drastically reduced, as shown in the following infographic. The figures apply to ERP software, but the basics are the same for other types of enterprise software.

Deployment models of The Cloud

The major deployment models of Cloud services can vary depending on the particular needs of organizations.

A Public Cloud application is fully deployed in the cloud, and every aspect of the application run in the cloud. The public Cloud system is mostly provided through a Cloud service provider; hence, the company is not responsible for maintaining the server.

Private Cloud or on-premises Cloud, on the other hand, is a type of cloud infrastructure which operates solely for just one organization. Typically, the company will take on maintenance and build its data centers. Therefore, this type of Cloud system has a higher level of security compared to Public Cloud. However, it requires the company to be competent to manage, store and utilize the data.

Hybrid Cloud, as assumed, a hybrid cloud deployment is a blend of private and public clouds. This infrastructure allows data, information, and apps to be shared and transferred interchangeably. The private side can be used for sensitive processes such as finances and data recovery, whereas the public side can run high-volume applications

Other modifications serve different needs of different companies, such as Community Cloud, Distributed Cloud and Big Data Cloud.


Types of Cloud Computing Services

There are three main types of Cloud Computing services: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS allows organizations to access the application software and databases without minding about maintaining and managing the infrastructure. A third party will be responsible for hardware installation, provision, and maintenance, as well as software, licensing, installation, and support and make it available over the Internet for the end-users.
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): With PaaS, organizations have control over the deployed applications and can configure the settings for the application-hosting environment, excluding the network, servers, operating systems, or storage. This means application developers can develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform with minimum costs and no burden of managing the underlying system.
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS is also known as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). The service model provides organizations with the highest level of flexibility through the delivery of computer infrastructure on an outsourced basis to support enterprise operations. IaaS providers supply clients with the basic, virtualized IT features (hardware, storage, servers, data center, or network components, etc.). The service providers are also in charge of housing, operating and maintaining these features for the clients.

Cloud computing service providers

The cloud service market has no shortage of providers. The three largest public CSPs that have established themselves as dominant fixtures in the industry are AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. Other major CSPs include Apple, Citrix, IBM, Salesforce, Alibaba, Oracle, VMware, SAP, Joyent, and Rackspace.


Benefits of Cloud Computing

  1. Flexible costs: Cloud computing spins the table on traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) spending, instead the majority of cloud spend is operational expenditure (OPEX). Since a third-party vendor will take care of maintenance, a company doesn’t have to fund a support team to fix problem servers. The upfront costs of infrastructure needs like local server purchases are reduced.


  1. Improved mobility: With the cloud, apps and data are accessible anywhere, anytime. And that’s all due to the ever-increasing number of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The “anywhere, anytime” benefit also certainly applies to business. Employees gain flexibility, becoming more efficient with workflows and customer service.


  1. Increased collaboration: Cloud computing is essentially built for improving work processes, and that includes data flow between coworkers and business partners. Organizations demand more apps for file sharing and streamlined workflows. Remote workers can instantly connect and communicate with fellow employees and important clients.


  1. Economies of Scale: Cloud computing reduces cost by leveraging economies of scale. A Booz Allen Hamilton study found that the cloud approach could reduce costs by 50 to 67% for the deployment of 1000 servers. Cloud customers can take advantage of lower costs from vendors’ economies of scale, reducing their investments in on-premises infrastructure.


  1. Operational: Technology will never be perfect, but some are just less complex. That includes the infrastructure of cloud computing, which usually runs on separate servers through a third-party vendor. So, when problems do arise, it’s the vendor’s job to promptly fix the problem instead of having on-site IT staff spend time and resources file claims or update servers.


Future of Cloud Computing

Today, however, organizations are more likely to migrate mission-critical workloads to public clouds. One of the reasons for this shift is business executives who want to ensure that their companies can compete in the new world of digital transformation.

Business leaders are also looking to the public cloud to take advantage of its elasticity, modernize internal computer systems, and empower critical business units and their DevOps teams.

Additionally, public cloud providers, such as IBM and VMware, are concentrating on meeting the needs of enterprise IT, in part by removing the barriers to public cloud adoption that caused IT decision-makers to shy away from fully embracing the public cloud previously.

Generally, when contemplating cloud adoption, many enterprises have been mainly focused on new cloud-native applications — that is, designing and building applications specifically intended to use cloud services. They haven’t been willing to move their most mission-critical apps into the public cloud. However, these enterprises are now beginning to realize that the cloud is ready for the enterprise if they select the right cloud platforms, i.e., those that have a history of serving the needs of the enterprise.

Embracing the cloud can be difficult at first, but as specialists in cloud design, connectivity, migration, and management, MDXi is the partner who can help you realize the full benefits of the cloud by guiding you through the hurdles with a proven methodology.

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