Cloud computing, is a term that had already hogged enough limelight but then Covid-19 happened. One of the most famous technologies of all time, cloud computing encompasses many services, from databases, storage, software analytics, servers, and so much more over the internet.
With the current setup of work, most of us are still working from home and cloud computing has played a pivotal role in making this all happen. So, let's understand the basics of it, starting with cloud computing architecture.
Cloud Computing Architecture
As the term architecture states, proper designing and planning of something so is the cloud architecture in cloud computing. It is divided into two parts, the front end, and the back end.
- Front end: You can count all the endpoint devices, services, and applications in this category such as web servers, User Interface or client-side interface, network, mobile, laptops, etc. For example, Google, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are all front-end cloud services.
- Back end: Everything else that doesn’t come in the front end is categorized in the back end like servers, large storage devices, management of applications and services, security, etc. For example, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services are all back-end cloud services.
This image is a perfect depiction of cloud architecture in cloud computing.
Components of Cloud Computing Architecture
As you can see in the above image, there are mainly five components of cloud computing architecture, namely:
You might come across articles where cloud services are further divided into subcategories but listed above are the basic cloud components:
1. Management: As the name suggests management refers to the overall management of cloud architecture. This includes:
- Allocation of resources for various tasks
- Management of back-end components i.e., application, storage, services, and security.
- Building coordination among all the components.
2. Application: This may include anything from software to the platform. Whether it is system software or application software, the cloud manages them both effectively and efficiently. The application helps the clients and end-users in accessing the information they need. Cloud computing architecture helps users to directly interact with the application and perform desired tasks.
3. Storage: Storage is a big issue when it comes to saving data. Even with so many large physical storage devices and dedicated storage units, data storage often becomes a strenuous task. With cloud computing, this problem has been resolved to a great extent. Data like files, videos, and documents are stored over the cloud and it's very easy to access them provided you have an internet connection. Some of the most popular cloud storage services are Microsoft Azure Storage, Amazon S3, Oracle Cloud Storage, and so on.
4. Services: Another important component of cloud architecture is services. There are mainly three types of services that the cloud offers, these are:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
- PaaS (Platform as a Service)
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
Shown above is the service-oriented architecture in cloud computing.
- IaaS: Here cloud manages infrastructural services for you such as managing actual servers, virtualization, network, data storage etc. You can access these services via a dashboard or sometimes via an API. In IaaS user’s role comprises managing apps, middleware, and operating system while the cloud service provider takes care of hardware which includes servers, hard drives, data storage, and so on.
- PaaS: In this service, the user takes care of running the app and managing the data. While the cloud service provider handles the rest of all from the runtime, networking, middleware, and storage to operating system and virtualization.
- SaaS: This cloud service is responsible for handling everything from software maintenance, and updates to bug fixes and other tasks. Mobile apps and Web applications are the SaaS apps that we use on daily basis. It is the most advanced cloud computing service that encourages accessing mobile and web applications without actually downloading them. You can easily access an app via API or dashboard.
5. Security: This component of cloud computing architecture is one of the most important components, especially in the current times. Since several small, medium, and big organizations are moving towards completely cloud-based services, security has a lot to do with it. Some of the most basic and generic measures that are taken by cloud service providers are:
- Restricted client access to data
- Continuous security auditing
- High-end authentication
- Multiple-ways authorization
These security services also vary depending upon the types of cloud computing models i.e., public, private, hybrid, and community cloud models.
Now that we have a good idea of cloud architecture, let’s move further and discuss its benefits.
Importance of Cloud Computing Architecture
There are several advantages of having cloud computing architecture. Some of them are listed below:
- Saves Physical space: With this architecture, you can save a lot of space in terms of physical storage and on-site servers as everything is done over the cloud.
- Streamlined communication external to and within the organization: With the cloud sharing of data among employees, client, and third-party vendors become easier.
- Remote access made easy: With cloud computing architecture, accessing data remotely has become a smooth task. You can grant quick access to files and data for your employees.
- Decreased Human Resources: With nothing much to maintain on-site like data storage units, servers etc., human resources can be employed for other jobs as dependency on them reduces.
- Flexible scalability: As a business owner if your organization requires more storage, you can always buy it and extend the data storage capacity.
- Cost-Effective: It is a well-known thing that creating a physical data storage site is very expensive. With cloud computing, this cost has been brought down to a significant amount.
Tips For Cloud Computing Architecture in Your Business
Having discussed the components and importance of cloud computing architecture, it's now time to give you a few tips if you are planning to move your business to the cloud. These are some really important aspects that you must keep in mind before purchasing, renting or designing your cloud.
1. Plan well: You must plan really well before going for such a big transition and have answers to the following questions:
- What is the size of your company?
- How does your current computing storage system work?
- How frequently does file exchange among employees, clients, and vendors happen?
- Why do you need to change the existing cloud architecture?
2. Promote usage of the cloud in your employees: For taking such a big step, it is of utmost importance that you encourage your employees to use cloud services, applications etc. This way they will get used to it and will get trained in advance.
3. Discourage saving unnecessary data: Another important aspect is to monitor your resources time-to-time. This happens when you keep checking on the files that are not required and are still taking up storage space. Allocate employees that are dedicated to removing unused or irrelevant files.
4. Ensure Endpoint Security: Introduce cloud computing security architecture where all the endpoints are secured. Ensure that your employees are using the secure network and their systems are up to date with security updates.
5. Regular Security Check: In order to avoid any sort of cyber-attack it is very important to carry out security audits frequently. Scan all the devices in your organization for any security threat.
Now that we know the effectiveness of cloud computing architecture, its importance, and its components, it goes without saying that cloud services and applications are the need of the hour. With a great future ahead, cloud computing has become the top choice for small, medium, and large businesses.