Getting Started with Cloud Computing: An Overview of the Basics

Cloud computing helps your utilization of server-resources effectively. There are different ways one can become proficient in this skill. The best option is utilizing online resources.

How to Develop Skills

  1. Read Cloud computing in questions and answers way
  2. Taking an online video course.
  3. Take classroom coaching. This is also effective if you can spend your valuable time daily or 4 or 5 hours at the weekend
  4. Download AWS free version and do practice with your laptop or desktop.

Cloud Computing Questions With Answers

1. What is Cloud computing?

  • Cloud computing is a recently developing paradigm of distributed computing.
  • Though it is not a new idea that emerged just recently. In 1969 L. Kleinrock anticipated, “As of now, computer networks are still in their infancy.
  • But as they grow up and become more sophisticated, we will probably see the spread of ’computer utilities’ which, like present electric and telephone utilities, will service individual homes and offices across the country.”

2. What is Cloud Technology?

  • Cloud is essentially provided by large distributed data centers. These data centers are often organized as grid and the cloud is built on top of the grid services. 
  • Cloud users are provided with virtual images of the physical machines in the data centers.
  • This virtualization is one of the key concepts of cloud computing as it essentially builds the abstraction over the physical system

3. What are Cloud Services?

  • Cloud services are provided to the cloud users as utility services like water, electricity, telephone using a pay-as-you-use business model.
  • These utility services are generally described as XaaS (X as a Service) where X can be Software or Platform or Infrastructure etc.
  • Cloud users use these services provided by the cloud providers and build their applications on the internet and thus deliver them to their end-users.
  • So the cloud users don’t have to worry about installing, maintaining hardware and software needed.
  • And they also can afford these services as they have to pay as much they use.
  • So the cloud users can reduce their expenditure and effort in the field of IT using cloud services instead of establishing IT infrastructure themselves.

Related: Best Cloud Computing Articles for Developers and Learners

4. What is Cloud Hosting?

SaaS (Software as a service) – Delivers a single application through the web browser to thousands of customers using a multitenant architecture.

On the customer side, it means no upfront investment in servers or software licensing; on the provider side, with just one application to maintain, the cost is low compared to conventional hosting.

Under SaaS, the software publisher (seller) runs and maintains all necessary hardware and software. The customer of SaaS accesses the applications through the Internet.

For example with yearly revenues of over $300M, offers on-demand Customer Relationship Management software solutions.

This application runs on’s own infrastructure and delivered directly to the users over the Internet.

Salesforce does not sell perpetual licenses but it charges a monthly subscription fee starting at $65/user/month.

Google docs are also a very nice example of SaaS where the users can create, edit, delete and share their documents, spreadsheets or presentations whereas Google has the responsibility to maintain the software and hardware.
E.g. – Google Apps, Zoho Office.

PaaS (Platform as a service) – Delivers development environment as a service. 

One can build his/her own applications that run on the provider’s infrastructure that support transactions, uniform authentication, robust scalability and availability.

The applications built using PaaS are offered as SaaS and consumed directly from the end-users’ web browsers.

This gives the ability to integrate or consume third-party web-services from other service platforms.
E.g. – Google App Engine.

5. What are the uses of Cloud Servers?

Cloud Providers’ point of view –

(a) Most of the data centers today are underutilized. They are mostly 15% utilized. These data centers need spare capacity just to cope with the huge spikes that sometimes get in the server usage.

Large companies having those data centers can easily rent those computing power to other organizations and get profit out of it and also make the resources needed for running data centers (like power) utilized properly.

(b) Companies having large data centers have already deployed the resources and to provide cloud services they would need very little investment and the cost would be incremental.

Cloud Users’ point of view-

(a) Cloud users need not to take care about the hardware and software they use and also they don’t have to be worried about maintenance. The users are no longer tied to some one traditional system.

(b) Virtualization technology gives the illusion to the users that they are having all the resources available.

(c) Cloud users can use the resources on demand basis and pay as much as they use. So the users can plan well for reducing their usage to minimize their expenditure.

(d) Scalability is one of the major advantages to cloud users. Scalability is provided dynamically to the users. Users get as many resources as they need. Thus this model perfectly fits in the management of rare spikes in the demand.

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Author: Srini

Experienced software developer. Skills in Development, Coding, Testing and Debugging. Good Data analytic skills (Data Warehousing and BI). Also skills in Mainframe.