Why is the cloud so important?
What are the benefits?
Why does everybody want to get in the cloud?
Well, the first thing is, the cloud is cost effective.
Well, the reason is that you only pay for your usage.
If you don't use any resources, you just shut them down and you don't pay for them.
The cloud uses a consumption based model that allows you to pay only for what you use similar to electricity, water or previously, the phone. Do you pay only when you make calls.
There are no up front costs.
You can use any resources in the cloud without paying anything. At the beginning,
you don't need to make any large investments. In order to use those resources,
you can stop paying for resources you don't need.
Once again, If you don't need it, you can just shut it down and you can save on your bill.
This allows you to make a better cost prediction.
if you have a business that has seasonal spikes, you can predict that during certain months of the year you might have a higher bill, and in other months you might have a lower bill using the cloud.
The cloud is also scalable.
What that means is that it has practically unlimited resources that you can use
now. There are two ways to actually scale your resources.
One of them is called vertical scaling or scale up.
Take, for example, a server.
Let's say when you provision your server. Initially, you ask for the server to have only two CPU cores and four gigabytes of memory.
You can monitor the server and see that actually, more and more requests are coming. Your business is growing
and you can't use the current server to satisfy all the requests.
What you can do is you can add more CPUs and more memory to this server.
Let's say you go from two CPUs to four CPUs and from four gigabyte memory to eight gigabyte memory.
This is what is called scale up.
However new architectures. They prefer the so called horizontal scaling,
which means that instead of adding more CPUs and more memory to your existing server, you add a brand new server that has the same capacity as the previous one.
You load balance the requests between those two servers.
This is called horizontal scaling or also scale out.
The scaling can be done manually or automatically.
For example, if you have a person who constantly sits and monitors the capacity that your servers have, and if there is a need for more capacity, they can just go in and manually separate the server.
If you have a program or a script that does that, you can automatically scale your servers.
The cloud is also elastic.
What does elastic mean here?
Elastic means that you can increase and decrease the use of your resources based on the demand.
The example that I gave previously where you have seasonal spikes of your businesses.
That's what elasticity means.
You can add more resources when you need them. Let's say during your high season
and then remove those resources when you don't need them during the low season and then you don't have to pay for them.
This means that the cloud can accommodate your unexpected spikes.
If you have automatic scaling implemented in your cloud work walls, you can actually sleep quite well and not worry about all that. For example, during the night, more people are coming to your website because of some unexpected event and once again. You can reduce the consumption during low use again.
Automatic scaling allows you to also remove resources. When you don't need them.
The cloud is up to date.
What that means is that you can leverage the latest hardware.
The cloud vendors are taking care to actually procure this hardware. The only thing you need to do is go and purchase it from the self service that the cloud vendors provide.
You don't need to have a very large investment in order to buy the latest GPU S or the latest A six processors. In order to use them,
you can just rent them from the cloud.
New hardware is added as soon as it becomes available.
The same is also true for the latest software.
The cloud vendors are actually giving more and more options for you to use any software up to the latest versions.
You don't need to pay licensing fees for procuring the software or wait until it comes out and gets delivered over email.
Of course, this lowers the I team maintenance costs. You don't need to actually have personnel provisioning any of the hardware or installing the software and so on. And so forth.
The cloud is also reliable. The cloud vendors. They have redundant data centers around the world. They use those to actually replicate your data and make it secure.
If one of the data center fails, while you can rely on the fact that your data is safe in another one,
this is called redundant or fault tolerant services.
What that means is that each one of the services the cloud vendor provides is available in multiple copies.
Your requests can go to one or the other. Of those copies.
You can rely on the fact that each one of those will always be up and running to serve your requests.
Of course, the cloud vendors, they take care of data backups and the replications.
As I said, they used those redundant data centers to replicate the data and make sure that it's never lost.
They also take care of disaster recovery.
They invest in redundant backup supplies. UPS is redundant power generators and so on in order to make sure that the data is kept safe.
Another benefit of the cloud is that the cloud is global. Each cloud vendor has
once again multiple data centers around the world,
If you have a global business, you can rest easy knowing that there will be a data center close to your customer in Europe or Asia or Australia, et cetera if need be.
This is also important if you need to meet some data resiliency and compliance laws.
certain countries in the world they require that the data of their citizens is kept within the region or the country itself.
If you need to do that, you can use the cloud data centers of the cloud Vendor, which are in the particular country, and save the data there.
The cloud is also secure despite what many people think.
What that means is that the cloud vendors they invest in physical security,
their data centers are very well protected. They have video surveillance, security personnel, high walls that don't allow external people to get in.
They also have well established policies and controls that they have built, using their extensive experience that they have building all these data centers.
Of course, they have very experienced personnel that actually take care of the data centers.
One important thing to remember is that this responsibility is actually shared between the cloud vendor and yourself.
Just because a cloud vendor provides a secure data center doesn't mean that your application is totally secure.
You are still responsible for securing your application, making sure that unauthorized people or users aren't able to access it.
This is called the shared security model.
Now, how did the cloud vendors achieve this?
They're able to achieve this thanks to the so called economies of scale,
when they have so many data centers and so many servers and so much hardware, they can achieve a certain efficiency of managing them because it's a repeated task that they have automated.
They can do it much faster than a
small data center provider.
They can also provide a lower cost per unit because they can actually get discounts for buying hardware or in bulk or software in bulk or
any utilities in bulk.
They can actually get lower tax and utility bills because they can negotiate with the local authorities or the government tax authorities in order to actually get lower taxes and by utilities in bulk.
This can be true for electricity for water if they're using water for cooling for high speed networks, and so on