What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud technology is helping businesses and people weather the ongoing storm caused by the global pandemic. Cloud is becoming a top C-suite agenda item as businesses are transitioning from a piece-meal approach to a more holistic end-to-end digital transformation with Cloud at its core. The winners of tomorrow will be the ones that navigate this change rapidly, make the right choices and engage with the appropriate partners to augment their own capabilities.
Cloud is a model of computing where servers, networks, storage, development tools, and even applications (apps) are enabled through the internet. Instead of organizations having to make major investments to buy equipment, train staff, and provide ongoing maintenance, some or all of these needs are handled by a cloud service provider.
How Cloud Based Services Work?
Cloud based services have several common attributes:
Virtualization – Cloud computing utilizes server and storage virtualization extensively to allocate/reallocate resources rapidly.
Multi-tenancy – resources are pooled and shared among multiple users to gain economies of scale.
Network-access – resources are accessed via web-browser or thin client using a variety of networked devices (computer, tablet, smartphone).
On demand – resources are self-provisioned from an online catalogue of pre-defined configurations.
Elastic – resources can scale up or down automatically.
Metering/chargeback – resource usage is tracked and billed based on service arrangement.
Is The Cloud Secure?
Security plays an important role in cloud technology and providers take it extremely seriously.
There are a few key things companies can do to minimize cloud security risks.
Define new security policies and procedures. The procedures you have already most likely don’t address cloud infrastructure.
Configure to the appropriate framework. Make sure the cloud environment is automated and configured in a way that’s compliant with the security framework relevant to industry and country regulations.
Identify the relevant controls needed to monitor policies and procedures to make sure they are compliant on an ongoing basis.
Create a cloud-specific security reference architecture. This is critical because securing cloud environments is substantially different from securing on-premises environments—including tools, processes, and even skill requirements.
Move to a DevSecOps model where infrastructure gets treated like application code and gets scanned before being deployed to check for misconfigurations or non-compliance.
Types Of Cloud Based Services
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS contains the basic building blocks for cloud IT. It typically provides access to networking features, computers (virtual or on dedicated hardware), and data storage space. IaaS gives you the highest level of flexibility and management control over your IT resources. It is most similar to the existing IT resources with which many IT departments and developers are familiar.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS removes the need for you to manage underlying infrastructure (usually hardware and operating systems), and allows you to focus on the deployment and management of your applications. This helps you be more efficient as you don’t need to worry about resource procurement, capacity planning, software maintenance, patching, or any of the other undifferentiated heavy lifting involved in running your application.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS provides you with a complete product that is run and managed by the service provider. In most cases, people referring to SaaS are referring to end-user applications (such as web-based email). With a SaaS offering, you don’t have to think about how the service is maintained or how the underlying infrastructure is managed. You only need to think about how you will use that particular software.
Cloud Based Services Offer Numerous Benefits To Include:
- Faster implementation and time to value.
- Anywhere access to applications and content.
- Rapid scalability to meet demand.
- Higher utilization of infrastructure investments.
- Lower infrastructure, energy, and facility costs.
- Greater IT staff productivity and across organization.
- Enhanced security and protection of information assets.