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Cloud Architecture in Cloud Computing, is a combination of several components and subcomponents that form together. Cloud Computing security architecture is categorized into frontend and backend, along with an amalgamation of the event-driven architecture and the service-oriented architecture in Cloud Computing. The cloud computing architecture comprises two fundamental components, i.e. frontend and backend.

The broad divisions of cloud architecture are:

  • Front-end
  • Back-end

Frontend works as a client in such architecture and communicates with the backend via a network or internet. In the cloud computing architecture, the client-side or frontend is visible to the end-user. The frontend sends queries to the backend via the middleware. The backend protects the data and respond to the queries asked by the frontend. The backend is a bigger part of the whole cloud computing architecture. It is the back-end responsibility to provide data security for cloud users and the traffic control mechanism. The server also provides the middleware, which helps to connect devices and communicate with each other.

Businesses used cloud infrastructures to work with these applications. Unlike subscription-based pricing models, the cloud's payment structure enables the user to subscribe to vendor services, and cloud infrastructures are paid on a 'pay-per-use' basis.

The cloud technology architecture also consists of front-end platforms (as read in the early chapters) called the cloud client, which comprises servers, thin & fat clients, tablets & mobile devices. The interaction is done through middleware or via web-browser or virtual sessions. According to Jason Bloomberg of Zap Think, the cloud-oriented architecture can essentially be the building block of IoT (Internet of Things) in which anything can be connected to the internet. Cloud architecture is a combination of both services-oriented architecture & event-driven architecture. SO cloud architecture encompasses all elements of the cloud environment. This whole cloud service model is called Backend-as-a-service or BaaS.  

Frontend is a user/client-facing architecture. It comprises client-side interfaces and applications necessary to access Cloud Computing platforms. The frontend communicates with the backend via a network, i.e., through the Internet. The frontend also sends queries to the backend through the middleware.

Example: Web servers, mobile devices, tablets, thin and fat clients, etc.

Backend on the other hand, refers to the cloud itself. It is a compilation of Cloud Computing resources used by service providers (generally termed as hosts) to manage and execute cloud services. It renders security to cloud users’ data. The backend also provides middleware to help connect devices and communicate with each other.

The backend protects the data that comes from the frontend and also responds to the queries accordingly. Along with security management, this part of cloud architecture design also engages in traffic management.

Example: Big data storage, traffic control mechanism, virtual machines, etc.

In a business setting, finding out the suitable software & hardware components that create the whole cloud environment is important. While you can choose the hardware as off-the-shelf pieces and can choose the software as per business requirement & budget. The leading cloud service providers offer the whole package of paired hardware & software.

If you are planning to migrate to the Cloud, selecting appropriate cloud software architecture for your business is one of the most important business decisions. Ineffective cloud computing architecture planning can lead you to low cost-effectiveness zero-scalability. The suitable cloud computing architecture allows you to take care of all the software & hardware components.

Components of Cloud Computing Architecture

The fundamental components of the cloud computing architecture are:

  • Front-end platform
  • Back-end platform
  • Cloud-based delivery

Besides the front-end and back-end platforms, cloud-based delivery allows transmitting information via various cloud infrastructures such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

What is Front End Cloud Architecture?

The front end infrastructure includes everything that the end-user interacts with. It is the broader assimilation of various sub-components that together offer the user interface. And it forms an essential part of how the end-user connects to the cloud computing infrastructure. The front-end cloud infrastructure includes components like local networks, web browsers, and web applications. The frontend of Cloud Computing architecture depicts everything a user interacts with. It is a combination of various subcomponents that combine to create a user interface. The major frontend components are as follows:

User Interface

A user interface represents all the tasks that an end-user performs to access a platform. Some of the popular user interfaces are Google Sheets, Gmail, and so on. The cloud possesses the benefit of taking the entire load upon it without annoying customers w.r.t. space and similar constraints. The user interface refers to all the things that end-user access to send requests or perform any task on the Cloud. Some of the popular cloud-based user interfaces are Google Doc, Gmail, etc.

Client Infrastructure

It is a frontend component of Cloud Computing that enables a graphical user interface (GUI) to help users interact with the cloud.

Software

It represents the cloud software architecture that runs on the user end. It primarily lays its focus on client-side applications and browsers. The software architecture in the front end is the software that runs on the user’s end. Frontend software architecture primarily comprises client-side applications or browsers.

Network

Client devices act as a key component in connecting cloud services over the network. Here, the Internet acts as a medium of networks in executing communications between both the frontend and the backend. It is a hardware that acts on the side of end-users. The network can also be provided as a utility, thereby enabling customers to customize the network route and the protocol. Being a crucial part of the frontend architecture, Client Device or Network refers to the hardware at the end user’s side. It can be any input device or PC. In cloud computing, the client-side device doesn’t require extraordinary ability to process the heavy load. The cloud can take the entire heavy load and processes the same.

What is Back End Cloud Architecture?

The backend architecture in the cloud empowers the frontend architecture. It comprises hardware & storage and they are located on a remote server. The cloud service provider controls and handles this backend cloud architecture. Ideal backend cloud architecture always should be robust as it holds the whole infrastructure on the cloud. The backend empowers the functioning of the frontend. It encompasses hardware and storage within it. A cloud service provider takes up the whole responsibility of executing the backend of Cloud Computing. The backend of the cloud infrastructure must be ideally robust as it holds everything together. The prime components of the backend architecture include the following:

Hypervisor

It is a firmware that acts as a Virtual Machine Manager. It provides users with a virtual operating platform to manage operating systems. It also enables sharing a single instance of cloud resources among several tenants.

The hypervisor also plays an important role in creating microservices without dropping the load on the operating systems.

Example: OpenStack, Docker, Kubernetes, and Oracle VirtualBox

Another essential point to note down is that Cloud Computing services can be availed on both public and private networks or as a combination of both.

Application:

The Application is a substantial part of the backend architecture. It refers to the user interface that the backend offers to the end-user to send queries. This layer of the backend takes care of the client’s requests and requirements. It is a backend component of Cloud Computing that represents any software or a platform that a client is willing to access. Here, user specifications are coordinated with the resources.

Service:

This is a magical area of the backend cloud architecture. It adds utility to the entire backend architecture. The service handles every task that runs on the cloud computing system. Some of the cloud services are application development environment, storage, and web services. Besides, service can execute a wide array of tasks on the cloud runtime.

Cloud Runtime:

The term ‘Cloud Runtime’ is the concept where the services run. It’s like a cloud operating system where technology like virtualization is used. Virtualization as a key technology on the cloud which allows multiple runtimes on the same server. For instance, virtualization is a way via which we can create a base of software. In simple words, it’s the virtual representation of apps, servers, storage as well as networks. When we create runtimes with the support of virtualization software, they are called as Hypervisors. Some of the leading hypervisors are Oracle Virtual Box, Oracle VM for x86, VMWare Fusion, etc. The runtime cloud lays out the execution and runtime environment for the functioning of virtual machines. It is a cloud operating system, where services run as per the virtualization technology that aids in multiple runtimes on the same server.

Storage:

Storage in the cloud is where the data resides of a cloud application. The data storage varies as per different cloud service provides. However, all of them have a common dedicated segment for cloud storage. Some of the examples of storage are solid-state drives, hard drives, Intel Optane DC Persistent storage, etc. The hard drives in the server bays form storage in the cloud backend architecture. And especially in a cloud computing system, the software partitions the drives as per the needs of the OS in the cloud to run myriad services. Numerous enterprises are willing to conduct their business operations through the cloud, primarily due to its significant storage capacity. Storage is an important component of the backend infrastructure when it comes to providing adaptable storage capacity for storing and managing a huge amount of data. All the data that is ready to operate on the cloud resides in storage. Cloud Computing is also reliable due to its multiple replicas of storage, i.e., if one storage doesn’t function, information automatically gets restored from the other one. Storage services are quick to access and retrieve information from the remote cloud storage servers. However, storage capacity varies according to the cloud service provider. Example : Hard disk, DC persistent storage, solid-state drives, etc.

Infrastructure:

The engine that steers all the cloud software services is called infrastructure. It includes CPU, Motherboard, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), network cards, accelerator cards, etc. The infrastructure models always depend on the workloads of the clients. The cloud infrastructure is a combination of hardware, software components, storage resources, etc. that are essential in carrying a Cloud Computing model. This majorly depends on the clients’ workload. Infrastructure is known to enable services at the host level, the application level, and the network level as it is an amalgamation of CPU, GPU, and accelerator cards.

Management:

The management software allocates specific resources to specific tasks and responsible for the flawless functioning of any cloud environment. In technical terms, management is the ‘middleware’ and it coordinates between the frontend and backend architecture in a cloud computing system. This software is used to manage and establish coordination among the backend components, along with enabling infrastructure configuration. It acts as a middleware in seamlessly partitioning the resources between the frontend and backend. It also enhances the performance of the code by implementing several plans and strategies. Example: Storage, runtime cloud, security issues, infrastructure, compliance auditing, etc.

Security:

Security is an integral and critical part of any cloud computing infrastructure. We create security infrastructure by keeping the debugging process in mind. In case of any issue, debugging should be easy. Regular storage backup is the first step to ensure security in a cloud computing system. And virtual firewalls are other crucial elements of the cloud security infrastructure. It is a built-in backend component that implements a security mechanism to ease debugging in case there are any issues. Its notable feature is security with a firewall to omit data loss and redundancy. All the backend applications are secured because of this particular mechanism.

Cloud-based Delivery

In layman’s language, cloud-based delivery is anything we are offering to the end-users from the cloud via some software, infrastructure, and platforms. We can deliver cloud computing services via the below-mentioned models:
 

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Offering cloud computing services via licensed software or subscription. In this delivery model, the end-users don’t need to buy or install any hardware at their locations.
     
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): This model offers a platform that allows the end-users to develop, run as well as manage applications on the cloud. In PaaS, a third-party service provider facilitates hardware & software tools.
     
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This model facilitates computer hardware like networking technology, servers, storage, and data center space as a service. It also includes the delivery of virtualization technology and operating system.

Various Components of the Cloud Architecture

Cloud Computing comprises several components that are loosely coupled. It conducts operations with the help of these components and subcomponents that make up the cloud architecture design. If you are curious about AWS then you can hop on to our blog on AWS Architecture. Let’s have a look at the various components that fall under the frontend and the backend of Cloud Computing architecture.

Cloud Service Network

We can offer cloud computing services via private and public networks. Besides, we can also use the end user’s network and offer the services via the intranet. Or else, we can combine both public and private networks to provide the services.

In a cloud computing service network, the end-user can own a datacenter or they can use the service provider’s datacenter to enable on-demand access of various resources like server, storage, network, application, and services.

Submitted by shiksha.dahiya on June 16, 2021

Shiksha is working as a Data Scientist at iVagus. She has expertise in Data Science and Machine Learning.

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