Why Cloud Computing
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
This blog post will be a series on Cloud Computing within the IT industry.
Changing from Datacenter Technology to Cloud Computing
Traditional data center technology refers to physical equipment such as switches/routers/storage and computing hardware that reside on customers' premises e.g. on-premise datacenter technology. Maintenance for all associated equipment was maintained by on-premise IT staff. Changes, upgrades, and daily maintenance within the data center were challenging, sometimes creating bottlenecks due to organization approval processes or network architecture complexity. Within the evolution of data center technology, the IT industry has seen the migration from the Campus Hierarchy (e.g. Core/Distribution/Access) where traffic flow was more linear like Northbound / Southbound traffic. Datacenter solutions were the next eventual migration path which includes Virtual Port-Channel (vPC), Layer 3 Fabric, and introduction to modular component pieces for Compute and Storage. Traffic flow now moves from North/South to more East/West communication, which provides for design expansion among resources within the data center. One significant challenge within the current datacenter architecture is the ability to configure and execute tasks at a faster rate of change. The normal approach for task execution within the current datacenter architecture is a waterfall approach. A waterfall approach is a sequential design process that includes the following:
This process takes months for approvals and execution. Today's IT business strategy takes on an agile approach. The agile approach shrinks the waterfall approach into faster rounds, therefore, creating continuous development/continuous testing. Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. In today's market companies are embracing the agile approach for project completions within the data center architecture.
Introduction of Cloud Computing
In 2008 the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defined and categorized Cloud Computing. They have identified five (5) characteristics of cloud computing. They are the following:
* On-demand self-service
* Rapid elasticity
* Resource pooling
* Measured service
* Broad network access
Cloud computing is a subscription-based model, which means there are no purchasing, labor, or maintenance costs. Only monthly subscription fees for the services you’re currently using are incurred. If you no longer have the need to use a service, you can simply stop paying for it. Cloud services include software, platforms, infrastructure, and other IT needs.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were forced to have a digital solution developed and operational in order to remain financially stable during uncertain times. Cloud-based solutions offer businesses in today's market the ability to engage in digital solutions and offerings. Businesses had to consider some form of digital transformation due to traditional ways of operating were slowly becoming obsolete and costly.
A good example of such services is PaaS (Platform as a Service). Businesses can leverage cloud computing so that they can get their hands on a reliable platform they can use to develop in-house solutions more effectively. Moreover, you can also opt for reliable DevOps services to ensure seamless integration and software delivery.
The platform itself is managed by service providers while your business manages the apps that are developed through it. This service is popular among developers and they prefer to have a stable platform they can work on without having to manage it themselves.
PaaS also includes high customization options that developers can leverage, as well as automation that can be implemented when needed while companies enjoy a cost-effective way to develop in-house solutions.
My next blog post topics within the series will include the different Cloud Service Models (e.g. Infrastructure, Platform and Software As a Service) and providers such as AWS, Google, and Microsoft. I'll also cover key virtualization and security topics as it relates to Cloud Computing. I hope this blog post was helpful and provides you a great overview of Cloud Computing. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment. I am always looking for new helpful content, so if you have any ideas for articles or videos, please reach out to me using the comment section.