What is Cloud Computing? A Guide for Beginners

Even though cloud computing dates back to the 1950s, it only came to the limelight a decade ago. Since then, it has been continuously taking over the IT realm and is expected to attain a market value of $258 billion in the next five months. This is set to increase even more, as the adoption of cloud computing services is expected to reach 83% by the end of 2020. Convenience and innovation are the main driving factors behind technology’s sudden popularity and growing adoption.

Despite this growing popularity, the term “cloud” sounds like technical jargon to beginners. If you are among them, here is a guide explaining the basics of cloud computing.

What Exactly is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to the transmission of on-demand computing services over the internet. It combines technologies such as servers, databases, software, networking, and intelligence to make this possible. In other words, it makes it possible for users to store and access data and programs over the internet. Through it, businesses no longer have to own computing infrastructure or servers to store information as they can rent it from a cloud service provider.

The reason why it’s known as cloud computing is that the information stored on it is usually on a virtual space. This is also the reason why you can retrieve information on a cloud from any device and any location.

So if you’ve ever wondered how Netflix makes it possible for you to watch movies without you having to burn a CD, then the answer is cloud computing. It’s the technology behind an endless list of services that you find on the internet. This explains why it’s so popular and why it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, it’s set to become better.

Layers of the Cloud

The cloud (internet) is made up of three layers as shown below

The Infrastructure

This is the most essential layer of any cloud computing service. It acts as the foundation of the entire cloud as the other two layers are developed on it. Some of its basic components include the servers, operating systems, and storage. 

The Platform

The platform is the most complex of all three cloud computing layers. This is where all the magic happens as all software, applications, and identities are created here.

Software-as-a-Service (Applications)

Once the software or identity is ready, the cloud user can retrieve it from the cloud through the SaaS.

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