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Cloud Technology: Beyond Data Storage

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Cloud in people’s view is picturized as never-ending white colour in the sky. The fact that clouds are never-ending is the core concept behind Cloud Technology.

To provide services that are scalable to any extent and to any number of users makes it the most used technology in today’s world.

Cloud Technology in simple words is nothing but paying for the online services and resources used the by the customer over the Internet.

Main usage of the cloud which has bought cloud into limelight was its data storage and pay-for-use facilities. But today cloud is much more than data storage.

It provides various facilities over the Internet that are used efficiently by the users.

The cloud services are generally divided into the following three categories:

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Providing platforms over the Internet to develop, test and deliver software services to users makes it very easy for people who want to build and launch software applications quickly. Most of such platforms have drag and drop options because of which users without having much technical background also can also build applications. Windows Azure is one of the well-known clouds that provides PaaS.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

The most popular service that cloud provides is IT infrastructure services. Data storage, networking, operating system services come under this category where users pay for the amount of resources they have utilized. Out of the best-known clouds for infrastructure services, AWS EC2 has marked its existence by providing fast, cost-efficient and user-friendly services.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

The software that is developed needs to reach people and cloud excels in doing that. It provides software applications to perform the required tasks either for free or charged according to the use. Amazon prime video is a software service provided by the Amazon cloud for users to view videos by paying for their usage.

Other than storing data, cloud is used for many other things like creating new applications, streaming audios and videos, providing users with customized software, etc. Cloud technology is expanding very vastly and rapidly providing very efficient services to the users. Cloud technology involves implementing and managing the cloud services efficiently and conveniently.

Scalability and Pay-for-use facilities of the cloud make people use cloud over using separate on-host services which will obviously cost more. Any number of users can use the cloud services at a time and its usage can dynamically increase according to the needs of the customer. The metering system where the user is charged only for the usage of services, he/she availed. For example, it is better to store data in cloud and pay for the storage than installing servers to store data in the user’s location. Cloud is also known for its evolution in providing services.

Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud service providers. Serverless application platform is what that distinguishes Azure from other cloud services. The Microsoft Azure cloud provides expanding services to build, manage and deploy software as per user requirements.

Some of the key features of the Azure cloud are:

  • It is a public cloud, which means it can be accessed by any organization, individual or community. It also has hybrid cloud facility where it also acts as private cloud for any particular organization/ individual.
  • It is one of the best clouds to create intelligent applications using artificial intelligence.
  • Many government organizations and 95% of fortune 500 companies run on Microsoft Azure cloud.
  • It provides services for different fields like healthcare, retail, manufacturing, finance and government.

Being an online service Azure definitely has competitors and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is its leading competitor.

Cloud technology or cloud computing has marked its existence in the pages of Internet and provides half the traffic to Internet usage. Due its rapidly growing demand many Engineering Colleges offer cloud technology as one of the latest courses.

As the title says cloud is not just about data storage, it is much more than that. The wide range of services it provides reduces cost and personnel to an organization in a large extent.

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