The what, the how, and the future of cloud
In 2019, 90% of the companies are already in the cloud according to a research published by 451 research institution and Cisco even predict that by 2021, 94% of all computing will be done in the cloud data center. The adaption of the cloud has been growing rapidly and more computing needs driven by big data and IoT are accelerating the market at a pace that has never been seen before. AWS, which dominate the market with a 32% market shares, had grown from 3 billion to 257 billion for the past five years.
While the maturity of technologies like ML and IoT contribute a lot of this growth, the main driving factors behind this wave of adaption actually stem from the core advantages of Cloud compare to On-Premise server which is the traditional database that is managed by users themselves. Advantages like scalability, ease-of-use, and cost are all critical as our need for data is growing rapidly.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud actually just mean the internet. And cloud computing? Computation that takes place on the internet. Well, it’s actually a server managed by the cloud providers.. but you get the idea. Companies today can leverage cloud services to send, store, process and receive different kinds of information which include data, server, analytics, and more. Almost everything can be done in the cloud as long as you have the internet access.
The core advantages of cloud computing
With cloud companies don’t need to spend a large amount of capital on purchasing all the hardware required to build a on-premise database and there is also no need to deploy resources for maintaining or upgrading it. Almost everything can be managed by service providers. This is also the reason cloud has become a default option for most startups when it comes to storage and computing.
Before cloud technology emerges, it used to be that organizations have to spend a huge amount of capital in purchasing hardware and software necessary for the server and allocating resources for maintaining equipment and investing in talents.
Now with the cloud, there is essentially no initial investment and maintenance fees for the organization and company can quickly scale up or down on the pay-as-you-use basis.
For on-premise server organization have to always plan ahead and purchase more space than necessary to ensure there is enough space in the server so that it won’t overload. Now because of the nature of the cloud, companies can just click-to-purchase if they need more space in the near future without purchasing any hardware and can scale down anytime.
Speed & Functionality
Most cloud vendors in the industry like AWS, Azure, and GCP are international technology companies that have a proven track record of handling large server that operate petabytes and petabytes of data. And because of this intense competition they have to constantly update their hardware and software to remain competitive and cost-productive. These factors make them undeniably faster and far more reliable than on-premise which seldom get updated and have limited expertise (for most organizations).
Cloud vendors like AWS and Azure have clients in financial institution, government and other companies that requires confidentiality at the highest level. This requires to have really high-level operation in terms of cybersecurity and other security threats.
Usability is probably the single most important factor that attracts most companies especially startup deploy cloud. Following the emergence and growth of IoT, AI, and the increase of data size most organizations require more and more analytics to make it data driven. That means when allocating talents it is best to put them in a position of power to grow the analytics capability of the organization. Using cloud instead of On-premise data server not only gives organization four advantages listed above, it also free the hands of developers and data engineer to focus on things that will drive business impact.
Different service of the cloud
There are mainly 3 types of cloud services: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service). Because these three are built upon one another, we often call it Stack as well. SaaS is the most common cloud services we’ve seen. It provides the total solution from networking to application. While IaaS only provides users networking, storage, server and virtualization, it’s actually the fastest growing segment among the three.
IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service
Cloud infrastructure services, are made of highly scalable and automated compute resources. it is a fully self-service for everything on a function level like OS, Middleware, runtime, data and application. Like other cloud services IaaS works as a pay-as-you-use model and is a good choice for companies that has in-house talents to handle all the technical details. As you don’t need to purchase any hardware and the infrastructure can scale easily, it is a very easy choice for organization that values agility.
Even though in this 200 billion dollar market, IaaS only has a market share of 20% (According to Gartner), it is the fastest growing segments. Companies that has been undergoing digital transformation with mix or multi cloud infrastructure are the main driver behind this growth. They can leverage the stability and scalability cloud providers have and still maintain a great degree of freedom on OS, middleware, and runtime.
PaaS - Platform as a Service
PaaS delivers a framework for developers to build upon and use it to create customized application or solution. The platform is delivered via the web, giving developers the freedom to concentrate on developing their own software without the need to worry anything like software update, OS, storage, or hardware-level issues.
SaaS - Software as a Service
Also known as cloud application services, it is currently the most adapted option for businesses in the world. Most SaaS application is run on the browser which means no download is required. Because the speed of the internet has been increasing tremendously, a lot of business have changed their models to lean more toward having it run on the cloud. Today, even application like high-resolution online game can be run on the browser without any lagging.