Cloud Computing is the use of multiple server computers via a digital network as if they were one. A "Cloud" is a virtualization of resources (networks, servers, applications, data storage, and services) allowing on-demand access for the end user. These resources can be provided with minimal management or service provider interaction.
Since 2010, the US Government has pursued a Cloud Computing policy called "Cloud First." It aims to replace on-site systems with Cloud-based technologies, saving an estimated $12 billion annually.
The benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing has many benefits to organizations and end users:
- The range of applications available is potentially infinite.
- Access to applications is possible without the requirement to download or install them.
- There is no expenditure on software or hardware because applications are hosted in the Cloud.
- Cloud Computing is operated as a utility: you only pay for what you use.
- Companies can share resources in one place.
- Cloud Computing allows companies unprecedented scalability options.
Cloud Computing vs. Traditional Hosting
- Cloud Computing is sold on demand.
- The service is managed by the provider.
- Users can determine the amount of service they take.
- Users can log on to the network from any computer in the world.
The different types of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing utilizes a range of technologies in order to meet the requirements of different users’ needs. There are three main types of Cloud Computing:
- Software as a service (Saas)
SaaS, often referred to as on-demand software, delivers software and data through a program accessed via a web browser.
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
Paas provides a computing platform and a solution stack on which the user creates software using tools and libraries from the provider. The user controls what and how the software is deployed, while the provider supplies the networks and storage space.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
IaaS is the most basic of the Cloud Computing models, providing virtual machines, storage, and resources for the end users. These are provided on demand and are managed by the provider, who charges on a resources-consumed basis.
The risks of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing is widely used and is becoming increasingly more robust, but this doesn’t mean that there are no risks associated with the Cloud:
- Users do not physically possess storage of their own data, leaving the control with the storage provider. This raises business continuity and disaster recovery issues.
- Users are at risk of becoming dependent upon the Cloud provider.
- There are data migration issues when changing provider.
- What happens if your Cloud provider goes out of business?
Cloud Computing Books
We stock a growing range of books on Cloud Computing in our Web Store, including:
This book provides an overview of security architecture processes and explains how they may be used to derive an appropriate set of security controls to manage the risks associated with working in the Cloud. It is aimed at business decision-makers, senior IT stakeholders, enterprise architects, information security professionals, and anyone else who is interested in working with Cloud services but might be concerned about the potential security implications.
This book goes beyond the subject of generic Cloud security and, instead, offers a more detailed and architectural approach to securing Cloud services. It is aimed at business decision-makers, senior IT stakeholders, enterprise architects, information security professionals, and anyone else who is interested in working with Cloud services but might be concerned about the potential security implications.
Cloud Computing: Assessing the risks uses jargon-free language and relevant examples, analogies, and diagrams to explain the key benefits and risks that come with adopting Cloud services. Written by three internationally renowned experts, the book discusses the primary concerns of most businesses leaders—the security and risk elements of the Cloud. But security and risk are just two elements of Cloud computing, and this book covers all the critical components of a successful Cloud program, including compliance, risk, reliability, availability, areas of responsibility, Cloud computing borders, legalities, digital forensics, and business continuity.
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