What is cloud computing? Trends, the future of technology
Cloud computing has changed the business processes of enterprises considerably over the last 10 years. The clearest example is the collaboration between documents and files that are completely moving online. Cloud has accelerated digital transformation with businesses active in the automation of processes and management of teams using Web applications. Without virtual servers and high-service cloud storage systems, large volumes of data and machine learning tasks cannot now be resolved.
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What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the provision of computing resources on-demand over the Internet. Resources can be servers, storage systems, data networks, software, platform services.
Cloud service providers like Serverspace.io distribute computer resources among various customers. Each of the customers receives the required pool of capacities or services, which are scaled if necessary.
Cloud computing is financially convenient for the consumer:
- For own equipment and premises – only operational – there are no capital costs;
- The service is paid upon use, for example, for the allocated amount of resources or for the used capacity for a certain period;
- The amount of resources increases or decreases when the need arises, that is, there is no problem with equipment or service downtime.
Where is cloud computing used?
In the corporate sphere, cloud computing covers a wide range of services – from virtual infrastructure (Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS) to corporate applications (Software as a Service, SaaS). Thanks to the clouds, service services that employees used to access only in the office using a work PC are now accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Clouds are used in almost all high-tech industries: in software development, in projects based on the IoT, for analyzing big data, etc. There are also more highly specialized tasks that are solved in the cloud, for example, real-time speech processing using AI.
What are the advantages of clouds?
There are seven main advantages:
- Infrastructure and services in the cloud are deployed quickly, as opposed to a traditional approach that involves purchasing hardware and software.
- You do not need to buy and maintain your own IT infrastructure: equipment, services, OS, and other software.
- You have no idea how to upgrade your hardware and OS – this is done by the cloud provider.
- Because the supplier takes on most of the infrastructure support tasks, the cost for a full time IT experts is reduced.
- With the help of cloud computing, you can test projects without high start-up costs, increasing or decreasing leased resources when the need arises.
- Ressources scale fast — for instance when an application becomes more popular and the user base grows.
- A consequence of the previous point: a company can bring new products to the market faster than competitors who use their own infrastructure.
New features in cloud computing
We notice three new areas extending the scope of cloud computing. These directions are better considered given that they are still not used as widely as cloud storage systems, for example.
Quantum computing. The next step in conventional supercomputers’ evolution is quantum computers. Such computers are primarily intended to be used to work with large data quantities. Data can also be placed in the cloud with computing resources (qubits).
IBM made it available as a cloud service in 2019 as a quantum computer. Everybody can connect to the machine and run its test programs.
IoT (Internet of Things)
The number of devices connected to the Internet is increasing: smartphones, TVs, smart clocks, domestic equipment, devices such as intelligent home sensors, smart cities, and more. All these devices exchange information, often without human intervention, and with one another or control software. The more IoT becomes an independent system — the Internet within the Internet — which collects enormous amounts of data in reality.
In 2021 Gartner expects to connect 25 billion IoT devices to the Internet. The cloud is an ideal IoT infrastructure as it provides unlimited storage space and high availability, performance, and scalability for the information it collects.
In software development, this kind of platform as a service (PaaS) is becoming more popular. The client must not worry about the server hardware and OS management: when load increases or reduces, computer resources are automatically scaled.
A good example is AWS Lambda, a platform based on the event-driven computing principle: in a millisecond response to an event, the necessary resources pool is allocated, for instance when a new code module is added.
What professions are relevant for the cloud industry
According to TechRepublic the 15 most popular professions in cloud computing, selected on the basis of the analysis of the job market. The first three places in decreasing order of demand are occupied: software engineer, software architect, and DevOps engineer. Last on the list is a backend developer.
Here are the 15 most in-demand open job positions on Indeed that list cloud-related skills in their description:
- Software engineer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 7.92%
- Senior software engineer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 6.71%
- Software architect: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 6.21%
- Development operations engineer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 5.99%
- Full-stack developer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 4.19%
- Cloud engineer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 3.61%
- Data engineer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 2.65%
- Java developer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.88%
- System engineer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.75%
- Data scientist: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.65%
- Systems administrator: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.53%
- Senior Java developer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.23%
- .NET developer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.21%
- Front-end developer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.20%
- Back-end developer: Percent of openings with cloud skills in description: 1.14%
Why cloud computing is the future
To stay competitive, a company needs to quickly develop new products and services, assess their market potential, and implement them. In this sense, cloud computing is more efficient than IT infrastructure on-premises.
The company that leases cloud resources only bears the operating costs. Predictable pricing helps you plan your IT budget.
Speed and flexibility
Traditional infrastructure is not good at coping with the speed of market change. It usually takes weeks or months to allocate the right resources. Cloud resources can be obtained in less than an hour and in the required amount.
For cloud providers, a high level of resiliency of client services is a must, because many clients pay attention to SLA first. Competition between suppliers forces them to improve the quality and reliability of infrastructure.