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What is the cloud (cloud computing)?

Cloud computing is computing power provided by external servers, usually over the internet. Companies using cloud computing no longer have to buy and operate different IT infrastructure components, but can lease them on a flexible basis.


01

A definition of the cloud and cloud computing

The “cloud” refers to an IT infrastructure distributed across multiple computers and servers. The hardware on which the data is calculated and stored is not immediately apparent to the user.

The big breakthrough of cloud computing dates back to the year 2006. That’s when Amazon began renting out computing and storage capacity to companies. Amazon Web Services is still one of the leading international cloud computing providers today.

Companies, but also private individuals, use cloud services both for storage only and to provide complete services or complex IT architectures. Not being dependent on local datacenters and servers means a high degree of flexibility and enables working with IT solutions on a cost-efficient basis.

02

How does the cloud work?

A cloud service is a virtual datacenter that provides applications, data, storage and computing power as required. Data processing takes place on a computer network in the external datacenters of the respective cloud service provider. Resources are not assigned to fixed servers, but can be accessed dynamically and on demand.

Cloud computing thus provides companies with a virtual and scalable IT infrastructure and shifts the place where IT services are provided to an external network of servers and computers. These virtual servers are located in server farms around the globe.

However, cloud computing not only features the use of the cloud as the basis for the corresponding IT services, but also a special billing model. This billing model is very flexible because the customer does not actually buy software or IT services, but rents them instead and only pays for what he needs. As a result, cloud computing is quickly and easily scalable and can be flexibly adapted to the needs of a company.

03

What service models are available for the cloud?

There are different service models for the cloud, which are aimed at different target groups:

Software as a Service (SaaS):
SaaS solutions enable users to use software residing on the service provider’s servers. The program normally runs in a web browser.
Platform as a Service (PaaS):
PaaS applications are primarily intended for IT developers. In this model, the cloud offers a programming or runtime environment on which the user’s own software applications are developed and run.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
Infrastructure as a Service represents the origin of cloud computing services. IT departments or providers of other cloud services are given access to server environments, computing power and storage space to develop and run their own software.
Everything as a Service (XaaS):
Everything as a Service (also called Anything as a Service) comprises a combination of all of the cloud services described above. It is a cloud technology approach, which as a collective term incorporates all cloud computing services under one roof.
04

What are the different deployment models in the cloud?

There are different deployment models in the cloud. They depend on who is providing the services and the target group they are directed at.

Public cloud

The public cloud is a publicly and freely accessible service in which customer data is jointly processed on the provider’s servers. Examples of the public cloud include webmail services and SaaS applications such as Google Docs and Salesforce.

Community cloud

The community cloud is a special model for joint projects from several companies. The employees of these companies can all access the corresponding services, but they are not publicly available.

Private cloud

In private cloud services, resources like computing power, storage and network capacity are not shared with other users. These are mostly in-house IT services that individual employees can access and benefit from the added value typical of the cloud.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

A virtual private cloud is a secure, isolated private cloud hosted within a public cloud. In this model, a public cloud provider handles the hosting of private cloud services.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds. Many companies use public cloud services for applications that are not subject to data protection regulations and run privacy-critical and data-sensitive applications in a private cloud service in-house. In such an operation, it is especially important to make an exact demarcation.

Business cloud

The term business cloud distinguishes cloud services aimed at companies from those that are also or primarily aimed at private individuals.

05

What are the advantages of the cloud?

Companies using cloud computing services benefit from the following advantages of the cloud:

Scalability

Cloud services can dynamically adjust to the needs of the customer, both upwards and downwards.

Cost efficiency

The scalability of services goes hand in hand with increased cost efficiency. After all, with cloud solutions companies only pay for the resources they really need. In addition, high capital expenses for hardware are eliminated.

Better performance

Data from cloud IT services is reliably available at all times. All maintenance is managed by the cloud provider and new features and functions can be used immediately.

Data security

As a general rule, cloud providers have professional IT security management. Their datacenters are protected with multiple redundancy, and so is customer data.

Flexibility

A cloud solution gives companies maximum flexibility. First, they can outsource many risks relating to security and technology to the cloud provider, and second, the services used can be adjusted at any time to meet their own needs or changed user behavior.

Lower IT administration costs

Since IT resources are operated and maintained by the cloud provider, no resources need to be provided in-house.

Independence from geographical location

In the cloud, employees from different locations can access the same resources and collaborate with one another.

Focus on the core business

Many administrative tasks are outsourced to the cloud provider enabling the company to focus fully on its own core business.

06

What are the drawbacks of the cloud?

The disadvantages of using a cloud are related to data sovereignty and data protection. The geographical location of the servers is a not insignificant aspect. Many public cloud services use servers in the US. The data stored on them do not fall under European or German data protection law. In some circumstances, government agencies may require cloud providers to provide access to the stored data.

07

What you need to know about cloud computing

More and more companies are turning to cloud computing in various areas of business. This means that they are using software or other IT services provided by other companies on multiple networked servers. Cloud solutions are particularly attractive due to the scalability of services and the ability to outsource expertise.

Cloud solutions are also gaining ground in IT security. With its Security-as-a-Service platform, Myra offers security solutions for companies of all sizes, as DDoS protection for instance.

If you are interested in futher informations, we are willing to send you our product sheet for free

How Myra DDoS Protection can reliably secure your website or web application against all DDoS attack vectors:

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