Cloud Computing Services – Cloud Computing

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There are two most common cloud services

  1. Computer Power
  2. Storage

Computer Power:

There operations speed performed on any machine (sending an email, processing some application data etc) depend on the computer power of the machine. The power required to perform operations on the cloud are reffered to as a compute power.

Two popular options in the computing services

  • Containers
  • Serverless computing

What are containers?

Containers provide a consistent, isolated execution environment for applications. They’re similar to VMs except they don’t require a guest operating system. Instead, the application and all its dependencies is packaged into a “container” and then a standard runtime environment is used to execute the app. This allows the container to start up in just a few seconds because there’s no OS to boot and initialize. You only need the app to launch.

The open-source project, Docker, is one of the leading platforms for managing containers. Docker containers provide an efficient, lightweight approach to application deployment because they allow different components of the application to be deployed independently into different containers. Multiple containers can be run on a single machine, and containers can be moved between machines. The portability of the container makes it easy for applications to be deployed in multiple environments, either on-premises or in the cloud, often with no changes to the application.

What is serverless computing?

Serverless computing lets you run application code without creating, configuring, or maintaining a server. The core idea is that your application is broken into separate functions that run when triggered by some action. This is ideal for automated tasks – for example, you can build a serverless process that automatically sends an email confirmation after a customer makes an online purchase.

The serverless model differs from VMs and containers in that you only pay for the processing time used by each function as it executes. VMs and containers are charged while they’re running – even if the applications on them are idle. This architecture doesn’t work for every app – but when the app logic can be separated to independent units, you can test them separately, update them separately, and launch them in microseconds, making this approach the fastest option for deployment.

Here’s a diagram comparing the three compute approaches we’ve covered.

 

2-vm-vs-container-vs-serverless.png

 

Storage

Most devices and applications read and/or write data. Here are some examples:

  • Buying a movie ticket online
  • Looking up the price of an online item
  • Taking a picture
  • Sending an email
  • Leaving a voicemail

In all of these cases, data is either read (looking up a price) or written (taking a picture). The type of data and how it’s stored can be different in each of these cases.

Storage gauge

Cloud providers typically offer services that can handle all of these types of data. For example, if you wanted to store text or a movie clip, you could use a file on disk. If you had a set of relationships such as an address book, you could take a more structured approach like using a database.

The advantage to using cloud-based data storage is you can scale to meet your needs. If you find that you need more space to store your movie clips, you can pay a little more and add to your available space. In some cases, the storage can even expand and contract automatically – so you pay for exactly what you need at any given point in time.

Summary

Every business has different needs and requirements. Cloud computing is flexible and cost-efficient, which can be beneficial to every business, whether it’s a small start-up or a large enterprise.

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