Major Characteristics Of Cloud Computing

In this article, we’ll learn about Cloud Computing and its different characteristics. These constitute the major features the cloud computing services must have inherently in order to cater to the wide domain of possible users in such a way that it mitigates the possible risks and hazards and at the same time provides ease of use with economical benefits.

Cloud Computing

Let us start with an example of a commonly used feature. The OneDrive of Microsoft, Google Drive of Google, and the Apple iCloud. Each of these is a cloud storage provider. This has completely transformed the user behavior of depending on Flash Drives. Similarly, Cloud Computing is basically a transformation of information technology-based products into the domain of service. The photos and documents we saved for portability in the flash drive which is a product have now been replaced by the One Drive which is a service.

The sharing features of One Drive and Google Drive across all platforms through all the mediums with one click illustrates the benefits of the cloud storage service that has brought into the aspects of easy access and sharing of our documents. First and foremost, we now don’t even require buying a flash drive. If we can draw the similarities, we can easily understand how cloud computing has been able to provide the benefits in terms of cost and time replacing the on-premise infrastructures.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing 

Service, in order to be considered as Cloud Computing, needs to have certain criteria. The major characteristics that describe cloud computing are as follows.

On-Demand Self-Service

The On-demand self-service expresses the philosophy of the user having the entire automacy to control over the cloud computing without the intervention of human interaction from the cloud provider side. In the case of the One Drive, the user has the complete freedom to use the cloud storage system from the exchange of files in and out of the One Drive, Deletion, and even expansion as per their requirement. This clearly shows how cloud computing must fulfill the on-demand self-service for the client-side.

Resources Pooling

Based upon the demand and need of the customer, the virtual resources can be dynamically assigned and re-assigned in order to cater to the server's multiple customers by pooling the resources. In the example of our One Drive service example, not all users will be using the software at the same time, also the storage supply requiring the data center would vary upon the usage and activity. This would be needed to be handled properly.

Broad Network Access

Broad network access refers to the interconnectivity of computing capabilities throughout the different mediums and ways of access may it be from a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Broad Network Access is determined by the ease of access to the files that are stored in the cloud provider through any devices with connectivity to the internet. The Cloud Provider is thoroughly responsible to manage and determine the path between the data center and the network.

Rapid Elasticity and Scalability

Depending upon the customer demand and traffic, the cloud computing capabilities must be elastic as fast as possible in order to scale inward or outward proportional to the demand created and accurately fulfill the demand. This ability of rapid scalability showcases the cloud service has unlimited capabilities which can be used for any quantity of demand and at any time. In the example of One Drive, the rapid elasticity and scalability can be witnessed from the software’s ability to allow storage of as many files or as few files. Behind the scene, the resources are allocated as per the demand and need.

Measured Service and Reporting

The measured service in cloud computing enables the system of the cloud provider to control and optimize resource usage automatically by leveraging the metering capabilities of the system. The resource usage of the cloud provider can be controlled, monitored, and reported displaying the credibility of transparency for the billing of the customers for their usage of the cloud computing services. We know, One Drive is free until the 5GB limit and for further usage, charges are acquired. This process of charging the customers on the basis of the resources is done with transparency. Similarly, if we take the example of Azure Services that cater to web apps, the charges are automatically measured on the usage of resources and only for use. When idle, these resources aren’t charged for by Azure. 

Resilience and Maintainability

Cloud Computing has different personas of clients. Ranging from regular people to developers to institutions handling critical data whose asset would be the minimal uptime required to provides their continuous service. As discussed in the previous article, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, resilience is a must for cloud computing. Thus, the capability of the cloud computing service to recover as quickly as possible from any form of disruption is paramount. The cloud’s resilience is measured by the time required to restart and recover the databases, servers, and network from any form of damage and harm. Moreover, availability is another key characteristic that goes alongside resilience. Hence, this capability to recover and maintain itself in any situation of disruption is an important feature of cloud computing.

Security

One of the prime characteristics of cloud computing is Data Security. The cloud services create and maintain regular duplicity of data to prevent any form of losses such that in case of one server dysfunctions or loses the data by any chance, there is a version of the data in another server. These also require to be regularly updated and thus, these feature of automatically making sure of the security is mind-boggling. Moreover, security also can be looked at from different viewpoints. The cloud computing services must withhold themselves from any possible cyber-attacks and must securely main the private data of the users. This functionality comparing it with our regular flash drive which could be accessed by anyone at any point in time, the security provided by the cloud services like Azure, AWS, and GCP is far beyond admirable for trustworthiness.

Conclusion

Thus, in this article, we learned about Cloud Computing and its various characteristics. We learned about these features that cloud computing but have inherently with comparative analysis of each of these characteristics with One Drive of Microsoft and Azure Web Services.