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What is cloud computing

Cloud computing provides shared processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand, over the Internet. It gives users on-demand access to a shared pool of computing resources, such as networks, servers, storage, applications and services, which typically are hosted in third-party data centers.

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Benefits of cloud computing

Cloud computing makes IT flexible for users, as well as for administrators:

  • Provides easy access to essential IT assets. This makes it as easy as possible for users to employ these assets.
  • Enables self-deployment. Users do not really need an IT administrator anymore in order to deploy a new server.
  • Provides scalability. When running out of physical resources, it is easy to add new resources.

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Why is it called cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a metaphor. For a user, the network elements representing the provider-rendered services are invisible, as if obscured by a cloud. The bottom line is that from the user’s perspective, it really does not matter which resources are running where. All it matters are the resources themselves.

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Which are the different types of cloud computing?

Depending on the types of resources, we can distinguish different types of cloud computing:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offers virtualised networking and data centers to run virtual machines and images.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service) offers a platform, including middleware, on which we can run VMs and containers.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service) provides access to applications.

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IaaS Service Models

IaaS Clouds can be offered in different ways, using different service models:

  • Private cloud – A company creates a IaaS infrastructure that is for private usage only.
  • Public cloud – Cloud capacity is offered as a commodity service, as is the case for telephony that is offered by a telecom provider. Customers hire a part of the public cloud infrastructure.
  • Hybrid cloud – This type of IaaS service is a model where a cloud session consists of both private and public IaaS components.