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Impact of Cloud Computing - A Technology that Defines the Future

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By: Sudipta Banerjee

October 7, 2020

History of Cloud Computing

Over the past decade, cloud computing has been one of the mainframe technologies contributing to automation and data storage. The sudden hype about this technology came into existence when Amazon launched its first computing service AWS-Elastic Compute Cloud, in late 2006. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the sole proprietor of cloud, was extremely popularized among the emerging technologies. By the time it started contributing to the major portion of data storage, other Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) like Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) started their real-scale production in this technology.

The concept of cloud computing was developed in the 1950s when J.C.R Licklider conceptualized the primitive version of the Internet and led to the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) development. ARPANET was the first and only network in 1960 responsible for digital media to be transferred from one computer to another without the systems being in the same physical location. The evolution of Cloud Computing came through five different technologies that are as follows:

  • Distributed Systems: This system comprises different systems to depict a single entity and exchange resources efficiently without any latency. The drawback of this system was that all the different computers had to be in a single geographical location to interact with each other, which led to a major failure.

  • Mainframe Technology: This technology came into existence in 1951 as a very powerful and reliable system. It was mainly used for handling massive input-output operations and large processing capabilities. The main reason for the lagging of this technology was that it was very expensive.

  • Cluster Computing: In the 1980s, the concept of cluster computing was implemented, and as a result, the problem of the cost was solved, but the difficulty of geographical locations still pertained. It could also perform extremely large computations at the same bandwidth adding few other nodes to it.

  • Grid Computing: In the 1990s, the technology was implemented, and different systems were placed at different geographical locations that solved the problem of its predecessors. A new problem arose: the distance between the nodes, which led to the low availability of bandwidth and connectivity issues. Cloud computing is often known as the “successor of grid computing.”

  • Utility Computing: It is a computing model that provides storage, infrastructure provisioning, in addition to various service provisioning computing.


What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is an on-demand technology that delivers resources over the internet, and it is based on a “pay as you go pricing model. These resources include tools and applications like data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software. The large physical data centers located at various geographical locations were replaced with a resilient, scalable, and convenient way of exchanging resources within seconds. This technology's main motive is to replace physical servers with online servers and reduce the workload of managing a server. Traditionally, on-premise resources were used where the underlying cost of managing the data was exceptionally high, and the technology requirements were complicated.

Virtualization was introduced to computing many years earlier, and it refers to creating a virtual layer over the hardware to run multiple instances simultaneously. It is one of the key technologies behind the emergence of cloud computing. AWS, GCP, and other CSPrs are still working on virtualiZation to improve their correspondence with their services and improve the correlations between them.

Web 2.0 is a popular interactive interface via which the CSPs interact with their clients. The utility of having dynamic web pages and interactive technology is only possible because of Web 2.0. Common examples of Web 2.0 are Google Maps, Facebook, and Twitter.

Service orientation acts as a reference model for cloud computing, and due to this, it supports low cost and flexible and interactive applications. Quality of Service (QoS) and Service Level Agreements (SLA) were introduced to solve the problems that grid computing faced in its times.


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Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing brings a lot of benefits and perks that categorize it as one of the biggest evolutions of the century. The important benefits of using cloud computing are as follows:

  • Agility: This technology offers us access to broad categories of technologies at very little time, and it can innovate faster than any other existing system. A user has the option to deploy a database or a service in a matter of seconds, and the deployment process is faster than ever before.
  • Elasticity: With cloud computing, the problem of overloading or deficiency of services is solved because the client does not have to predict the exact amount of storage needed for the deployment model. The pricing is a “pay as you go” pricing model, and it charges only the amount that has been used for the deployment.
  • Cost: Due to the various pricing models of the services, the consumer's amount reduces. Cloud computing also offers discounts for bulk services convenient for large-scale production companies who are continuously putting efforts to cut costs. The “pay as you go” pricing model is extremely convenient. A user does not have to worry about over-using or under-using a service because the amount will only be charged for the exact amount of time the resources or services were used.
  • Go Global in Minutes: Cloud computing allows a user to focus on small scale productions made locally and expand business globally because the agile systems resolve the problem of geographical locations, and resources can be exchanged globally in the same amount of time. Putting applications in close proximity to end-users reduces latency and improves their experience of using a service.

Importance of Cloud Computing

The need for cloud computing was felt due to multiple failures and loss of data of various small and large scale businesses that led to havoc in the IT world. Traditionally, on-premise resources were used to store or exchange data where the underlying cost of managing the data was exceptionally high. The on-premise data warehouses were indebted to the number of IT personnel working, and due to less manpower, the workload is often not evenly distributed among them. This led to the failure of many servers and the complete loss of data from the systems.

The important functionalities that are served by cloud computing are discussed in detail:

  • Management: Cloud computing offers an automated solution to manual management of resources convenient for the IT personnel who are overburdened with workloads. The services categorized under various CSPs, such as AWS and GCP, ensure that none of the servers undergo a blackout of resources, and warnings are generated if there is an issue with the underlying infrastructure.

  • Security: Security has been one of the primary concerns of the 21st century as extensive cyber-attacks have become a trivial issue. Due to this, the industries have to deal with major leaks of confidentiality. It leads to dissent among the people working that ultimately affects production.

  • Focus on the main business: Quite often, it is seen that the core competencies of business get compromised due to the useless management of underlying infrastructure that affects the scaled industries. Due to such havoc, the focus shifts from the main business and results from the downfall of major companies.

  • Data Backups and Recovery: Cloud offers a reliable and fast data storage option accessible from nearly anywhere in the world. This is ideal for remote workers who usually don’t have access to physical systems. The portability issue gets resolved at a minimal cost. Data recovery is also very easily possible with all the services offered in addition to the unlimited data storage option. This helps in disaster recovery and safe backups of all the resources in a single location.

  • Strategic Edge: Cloud computing often helps industries to gain a niche in their production. All the software applications that cloud computing facilitates are automatically updated to its latest versions to prevent any discrepancies with the framework. Businessmen striving to run their production using the cloud have a strategic edge over their competitors due to no-management and no-loss data system.

Why is Cloud Computing the future?

Considering the numerous benefits that Cloud Computing offers to organizations, it is fair to say that every company in the future will adapt to this technology, and it will be the new normal. Besides featuring complete data storage, managing cyber-security problems, and coping with business problems, this technology can integrate artificial intelligence, distributed computing, and human-computer interaction via the different services it offers. The cost of production is significantly reduced, and the tension of managing underlying resources is almost eliminated. The services are offered at low cost, and it can be operated by anyone at any point in time courtesy of the global offerings of the cloud.

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