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What Is a Cloud Computing? - How Does Cloud Computing Work?

You've probably heard of "cloud" technology countless times, But you only have a general idea of what it means.

In this article, we'll cover:

  • What is a Cloud Computing?

  • How does cloud computing work?

  • What are the organizations that use cloud computing?

  • Types of cloud computing

  • Top Ten Cloud Computing Companies

  • Advantages of cloud computing

  • Disadvantages of cloud computing

  • Common uses of cloud computing

  • Conclusion

What is a Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing means providing on-demand IT resources over the Internet with cost-per-use pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access and benefit from technology services such as compute capabilities, storage, and databases, in a manner that depends on your needs, through a cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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How does cloud computing work?

The primary technology on which the cloud operates is virtualization. Virtualization allows a computer to create a virtual digital device that doesn't exist but behaves like a real device. This technology enables you to install more than one computer on one device. All these virtual computers run at the same time, but even though they share the same processor and hard disk, they can't communicate with each other. That is, files on one virtual machine cannot be accessed through another virtual machine. By using virtualization technology, we can consider that one server has become several servers, allowing companies that provide cloud computing services to deal with a larger number of users. Usually, these companies also make backup copies of your files and place them on more than one device in different regions, in case one of the devices fails.

What are the organizations that use cloud computing?

Organizations of all types, sizes and industries use cloud services for a variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, desktop virtualization, software development, and testing, big data analytics, and third-party web applications. clients. For example, healthcare companies are using cloud services to develop treatments that are more tailored to patient's personal needs. Financial service providers use cloud services to enable real-time detection and prevention of fraud. Video game makers use cloud services to bring online games to millions of gamers around the world.

Types of cloud computing

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SaaS: Software as a service

It means that you use a specific application stored in the cloud, for example, Photoshop located in a data center and connect to it via the Internet and modify the images and then get the output, and all this while you are on the cloud and your device is only the communication tool. Here, the user cannot control the operating system in the cloud, the hardware, or the network connection. YouTube can be considered in this category, as the on-site video browser is the cloud-based application with which you can access existing videos, but you cannot change anything on the site.


PaaS: Platform as a service

It means that you use the cloud as a platform to put several applications on it and you can work on all of them. You can also put a complete operating system and there is integration between the applications. For example, you design something in Photoshop, and then it is inserted into another application, so it moves and adds effects, so we get a video clip with sound. Like, google apps which is a platform that allows you to add apps at will.


IaaS: Infrastructure as a service

Here, the cloud is presented to it as an infrastructure limited to a certain processing capacity, memory size, storage space, and a certain number of users, and you are free to use it in the way that suits you. For example, you can install several operating systems, install several applications on each system, and allow a certain number of users to enter each operating system to use its applications without allowing them to be confused. Amazon is an example of a provider of this type of cloud service.

Top Ten Cloud Computing Companies

In this article, we will learn about the ten largest companies in this field, and provide an overview of each company and the reason for its distinction. Most companies provide their services in a paid manner, but some offer free applications or contribute to that.

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1- Amazon, of course

There is no doubt that Amazon is the most important technology company in the field of cloud, and what is unique about this company is that it maintains its spirit of innovation, as it always works as a startup in the market. And always looking forward to a step forward. It is strange to say that a company founded to sell books is today one of the biggest companies that are changing the technology industry in general.

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2- Rackspace leads a massive coalition of free cloud apps

Rackspace is a cloud provider that draws its power from the open-source cloud creation application OpenStack. This cloud computing application is an Android mobile platform.

Rackspace didn't want to pay other companies like VMware to get apps they couldn't control. So I teamed up with NASA after they invented some really good cloud apps. Today more than 160 destination companies are collaborating on OpenStack programming to keep it free.

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3- Microsoft arrived late

Microsoft only recently became aware of the idea that cloud computing has become a necessary part that large companies and later individuals are turning to because of its important advantages. It launched Azure, a cloud platform where developers can program the same applications that run on Windows operating systems, to run in the cloud. The azure platform offers multimedia and video streaming services at competitive prices. And there have been rumors recently that Azure will support Linux as well, and this, if true, will ignite stronger competition with Amazon and the rest of the mentioned companies. Microsoft owns its cloud applications such as Office 360 ​​and SkyDrive for cloud storage.

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4- Google was born in the clouds

Google is working on several levels in the field of cloud computing, for example, the Google App Engine allows developers to build their applications, whether in Java or Python. Google is offering this engine to run Microsoft Office on the cloud for a fee, and Google Cloud Storage services have become a preferred alternative for companies to Amazon S3 for a long time, and now there is Google Drive that will compete with many cloud storage services as well. Google offers CloudPrint for cloud printing between devices that are not directly connected to a network. And let's not forget the ChromeOS operating system that Google is working on, which is expected to be entirely cloud-based rather than running applications from the hard drive.

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5 - Red Hat offers its cloud for free

Red Hat's OpenShift cloud is a name that is widely known because Amazon has been using it in their projects, and this cloud makes it easy for Linux fans to launch their applications through Amazon. Red Hat is offering its software for free to show off its technology capabilities that can rival VMware.

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6- Citrix Systems Beats VMware With Some Success

Citrix is ​​another company that builds applications for the cloud, and it competes strongly with major companies such as VMware and others. It bought the startup Cloud.com and made a profit of more than $200 million, which pushed it to enter the field of open source cloud applications that can be used to build the cloud. It then presented its open-source application, CloudStack, to the Apache organization, which runs several popular open-source projects.

Now companies are choosing to either buy VMware's vCloud or get CloudStack for free. But Citrix has its own paid apps in the cloud, and the more the free app spreads, the more companies get paid for the commercial app, strengthening its competition with VMware.

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7- Salesforce.com for more than ten years has been associated with the cloud

Salesforce.com not only showed the world that software can be sold as services, but it was also one of the most popular clouds that could run home applications.

Salesforce.com bought Heroku for $212 million and developed it so that through its services, you can easily display programmer applications in the cloud.

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8- Linode is a favorite among Linux users

There are several ways to create clouds, and Linux is characterized by building clouds with fixed costs and not depending on usage as is the case in other companies, so Linux users are preferred. The Linode Cloud is the preferred alternative for anyone who is abandoning Amazon services.

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9- VMware sells apps to companies that use them to build their cloud.

VMware does not provide cloud services itself, it makes software like a cloud which is used to create clouds. With these applications, each company can build its cloud, allowing them to easily transfer work pressure between data stations and the cloud.

To date, there are over 100 private clouds built using the cloud, and Verizon is one of those companies. And the more clouds are built, the more companies have to move their applications between the various data stations they own using VMware Services and several different clouds.

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10 - Verizon owns many servers

Last year, the company acquired Terremark, a startup in the field of cloud computing, in a deal amounting to $1.8 billion, making Verizon one of the best telecom companies that provide cloud computing services, and Verizon controls the computing infrastructure and network connections between the customer and the cloud.

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Advantages of cloud computing

speed

Cloud services give you easy access to a wide range of technologies, so you can accelerate the pace of innovation and develop anything imaginable. Quickly exploit resources whenever you need them – from infrastructure services such as computing, storage, and databases, to the Internet of Things, machine learning, data warehouses and analytics, and more.

Deploy technical services in minutes, and switch from conception to implementation on huge numbers of things more quickly than ever before. This gives you the freedom to experiment and test new ideas to provide a different experience for customers and bring change to your business.


Flexibility

When you use cloud computing, you don't need to make an excessive initial outlay of resources to deal with peak levels of business activity in the future. Instead, you'll save as many resources as you need. You can instantly scale or shrink those resources to match your growing or shrinking production capacity as your business needs to change.


Cost savings

Cloud services allow you to replace fixed expenses (such as data centers and physical servers) with variable expenses and only pay for IT as you use it. In addition, the variable expenses are much lower compared to what you would have paid on your own due to the savings opportunities associated with alignment with needs.


Publish globally in minutes

When you rely on cloud services, you can expand your business to new geographies and publish globally in minutes. For example, AWS has infrastructure all over the world, so you can deploy your application to many physical locations with just a few clicks. Making applications closer to end users reduces response lag and improves the experience for end users.

Disadvantages of cloud computing

Although cloud computing is a positive thing, at the end of the day it is a cloud, and it rains sometimes. Some problems you may encounter:

1) Weak or interrupted internet:

If all your important files related to your work are on the cloud, then any internet outage makes you unable to work. You can avoid this problem in some cases by leaving backup copies of important files on your device.

2) Closing the company responsible for the cloud:

It is worth mentioning here that using cloud services often costs money. Some may resort only to dealing with small and modern companies in this field because their prices are competitive. But many of these companies are closing, and the cloud goes with it. So, one click tip for you is not to skimp on this field and choose a reputable company to secure your files.

Common uses of cloud computing

While cloud computing was modern in the past years, the proliferation of online services, web applications, broadband, massive commercial data centers, and other technologies, has made cloud computing an essential part of today's technology landscape. Here are some of the most common applications of cloud computing today.

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Data storage: It is common today to rely on cloud storage for data storage, backup support, and recovery solutions. Not only is the data supported; But the cloud is usually an extension of local storage as well.


Software on demand: Many companies and individuals now rent software using SAS rather than buying it outright; Such as Google Docs and Microsoft 365.
Streaming video and audio: Services from Spotify to Netflix are all examples of services that run from the cloud. They have essentially replaced the local media; Which makes the cloud an integral part of most people's daily lives.


Business data analytics: Many companies now store critical business data in the cloud. Then they use cloud services to analyze that data for business intelligence solutions.



Conclusion

Although there are some drawbacks to cloud computing technology, the use of the digital cloud, like it or not, is the future of technology. Traditional computing is showing its weakness day by day, and all companies, small or large, are moving towards dealing with cloud computing, with its different models. If you own a company or even work with a small team, do not miss the opportunity to benefit from this technology, even in a small way.

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