A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing Architecture

Cloud computing services are rapidly being adopted at enterprises. Going by the current trends, it is clear that cloud computing services will become an integral part of our lives, both professionally and personally. It becomes imperative to be acquainted with various concepts related to it. One such concept about cloud computing services that you must keep yourself abreast of is cloud computing architecture.

What is cloud computing architecture?

Cloud computing architecture refers to the components and subcomponents that are required in cloud computing services. In layman’s terms, cloud computing architecture is everything that makes up cloud computing services as we know it.

Cloud computing architecture can be broken down into four main components. They are:

  • Front-end platforms
  • Back-end platforms
  • Delivery platforms
  • Network

Let us have a look at each component in detail.

What Are Front-End Platforms?

Front-end platforms in cloud computing services refer to the client-side components. They consist of interfaces and applications such as web browsers, desktop, mobile applications, and devices that a user interacts with to access cloud computing services.

Examples of front end cloud computing services platforms:

  • Web-browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, and other desktop and mobile browsers that lets a user access cloud services.
  • Applications: Dropbox, Google Drive, and Apple iCloud.
  • Devices: Smartphones, desktops, tablets, and laptops.

What are the back end platforms?

Back-end platforms refer to the resources that are required to provide cloud services. They are used by the cloud service provider to ensure that the services run efficiently. Back-end platforms are used to refer to the cloud itself. The various back-end platform components include:

  • Cloud computing services servers: It includes the servers that are used to provide services to users to store, read, write, delete, and modify data. In a nutshell, servers are the medium through which users can access their data stored on the cloud.
  • Data storage mechanisms: It includes the disk drives such as hard disks and solid-state disks on which the user data is stored.
  • Security protocols and infrastructure: It refers to the various security measures such as data encryption that are used by the cloud computing services provider to ensure that the user data is safe from cyberattacks.
  • Deployment models: Deployment models are the parameters that define how the users have access and proprietorship over their data. There are four main types of cloud deployment models. They are:

Public cloud: As the name suggests, this model is available to the general public to use. The data is created and stored by third-party users. Examples of public cloud include IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and many more.

Private cloud: The private cloud deployment model is used by a single enterprise to store data on cloud computing services. This model restricts the visibility and use of data outside the enterprise and thus is used to store business-critical data. Examples of private cloud service providers include Amazon, Dell, and Cisco, to name a few.

Community cloud: This deployment model is very much similar to the private cloud model. The only difference is that a community cloud model is used by enterprises having similar business operating models. This model is generally used by enterprises having similar security, data, privacy, and other requirements.

Hybrid cloud: A hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of public, private, and community deployment models. It is used by enterprises that share common cloud computing services requirements and have segregated their data into sensitive data(private cloud services) and non-sensitive data(public cloud).

What are delivery platforms?

Delivery platforms can be defined as how cloud computing services are provided and accessed. Delivery platforms can be classified into five major types.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

The SaaS model allows cloud computing service providers to provide cloud services as a software platform. These applications run directly through web browsers and don’t require the user to download any app. They are generally used for CRM, HR, and finance operations.

Example: Windows Azure

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This model involves providing users access to cloud computing services infrastructure such as storage disks, virtual and physical machines.

Example: Amazon Web Services

  • Identity as a Service (IDaaS)

IDaas services provide digital identity access and management that allow users to access data more securely. IDaaS includes single sign-on services, risk monitoring, event monitoring, and authentication services. These services are generally used for online transactions.

Example: Akamai

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

This cloud computing services model provides the development and deployment tools, and the runtime environment for cloud-based solutions. In simple words, PaaS provides a platform for developers to create their software.

Example: Force.com

  • Network as a Service (NaaS)

The Network as a Service model provides users with direct access to the network infrastructure required for cloud computing services. It offers a network as a utility where users can access the network infrastructure as per their requirements.

Example: Rackspace

What is a network in cloud computing?

The network is the medium through which cloud computing services are provided and accessed. In simple terms, it refers to the internet or the network connection. An ideal network for cloud computing should provide high bandwidth, low latency, and increased security.

Summing it up

We hope that this blog helped you understand the various concepts related to cloud computing architecture. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

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