According to a study published by Grand View Research on the emerging trends in the cloud computing space, it is estimated that revenue of $1.6 trillion will be generated across the entire cloud sector by 2030. It’s clear then that cloud computing is a rapidly growing IT field for skilled professionals. However, such a complex and expanding system requires specific knowledge and skills. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of this technology and cloud computing services to help aspiring professionals find the information they need to pursue this career. So, how does cloud computing work?
What is Cloud Computing?
Simply described, cloud computing is a range of services delivered via the internet or ‘the cloud’. Instead of relying on local hard drives and personal data centers, cloud computing technology leverages remote servers to store and retrieve data.
Before the advent of cloud computing services, companies had to buy and operate their own servers to suit business requirements. To accommodate peak traffic volumes and reduce the likelihood of outages and downtime, they used to purchase extra server capacity. However, often a considerable amount of the server’s space remained unused, leading to wastage and high expenditure. Today, cloud computing enables companies to reduce the need for on-site servers, maintenance personnel, and other expensive IT resources.
How Does Cloud Computing Work
To understand the workings of cloud computing technology, you need to first have an idea about the fundamental cloud infrastructure and its main components.
- Front End: The front end involves the side that clients use to access the Internet for data. This covers all the tools that can be used to access the cloud computing system, such as computers, computer networks, and programs.
- Back End: All the components required for providing cloud computing services are located on the back end. This is the cloud provider’s side. It comprises the equipment required to offer various cloud computing services, such as servers, computers, data storage systems, software, and applications.
- Network: What connects the front end and the back end is the network. The Internet is the cloud computing network. It acts as the connection between clients and the cloud.
Additionally, it is useful to know about cloud computing deployment models—private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud.
Private cloud computing services are delivered from a company’s data center to internal users. With this model, an organization can build and manage its own cloud infrastructure. It offers the flexibility and convenience of the cloud while preserving the administration, control, and security features common to local data centers. VMware and OpenStack are common private cloud computing vendors.
In the public cloud model, the cloud service is delivered online by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP). Public cloud services are often supplied on demand and clients are charged for the central processing unit cycles, storage, or bandwidth they consume. Leading public CSPs include IBM, Oracle, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
A hybrid cloud combines on-premise private cloud infrastructure with public cloud services. Companies can use the public cloud to accommodate workload surges while running their mission-critical workloads or sensitive applications on the private cloud. The objective of a hybrid cloud is to provide unified, automated, and scalable cloud architecture. Leading hybrid cloud vendors include Azure Stack, Google Anthos, and VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Applications and Examples of Cloud Computing in Different Industries
If the next thing on your mind is how does cloud computing work in the context of its various uses and applications across different sectors, let’s take a look at some examples.
eHealth and Telemedicine
Nowadays, cloud computing is frequently utilized in healthcare to deliver medical services online. Patients living anywhere in the world can receive appropriate clinical care using eHealth services. Additionally, telemedicine projects leverage cloud computing technology for improved doctor-to-doctor and doctor-to-patient communication and interaction.
Drug discovery demands a substantial amount of software processing power to find unique molecules among billions of chemical structures; cloud computing is crucial in this process. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) (such as AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure Cloud) are particularly helpful in streamlining this procedure.
Healthcare Information Systems
Cloud-based management information systems are used by the healthcare sector to improve patient care, manage human resources, improve patient query services, and handle invoicing and finances.
Personal Health Records (PHR)
Managing access to patient health records (PHR) or electronic health records (EHR) is another application of cloud computing technology in healthcare. Users of cloud-based PHR applications can share data and quickly access and administer the PHR database. These cloud tools have advanced sharing capabilities that give users high control over shared data.
Cloud-Based Digital Libraries
Medical professionals and students can access material on demand with cloud-based libraries to stay updated on the most recent studies. Additionally, physicians can also get access to material that will help them learn more about the developments in the healthcare sector and enhance their professional practice.
Governmental agencies are realizing the significance of IT consolidation in boosting operational efficiencies. By unifying their server footprints through cloud and virtualization initiatives, they are lowering the cost of IT ownership. Moreover, cloud-based data center consolidation is undertaken to lower hardware costs and drastically reduce resource consumption.
Government agencies are implementing IaaS and SaaS cloud solutions (AWS, Microsoft Azure) to detect and prevent cyber threats and fraud. Additionally, they are also adopting shared IT services to cut costs and meet cybersecurity requirements.
Skilled Workforce Maintenance
Cloud computing improves talent acquisition and retention within government sectors. Usually, government IT systems are written in outmoded programming languages such as COBOL. This legacy infrastructure is not only difficult to support recruitment but it also prevents the government from attracting and retaining top talent.
The concept of e-learning and online education courses is flourishing because of cloud technologies. For instance, Google Classroom, a part of G Suite for education, is a learning management system that is hosted in the cloud. Students can use PCs, tablets, and cell phones to access this platform for virtual learning.
University-level textbooks can be expensive. Hence, more and more students are refraining from purchasing them. Cloud-based textbooks are an effective solution to this problem. They are cost-effective and can improve a student’s academic achievements.
How to Get Started in Cloud Computing
Ready to spend a few hours in a day learning cloud computing? Then, follow these steps to get started.
1. Check Your Basic Knowledge
To begin a career in cloud computing, a basic understanding of Windows, Linux, and the principles of networking is necessary. Other prerequisites include knowledge of agile development, databases, and the basics of security and privacy.
2. Build Cloud Portfolio
Your cloud portfolio demonstrates your proficiency in cloud computing. To build a strong cloud portfolio, work on some real-life projects. You may try out some of these project ideas to strengthen your portfolio:
- Cloud-enabled attendance system
- Detecting data leaks using Structured Query Language (SQL) injection
- Making a chatbot
- Secure text transfer
- Bug-tracking functionality
3. Expand Your Reach
To get started with a career in cloud computing, networking is crucial. You can interact with many like-minded professionals with similar expertise. Expanding your network also acts as a reference when you apply for jobs.
Get Certified with Emeritus
Now that you have delved into the ‘how do cloud computing work’ question and its applications across various industries, it’s time to think about potential specialization areas. Check out Emeritus’ wide range of online technology courses in association with renowned global universities to find the best available options that align with your goals and interests. Happy Learning!
By Rupam Deb
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