We have come a long way in the past 50 years in computing needs for businesses. The early adaptations of computers remind me of the TV series Mad Men when they started using a computer in the office.
A huge humming machine kept in a big room. Some show characters lost their minds and thought the world has come to an end. Since then, not only the computers evolved to become smaller, smarter, and more efficient.
The IT architectures in organizations started to disrupt completely. In the recent years this evolution continued and businesses like Airbnb, Netflix, Spotify and many more dominated major industries basing their entire business on cloud computing.
Cloud computing has been around for a long time. Though the origin of the term is unclear, its introduction to computing dates back to 1960s where companies like IBM and DEC got involved in the concepts of time-sharing.
The concept is pretty clear for any tech savvy person nowadays but basically it talks about sharing services, files and features over a sharable, accessible, and scalable architecture for people in the groups or organizations have real-time access to the same pool of information.
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In the recent years, most businesses relied on internal servers and data centers in order to deploy their shared services and store store their information.
However, by the growth of computing needs and evolutions in technologies, servers and data centers are becoming more and more obsolete. They are becoming more complicated, time consuming and expensive to manage as businesses grow.
Cloud computing on the other hand relies on the simple fact that if hardware management is growing complex then give it to someone else to do and you focus on running your own business. Many cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon and Microsoft are doing exactly that.
But these businesses offering cloud services has raised questions on security of operations and data. So for years now, there has been a division of cloud infrastructures to Public Cloud and Private Cloud. There have been mixes of these with different names such as Hybrid Cloud or Community Cloud but the concept doesn’t fall far from the main two categories. To understand them better, let's take a look at public vs. private cloud:
As I said before, demand in the market created supply. Companies that had access to data center infrastructures started preparing them to host other businesses’ computing needs, giving them private storage spaces while sharing the computing power to significantly increase performance. This was great news for many businesses like start-ups and multinationals.
Public cloud might scare some businesses off since they might fear hosting their data and services on a data center which is not theirs especially since this might incur the risk of losing or being exposed to hackers and cyber criminals. While this is a valid point, there are numerous businesses that appreciate getting the burden of hardware management off their shoulders and focus on their core business and what they do best.
This form of cloud computing offers businesses the same flexibility, scalability, provisioning, automation and monitoring as in public cloud while giving them full control of the hardware infrastructure. Here, the cloud belongs to a single customer, business, or organization. It is either hosted on their own data centers or is located in a rented hardware but dedicated to them.
The goal here won’t be selling software-as-services but to manage internal operations on a cloud environment. Given the nature and the underlying costs of private cloud, it's most appealing to larger organizations where money is not an issue and security and privacy is a key factor.
As the name suggest hybrid cloud is when you run your IT partially on public and private cloud. This was Netflix’s case until 2016 when they finally moved fully to AWS (Amazon Web Services).
Cloud Infrastructure Management
With cloud, you worry less about your hardware, though you won’t eliminate managing it completely. Many platforms have been shaped to help you achieve just that. My personal favorite is what started a huge open source project called OpenStack and then Red Hat branded the most stable version of it to be able to give a long term support to the users of the platform.
But we all know it doesn’t end in cloud and there are various fields that are trending in IT. To help you get acquainted with them, I have packed information about the latest innovative technologies you should know about in our FREE ebook: 2017 IT Trends: Digital Transformation