Introduction to Cloud Computing

cloud computing

What is Cloud?

Datacenter hardware and software that the vendors use to offer the computing resources and services . The term Cloud refers to a Network or Internet. In other words, we can say that Cloud is something, which is present at remote location. Cloud can provide services over network, i.e., on public networks or on private networks, i.e., WAN, LAN or VPN. Applications such as e-mail, web conferencing, customer relationship management (CRM),all run in cloud.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing refers to manipulating, configuring, and accessing the applications online. It offers online data storage, infrastructure and application. Cloud Computing provides us a means by which we can access the applications as utilities, over the Internet. It allows us to create, configure, and customize applications online.

The Journal of Object Technology gives quite a simple but complete definition of cloud computing: the ability to access files, data, programs, and third party services via the Internet from a Web browser hosted by a third party provider, including payment for computing resources and services accessed. According to Microsoft Azure, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence via the Internet. In addition, cloud computing is sometimes used as a synonym for on-demand computing, software as a service (SaaS), and grid computing, where “cloud” means a data center.

There are many definitions of cloud computing, but one thing is for certain: it is a service that includes different cloud deployment models, with all their pros and cons.

Risks and Drawbacks

Although Cloud Computing is a great innovation in the world of computing, there also exist downsides of cloud computing. Some of them are discussed below:

  1. SECURITY & PRIVACY : It is the biggest concern about cloud computing. Since data management and infrastructure management in cloud is provided by third-party, it is always a risk to handover the sensitive information to such providers. Although the cloud computing vendors ensure more secure password protected accounts, any sign of security breach would result in loss of clients and businesses.
  2. LOCK-IN :  It is very difficult for the customers to switch from one Cloud Service Provider (CSP) to another. It results in dependency on a particular CSP for service.
  3. ISOLATION FAILURE : This risk involves the failure of isolation mechanism that separates storage, memory, routing between the different tenants.
  4. MANAGEMENT INTERFACE COMPROMISE :  In case of public cloud provider, the customer management interfaces are accessible through the Internet.
  5. INSECURE OR INCOMPLETE DATA DELETION :  It is possible that the data requested for deletion may not get deleted. It happens either because extra copies of data are stored but are not available or disk destroyed also stores data from other tenants.