What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud is a model of computing where servers, networks, storage, development tools, and even applications (apps) are enabled through the internet. Instead of organizations having to make major investments to buy equipment, train staff, and provide ongoing maintenance, some or all of these needs are handled by a cloud service provider. Before cloud computing, companies had to store all their data and software on their hard drives and servers. The bigger the company, the more storage they needed. This way of treating data is not scalable at speed.
With a public cloud environment, users "plug into" the data and applications via an internet connection giving any time, anywhere access. Cloud is often pay-as-you-go, where you only pay for what you use. Think about how a utility company meters how much water, electricity, or gas is used and charges based on consumption. Services can be requested and provisioned quickly, without the need for manual setup and configuration.
Cloud platforms are elastic. An organization can scale its resource usage levels up or down quickly and easily as needs change. Cloud often uses the multi-tenancy model, a single application is shared among several users. So, rather than creating a copy of the application for each user, several users, or "tenants" can configure the application to their specific needs.
Let’s understand this with the use of an example, If you build a startup or an app (eg. Instagram) to store the data of the users or the employees, you need various hardware, servers, SSDs, and external storage which are expensive, it also affects your expenses, leads to fewer profits and some startups can’t even afford it. Suddenly your app becomes famous and the number of users increases on your app and you don’t have enough resources to handle it or you need to buy more, plus a space (area), and another technical team to handle it. Often, there is a waste of resources.
So here cloud service providers(CSP) play a major role in providing on-demand, scalable computing resources like computing power, data storage, or applications over the internet. Where you only pay for the amount of space or resources you are using.
Netflix: Netflix is a popular streaming service that relies heavily on cloud computing. They use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host and deliver their vast library of movies and TV shows to millions of subscribers worldwide.
Airbnb: Airbnb, an online marketplace for vacation rentals and lodging utilizes cloud computing to manage its massive database of listings and facilitate bookings. They use AWS to handle the scalability and reliability of their platform.
Spotify: Spotify, a leading music streaming platform, leverages cloud infrastructure to store and deliver its extensive music catalogue. They use the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to handle the storage, processing, and streaming of music to millions of users.
NASA: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) utilizes cloud computing for various purposes, including data analysis, scientific research, and collaboration. They use multiple cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, to support their diverse needs.
Various roles in Cloud Computing
Cloud Security Engineer
Cloud Data Engineer
Cloud Sales and Marketing Specialist
Companies that offer positions in Cloud Computing
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
Road map and resources
Step 1: Learn the Basics
Before diving into cloud computing, it’s important to have a strong foundation in computer science fundamentals.
Here are some resources to help you get started:
Computer Science Basics (article)
Step 2: Learn Cloud Computing
Once you have a good understanding of computer science fundamentals, you can move on to learning about cloud computing.
These are some resources:
Step 3: Develop Skills in Cloud Computing
To become job-ready in Cloud Computing, it’s important to develop specific skills in areas such as Cloud Security, DevOps, and Big Data.
Here are some resources that can help you develop these skills,
Introduction to Big Data (course)
AWS Big Data - Specialty Certification (certification guide)
Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate (certification guide)
Step 4: Practice!
Learning about cloud computing is just the first step. It's important to practice what you've learned and gain practical experience.
Here are some resources to help you practice:
AWS offers a free tier that provides access to many of its cloud services for up to 12 months. You can use this to practice setting up and managing cloud resources.
Microsoft Azure also offers a free account that provides access to many of its cloud services for up to 12 months. You can use this to practice setting up and managing cloud resources on the Azure platform.
OpenStack is a free and open-source cloud computing platform that allows you to create and manage private and public clouds. You can use this to practice setting up and managing cloud resources in a self-hosted environment.
Google Cloud Platform offers a free tier that provides access to many of its cloud services for up to 12 months. You can use this to practice setting up and managing cloud resources on the Google Cloud Platform.
In conclusion, Cloud Computing has transformed the way we approach data management and IT infrastructure. Its numerous benefits have enabled organizations to become more agile, innovative, and cost-effective. As technology continues to evolve, cloud computing will likely evolve with it, offering even greater capabilities and opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. However, it is crucial to remain vigilant and address the associated challenges to ensure the continued success and secure adoption of cloud computing in the future.