Update appNew update is available. Click here to update.

Introduction to Cloud Computing

Dev Sharma
Last Updated: Mar 20, 2023


In today's world, the pace of increasing data by users is so high that we need large databases to store that data. It is also not affordable to have these databases on our local devices. So to solve this problem, cloud computing comes into the picture. So, in this blog, we will learn about cloud computing, its history, working, types, characteristics, applications, etc. Let's start!

Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing?

Cloud Computing is a service provided by companies that enable users to store applications and data on a remote server. The stored data can be accessed via the internet.
It means that the user doesn't have to be present at a specific location every time. Their work and application are available on any device. So, they can connect to the internet and complete their work from anywhere in the world.
Now after getting the idea about cloud computing, the question arises;

How can we create a cloud architecture?

To build a cloud architecture, we have some fundamental blocks of cloud computing. By connecting these blocks, we can create any cloud architecture in a short period. These blocks helps in easy designing of the cloud architecture. Some fundamental blocks of cloud computing are given below:

  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Database
  • Networking
  • Security

History of Cloud Computing

  • During the 1960s, the time-sharing concept was prevalent, introducing the idea of sharing system resources.
  • It is a belief that Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider invented cloud computing with his ARPANET. To connect people and applications from anywhere in the world at any time.
  • In the year 1969, the prototype of ARPANET was launched.
  • Then, in 1970, client-server came into the picture.
  • Client-server is a computing model in which the client can access the application from the central server.
  • In the 1990s, AT&T started developing an architecture where data could be located centrally.
  • In 1999, salesforce was the first company to make its application available from the website.
  • Then gradually, companies launched their search engines, OTT platforms, Netflix, Facebook app, Amazon web services, etc.
  • Now cloud services are adopted by people, which makes them stronger.

How does cloud computing work?

Cloud computing works straightforwardly by owning data centers or IT infrastructures. They create a decentralized environment that provides information through satellite networks.
A cloud servers-hosted organization will be there to manage massive data centers, storage capacity, and cloud system computing power. These hosting companies can sell their services to users who want to store their data on the cloud.

To understand it better, divide its work into two parts: 

  • The front end and the back end. These are the two sections connected through the internet. The front end is the application's client side, and the back end is the server side.
  • The front-end part of the application is used to access the cloud data. 
  • The backend part is deployed on the cloud, which consists data storage system, servers, and computers. These servers and computers, after combining, form a cloud.

Examples of Cloud Computing

  • Big Data Analysis
  • File sharing and data storage
  • Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) 
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS)
  • Function-as-a-Service(FaaS)
  • Cybersecurity

Cloud Computing Services


Saas is a cloud computing service that delivers applications over the internet so that it can be accessed without any installation. It is a standard cloud service type. Most of us use it daily as it makes the software accessible through an application or Web browser. 
Saas is a licensing model that requires a subscription to access the software using external software. 
Examples - Google docs, Dropbox, etc.


Paas is a cloud service that provides a proper environment for the development of web applications. It supports the complete application development cycle in one place, such as resources, testing, deployment, management, and updation. This service relieves you from managing the underlying system(hardware and operating system). As a result, it allows the developers to focus on building and deploying of application.
Examples - AWS, Google app engine, etc.


Iaas provides basic cloud infrastructure to the user, such as data storage, servers, and hardware. It gives you a space to store your IT resources and the flexibility to manage them.
This service does not need to have a large physical infrastructure; users can store data, applications, and software in the cloud itself.
Examples - Digital Ocean, Google computing engine, etc.


Xaas is a collection of services provided by different organizations. It includes various tools, technologies, and products delivered to the user as a service over the Internet. The service is provided in the subscription-based model rather than as an upfront purchase.


Faas is a cloud computing service that allows developers to build, compute, run, and manage functions without maintaining their infrastructure. 
With Faas, the management of web server software, physical hardware, and operating systems are all handled by cloud service providers. As a result, it allows the developers to focus on application code.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are three types of cloud computing

Public Cloud

These are virtualized services where data and applications can be accessed or managed using the internet. With this service, anyone can leverage the resources shared by any organization as per their need. These services are delivered over web browsers, making it easy for the deployment organizations to scale up the model. Moreover, it is owned and managed by universities, government organizations, businesses, etc.
Examples - Microsoft azure, IBM cloud, etc.

Private Cloud

These cloud services are accessible only to some restricted people who are associated with a particular business entity. It provides the same services as the public Cloud but also fulfills the users' infrastructure needs (hosting, data storage, etc.). 
Examples - HPE GreenLake and Azure Stack.
The main advantage of this service are

  • customized architecture.
  • advancedness in the safety of data.
  • ability to scale up the computing resources in a virtual environment.

Hybrid Cloud

It is a combination of private and public cloud models. It allows the user to leverage the benefits of shared resources while using existing IT infrastructure for critical security requirements. This hybrid model will enable organizations to store the user's confidential data. It also gives access to data via an application running on the public cloud.
Examples - AWS Outposts, Azure Stack.

What is Cloud?

A cloud is a set of services, networks, hardware, storage, and interfaces that enable the delivery of computing as a service. These resources include applications, processing, storage, networking, development and deployment platforms, and business processes. It is an environment in which multiple servers are located. On those servers, many software and databases are running. The place where these cloud servers are located is called the data center. These servers can be accessed via the Internet.

Cloud Security

It refers to the protocols, policies, and services that protect the applications, data, and infrastructure of the Cloud. Like cyber security, cloud security is a vast area, and it is impossible to prevent various attacks. But if we have a well-designed cloud security strategy, it will reduce the risk of cyber attacks.

Let’s see the working of cloud security.

How does cloud security work?

Cloud security is important to ensure that only authorized users can access the data stored in the cloud. To maintain security, organizations use various tools and strategies, including

  1. Data Encryption - This process encodes the data so that a key is needed to decipher it. It also prevents data from falling into the wrong hands.
  2. Next-generation firewalls - These are more smarter and effective than traditional firewalls. They use application-aware filtering to keep out advanced threats.
  3. Micro-segmentation - This security technique divides the data center into distinct security segments down to the individual workload level. This allows IT to define flexible security policies and minimizes the damage attackers can cause.
  4. Threat intelligence, monitoring, and prevention - These capabilities monitor all the traffic to identify, and block malware and other threats.

Top Cloud Security Challenges

  • Lack of Visibility and Tracking
  • Increased attack surfaces
  • Ever-changing workloads
  • DevOps, DevSecOps, and Automation
  • Complex environment
  • Cloud Compliance and Governance

How can we expect proper cloud security?

  • Responsibility of the provider by safeguarding the infrastructure, configuration of the hosts, and network in which system resources reside.
  • Responsibility of the customer by safeguarding the cloud accounts from unauthorized access, encryption, and cloud-based data assets.
  • Responsibilities vary depending on the service models, such as Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, etc.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

There are six essential characteristics of cloud computing.

  1. Self-service provisioning 
    Cloud computing services don't require any controller. Instead, users themselves manage and monitor the resources as per the requirements.
  2. Elasticity 
    Cloud computing services must have flexible IT resources to be scaled out as per the demand of users. Whenever the user requires new resources, its demand must be fulfilled as soon as possible.
  3. Pay per use
    It's a simple model of cloud services in which users have to pay the charges as per the usage of the resources. For example - the water consumption bill
  4. Workload Resilience
    Resilience in cloud computing services is the distribution of requests over different servers as the redundant IT resources are distributed over the other clouds.
    It helps reduce the workload as several requests have been distributed. It improves both the availability and efficiency of the application.
  5. Broad network access
    The broad access network is the ability of cloud computing services to reach out to a wide variety of devices. Devices include small and big machines such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and workstations. It enables the user to access all the IT resources.
  6. Multi-tenancy and resource pooling
    Multi-tenancy is the support by cloud computing service providers to all the users for the usage of all the shared resources.
    Resource Pooling is the access of IT resources by multiple clients from the same physical resource.

Applications of Cloud Computing

  1. Cloud Computing in Business
    Many organizations provide cloud computing services to small businesses in exchange for appropriate charges. These small businesses get on-demand access to web-based applications, data storage, and other services.
  2. Cloud Computing in Government and Public Sector
    Cloud computing services provide tools to the government. These tools need to be operated efficiently so that government can take advantage of the computing services.
    Some more benefits of cloud computing for the government are listed below
    1. Increase Cooperation and Efficiency
    2. Improved security
    3. Improved business continuity and disaster recovery
    4. Scalability and cost savings
  3. Cloud Computing in Education
    Cloud computing brings a revolutionary change to the education sector. It provides opportunities for students to master essential skills such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, etc.
    It also improves the connection between the students and teachers. They can connect through applications can make customized changes to the assignments. It also allows students to utilize a lot of technologies.
  4. Cloud Computing in Healthcare
    1. Improves medical services' quality, efficiency, and safety.
    2. Make it convenient for doctors to share reports of the patients collaboratively.
    3. Enables healthcare providers to reduce their initial costs and efforts and improves focus on patient care.
    4. Enhances the security of data records of the patients.
  5. Cloud Computing in Personal and Consumer Use
    For personal and consumer use
    1. storing big data on cloud servers
    2. deployment of the application and software
    3. for small services such as storing pictures, files, music files, etc.

Limitations of Cloud Computing

  • Limited control over data security, chances of phishing attacks, and suspicious activity are very high.
  • Network issues may create problems for the client; it will be problematic for the user to access data from the Cloud.
  • Sometimes, it is not cost-effective as several hidden costs are included, increasing small business expenditures.
  • The service providers manage all the Cloud computing services, and there is limited flexibility for the user. Access of users to different applications and services is restricted.
  • Inadequate cloud security may sometimes lead to data leakage over the cloud networks. As a result, we saw a lot of malware attacks, contact breaches, etc.

Cloud computing vs. traditional web hosting

            Basis            Cloud computing  Traditional Hosting
1. Costing1. The cost of cloud hosting is less, and it is cost-effective.1. Shared hosting cost is less, while dedicated hosting cost is more.
2. Speed and performance2. High website performance and speed of page loading.2. Speed and performance depend upon the density of the traffic.
3. Safety and security3. Maximum security of data; if in case a single server fails user can access data from another server.3. It offers less security as it relies on a single server.
4. Scalability4. Highly Scalable.4. Limited Scalability.
5. Data storage5. Data is stored on multiple servers.5. Data stored on a single server.

Service providers in Cloud Computing

Some of the service providers in cloud computing are listed below

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud platform
  • IBM cloud services
  • VMware Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud
  • Digital Ocean
  • RedHat
  • Alibaba Cloud

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by cloud computing?

Cloud Computing is a service provided by companies that enable users to store applications and data on a remote server. The stored data can be accessed via the Internet.
It means that the user doesn't have to be present at a specific location every time. Their work and application are available on any device. So, they can connect to the Internet and complete their work from anywhere in the world.

What are the four types of cloud computing?

There are four types of cloud computing, such as private Cloud, public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Multi-cloud. These clouds provide different types of services to users, which include public services that anyone can leverage. Private services are restricted to a particular section. Hybrid services are a combination of both private and public services. Multi-cloud services include more than one public cloud service combined with private cloud services.

How does Cloud computing works?

Cloud computing works straightforwardly by owning data centers or IT infrastructures. They create a decentralized environment that provides information through satellite networks.
To manage massive data centers, storage capacity, and cloud system computing power, a cloud servers-hosted organization will be there.


In this article, we have discussed Cloud computing thoroughly, exploring its history, its working, services, types, etc. Then we move to the security measures in cloud computing and discuss the responsibilities for proper security checks. We further discuss all the characteristics, applications, and limitations of cloud computing. Then get some idea about traditional web hosting and cloud hosting by differentiating them. Finally, we have seen all the service providers of cloud computing.

Was this article helpful ?
1 upvote