Cloud computing services refer to a type of web-based computing services that offer collective computer processing data and resources to processors and other devices on request. Cloud computing makes use of services to provide specific and explicit functionalities all over the web. Cloud computing services comprise a couple of internet-linked servers that are either situated together or dispersed over some sites, which offer data and applications for the users (Armbrust et al. 50). The servers can be virtualized processors that are dynamically set up and offered as solitary or more unified computing resources, which is based on a service provision agreement that is obtained through consultations amid the service provider and the consumer or client.
Historically, telecommunication organizations essentially offered point-to-point data circuits to their clients. However, in the early 1990s, the companies started including virtual private network services to their users, which allowed the telecom organizations to offer the same quality of service at a reduced cost. It was not until the late 1990s that the term ‘cloud’ was used to describe the computing space amid the server and the end user. Professor Ramnath Chellapa of the University of California offered the first definition of cloud computing as a computing paradigm that will be characterized by the confines of computing being dependent on the economic rationale as opposed to technical boundaries alone. Indeed, this has become the basis of what is referred today when it comes to the discussions of the concept cloud computing services. In fact, the Cloud computing services emerged as a result of the adoption new technological advancements. The main objective of this internet engagement is to provide a platform where internet users take advantage of the existing technologies, without necessarily having deep knowledge and expertise in IT.
Cloud computing services did not exist in the last twenty-five years ago, thanks to technological advancements and the widespread adoption. As such, there are some of the reasons as to why this vocational path has developed in the short space of a generation. First, the obtainability of high-capacity networks and storage devices, as well as low-cost computers coupled with the increased adoption of hardware virtualization, service-oriented construction, and autonomous utility of computing devices, has brought about the rapid development of cloud computing services. In addition, it allows companies to get their applications running with speed and entails enhanced manageability and minimal maintenance. In addition, the application of virtual machines (VM) in the computing infrastructure has also gone a long way in explaining why this career path has developed rapidly in the recent past.
Why Cloud Computing Services are Rising Now
The Cloud Computing services career has been on the rise, especially during the past decade, just as the trend within e-commerce. The concept and technological expertise on the use and application of virtual machines aimed at enhancing the utilization of the computing infrastructure has greatly contributed to the adoption of cloud computing services. In fact, various corporations have acknowledged that cloud-computing services reduce up-front and operational costs, which is a factor that increases the proceeds of organizations. Whether a person is operating a sole proprietorship business, medium business of a large corporation, cloud-computing services will supplement the current resources in the organization and ensure reliability of the company’s internal enterprise IT department (Rittinghouse and Ransome 7).
Even when running a small business on a limited budget, the operational procedures require similar IT resources just as any other company to ensure that the undertakings and operations run smoothly. Individuals running small business have recently come to understand that adopting cloud computing services will enable the enterprise to be cost effective, meet its organizational growth requisites, and at the same time offer, a flexible monthly budget referred to as utility pricing. Therefore, these not only allow companies to pay for the utilized resources, but it also lets entrepreneurs to gauge the used resources with the company’s growth (Armbrust et al. 52). The realization that adopting a good cloud computing service provider will enable the small business to focus on the business itself as opposed to IT upkeep and maintenance has been one of the reasons why cloud computing services has been on the rise in the recent past.
Just like small businesses, medium size businesses require an IT solution that will meet the needs of the business. Despite the fact that most medium-sized businesses suffer from financial constraints in their attempts to meet their budgets, the need to ensure that employees have access to the latest technological devices and software systems is critical. Medium size businesses have realized that finding a reliable cloud computing provider will not only help in ensuring that employees get access to the latest technology applications, but it will also assist in ensuring that the company continues to mature to the next level. Similarly, operating large corporations requires technology professionals to keep all IT systems connected and develop tactical projects that will work towards taking the business to the next level. Many are times when the IT departments are stretched in their attempts to meet these two main responsibilities. Through partnering with a cloud computing services provider that can meet the technological objectives of their distinct companies, big corporates have come to realize that it creates a work environment that meets the company’s needs, for today and into the future, which also explains why cloud computing services-provider jobs have been on the rise recently. Certainly, the widespread accessibility of computer power and network connections has been key drivers of cloud computing services career.
Another essential facet that has jump-started the development and growth of cloud computing services is the increase in the number of large corporations that are promoting it in the past few years. As a matter of fact, the cloud computing services career could still be in its infant phase had the world leading players in the IT realm, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, not taken their time to promote the cloud computing trend and the solutions they provide to corporations. In the near future, these IT players might be motivated by the outstanding venture that cloud computing services companies such as Salesforce.com has to offer.
The “economies of scale” is another major aspect that has expanded the careers of cloud computing services. In various corporations that have embraced the cloud computing services, the relative value of this adoption has increased its capacity and usage. Definitely, the concept of economies of scale has given room for a more efficient usage of the server resource, as opposed to the traditional outsourcing that was based on the on-premise solutions. Therefore, the initiative has brought about several alternatives of colocation service where the various departments within an organization share the same computing server resources. Moreover, companies that have adopted cloud computing services are enjoying the economies of skill, where the value increases as the skills of the provider increases. In most cases, companies allow the third party companies to manage the computing resources with their competencies, which is a fact that permits the organizations to focus on their core competencies. Consequently, when the economies of scale and the economies of skill increase, which are trends that have characterized various corporations of our contemporary times, cloud computing services arise as the most suitable solution for the IT operations.
Why Cloud Computing Services Existed Recently
Recent advancement in information and technology has formed the basis of answering the question as to why cloud-computing career did not exist until recently. In fact, the phenomenal development of cloud computing is credited to five main occurrences. They include the ambiguous accessibility and availability of increased capacity networks, the widespread utility in computing, availability of low-cost computers as well as storage devices, and the increased usage of computer-generated hardware, which are things that have been enabled by recent developments in the IT field. As earlier mentioned, the promotion of cloud computing by widely recognized companies has also played a key role in the widespread of the services. The advancements made by Amazon when they restructured their data centers have also played a significant role in developing cloud-computing services (Amazon.com1). Before this incredible development, most processor networks were using about 10 percent of their capacities at any given time. The realization that the new cloud infrastructure augmented efficiency triggered Amazon to develop new software that could provide cloud computing to clients across distance and space. In fact, it is after the realization that saw the Amazon launch the utility computing service that is referred as an Amazon Web Service (AWS) (Amazon.com 1).
How Cloud Computing Services Work
Cloud computing services offer a simple way of accessing databases, storages and servers, and a wide range of application services over the web. A cloud service board or platform owns the web-connected hardware required for the application amenities, while individuals’ provision and use whatever they need in the internet. An example of such a platform is the Amazon Web Service. For an IT environment to be referred as a cloud, it has to contain five distinct characteristics. On-demand self-facilities is the first characteristic, which entails the expectations of cloud computing clients for on-demand services and instant entree to resources (Chang et al. 83). Hence, this characteristic enables cloud clients to request, pay, customize, and make use of the services virtually without any human interaction.
The second characteristic is known as the broad network admittance, which indicates that for a provision to be referred as a cloud service, it has to be accessible across distance and space. In other words, it should be made widely accessible and should support a wide range of protocols, interfaces, and devices. Resource pooling characteristic indicates that cloud clients are applying a multi-tenant concept that comprises of a combination of computing resources. Therefore, cloud-computing services contain various virtual and physical resources that are assigned to meet the demands of their clients. The resources contain storage, memory, processing, and a network bandwidth.
Another essential characteristic of cloud environment is referred to as rapid elasticity, which enables the cloud to be at par with the IT resources. Important to note is that this balance depends on the runtime prerequisites or according to the agreement between the cloud service provider and the customer. Elasticity enables cloud computing service providers to alter various resources to fit the demand and needs of the customers. The final cloud trait is known as measured service, which represents the aptitude of the cloud computing service provider to measure the quantity of the IT resource usage that have been consumed by different customers. The serviced measurement characteristic enables the cloud computing service provider to charge their clients only for the resources used or according to the duration of time, they have been used for.
In addition to the five essential characteristics of cloud environments, resiliency has been identified as another important feature of cloud computing services. It refers to a kind of failover that allocate laid off implementations of IT resources throughout physical locations. In this digital era, IT resources have been constructed in a way that when one process becomes undersupplied, the processing procedures are automatically transmitted to another redundant operation. As such, within the cloud computing environments, resilience is linked to the laid off IT resources either within the same cloud or across various clouds.
Models of Delivering Cloud Computing Services
The cloud computing services involve the applications conveyed as services in the web and the system software and hardware located in the data centers that make the services available. Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are three delivery models that are universally accepted. Additionally, server computing and Mobile ‘backend’ as a service (MBaas) are also gaining familiarity in the recent past (Rittinghouse and Ransome 29).
Infrastructure as a Service
Indeed, this delivery model offers virtualized cloud computing services on demand. In other words, it refers to modes of online services that abstract the service users from the elements and details of substructure such as the location, physical computing properties, backup, data partitioning, and scaling as well as security to name but a few. A hypervisor hardware, software, or firmware, also known as a virtual machine monitor operates the computer-generated device as a guest. Examples of hypervisors include Oracle VM, Xen, Oracle VirtualBox, and KVM as well as VMware ESXi/ ESX. Groups of hypervisors located within a cloud functioning system have the ability to support large quantities of virtual machines and can measure services up and down as per the demands of cloud computing services customers. In this delivery model, Linux ampoules operate in isolated panels of a solitary Linux kernel operating unswervingly on the physical hardware (Chang et al. 198). Linux control groups abbreviated as cgroups, and namespaces are the functional Linux kernel information technologies that are applied in isolating, securing, and controlling Linux containers. Containerization of these apparatus provides high performance as compared with virtualization, owing to the fact that a hypervisor overhead does not exist. Moreover, a combination of vessel capacity auto-scales with computing load reduces the issue of over-provisioning while enabling utility-based billing.
In addition, this infrastructure makes these resources available to the cloud-computing customers as per their demand. The services are derived from the gigantic groups of equipment that are fitted in the respective data centers. It is imperative to note that cloud computing service clients are not usually located within the same location. Therefore, this model of delivery is configured in a way that it reaches a wide range of customers between distance and space via the web or the various virtual cloud carriers. In essence, cloud-computing clients install provided controlling system images along with their application software on the cloud environment. The IaaS delivery model hence covers the operating systems as well as the application software while managing them.
Software as a Service Delivery Model
The model of delivering cloud computing services is applied for offering applications that are hosted as a service. Rittinghouse and Ransome indicate that this delivery model has become popular over the past decade since it enables enterprise clients to make use of various commerce software applications without necessarily having licenses and without experiencing the complexities of installation and management, which helps in lowering the operational costs (79). In this model, the cloud computing service users get admittance to databases and application software while the cloud providers control the platforms and infrastructure that operate the applications. As such, the model is also referred to as the on-demand/request software that is priced according to daily usage or using a subscription charge. Therefore, it indicates that the cloud providers install and control the application software in the cloud realm and the cloud computing service users get access to the resources and services as well as software from the cloud clients.
Owing to the reason that cloud users do not control the cloud computing services infrastructure and the display area where the application operates, there is no need for the cloud computing services users to install and operate the application in their own computing devices, thus simplifying their devices’ support and maintenance. The difference between the SaaS delivery model and other delivery services is that it can scale, which is attained through cloning of various errands onto several virtual mechanisms during the run-time with the intentions of meeting the work alteration demands (Rittinghouse and Ransome 213). In fact, this model has a monthly flat rate fee for individuals who have subscribed.
Platform as a Service Delivery Model
As the name suggests, the model offers a platform for constructing and operating internet-based applications. The platform offers the entire services as well as tools needed in the support of the entire building, delivering and testing of internet applications and services without necessarily installing additional software. The service provider develops standards and toolkit for growth and development, distribution channels, and means of payment. The platform works through cloud service providers delivering a computing platform that includes an operating system, databases, programming language implementation-milieu, and a web server. In this case, the application developers advance and operate their software solutions on this platform without experiencing the price and the intricacies involved in buying and managing the computing hardware and software stratum (Kepes1). Although customers of PaaS do not have the responsibility of managing and operating the basic cloud computing infrastructure such as the network, operating systems or storage to name a few, they have a responsibility to manage over the installed applications and perhaps configuration sites for the application-hosting milieu.
Deployment Models of Cloud Computing Services
Private Cloud Model
In this model, the deployment infrastructure is owned and operated for an organization. It may be operated internally, externally or even by a third party (Armbrust et al. 55). Organizations with the intentions of adopting this model of deployment ought to reconsider and reevaluate decisions concerning the current resources. When deployed in the right manner, it can go a long way into improving the business. However, every step of engagement raises new security issues. Most organizations use this deployment model as it is considered secure as compared to public deployment model.
Public Deployment Model
In public cloud, the deployment infrastructure is owned by a corporate offering cloud computing services. It differs from private in that the cloud computing services are made available for the public or large industrial factions. Cloud services are offered in the pay-after-receiving model, which implies that customers are charged for only the time consumed as well as the resources that have been used (Chang et al. 291).
Community Deployment Model
A mutual infrastructure characterizes the model amid several corporations from a single community with similar concerns; for instance, jurisdiction, security, and compliance. In fact, the model may be managed internally, externally, or by use of a third party.
In fact, this model pools together services for private and public as well as community cloud computing services. Although the deployment models retain their distinct qualities, they operate as a joint unit. The hybrid cloud typically depends on the public cloud deployment resources when there is need to meet high demand operations. The private cloud is utilized when meeting the normal operation procedures of the organization.
A cloud computing service is a career path that did not exist twenty-five years ago. It is a phenomenon that is accredited to low-cost processors and storage apparatuses, the widespread of Virtual Machines, the pervasive accessibility, and availability of increased capacity networks, and the service driven construction and infrastructure, thanks to recent technological advancements. It is a model of computing that is composed of five fundamental characteristics, four models of deployment, and three universally accepted service models. Contemporary developments in information and technology has formed the basis of answering the question as to why cloud computing career did not exist until the late 2000s when organizations realized the numerous advantages that this service offers in their growth and development. These benefits include scalability, no requirement of internal IT resources, affordable managed hosting, and accessibility to computing devices and web connection regardless of time and location.
Although this new career has numerous benefits, there are various downsides and weaknesses associated with its adoption. The first drawback of cloud computing services is that it assumes that their clients have reliable sources of internet connection. In other words, the performance of cloud computing services and applications depends on both the network performance of the provider and the clients’ side. Should any side experience issues with internet connectivity, accessing the service could be problematic. In fact, all cloud computing service providers experience service outages that arise as a result of poor internet connectivity. Cloud computing services are also susceptible to attack, as customers do not have control over their data. In addition, their data is vulnerable to phishing or hacking since the cloud servers are intersected, which is a fact that makes it easy for malware to spread. Of course, nothing that is linked to the internet is fool proof. In fact, even the best organizations with the best team of IT experts suffer severe attacks and safety breaches. Therefore, any organization with the intentions of exploring the heights of cloud computing services ought to proactively protect their information and identify threats through collaborating with the international security intelligence.
Amazon.com “Amazon Web Services (AWS).” www.aws.amazon.com. Accessed 10 February 2017.
Armbrust, Michael. Armando Fox. Rean Griffith. Anthony D. Joseph. Randy Katz, Andy Konwinski, Gunho Lee, David Patterson. Ariel Rabkin. Ion Stoica, and Matei Zaharia. “A view of cloud computing.” Communication of ACM, vol. 53, no. 4, 2010, pp. 50-58.
Chang, Victor, Robert J. Walters, and Gary Wills. Delivery and Adoption of Cloud Computing Services in Contemporary Organizations. 2015. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=AWfCCAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Delivery+and+Adoption+of+Cloud+Computing+Services+in+Contemporary+Organizations&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Delivery%20and%20Adoption%20of%20Cloud%20Computing%20Services%20in%20Contemporary%20Organizations&f=false Accessed 11 February 2017.
Kepes Ben. Understanding Cloud Computing Stack: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS: 2017. https://support.rackspace.com/white-paper/understanding-the-cloud-computing-stack-saas-paas-iaas/ Accessed 11 February 2017.
Rittinghouse, John W, and James F. Ransome. Cloud Computing: Implementation, Management, and Security. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC, 2016. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=YRIeASgVUJoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Cloud+computing+:+implementation,+management,+and+security&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Cloud%20computing%20%3A%20implementation%2C%20management%2C%20and%20security&f=false Accessed 11 February 2017.