What Is Cloud? An Introduction.

What Is Cloud? An Introduction.

As more businesses shift to the cloud, its essential to have a foundational knowledge on cloud, its service models and major cloud service providers.


5 min read

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Welcome to my first blog post!!!๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

I am Cyndie, a cloud enthusiast, and I'll be taking you through the world of cloud! I'll be making a series on specifically AWS and its products, but first lemme introduce you to the world of cloud computing.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you do enjoy!!

Introduction To Cloud.

  1. What exactly is cloud?
  2. What are the popular cloud use cases?
  3. Who are the major cloud providers?
  4. What type of cloud services are provided?

1. What exactly is cloud?

61463625-cloud-computing.webp Image from123RF

Imagine you have a fruit business. For this business to be successful, you need a warehouse for storage and packaging. Now normally, you'd have to buy a large physical warehouse to have enough room for your business to grow.

So now, you've hustled really hard, got some money, bought a really nice cold storage warehouse at the edge of town. Phewks! Problem solved!

But now, its peak season! So much fruit! Our warehouse is full! You now have to buy another warehouse for all the fruits to fit in.

So there are two warehouses now. Its peak season, so everything runs smoothly. Time to breath, right?

But then, off peak season hits. Fruit production is just low. The fruits barely fill half the warehouse. The other warehouse is fully empty! What a waste of space. Buying a full warehouse for just one season feels like a waste of money, right?

This is just one of the major challenges most businesses had to face, about 150 B.C. (Before Cloud hehehe... I just had to! ๐Ÿ˜).

So companies had to buy physical servers and infrastructure and manage them on their own, for their software and databases to effectively run.

Now during peak season, they would have had to add an extra server to accommodate all their traffic. But during off season, the extra server would suddenly be idle. Maintaining these servers was really expensive. Until came the savior of the day....Cloud!

[Downloader.la]-6230594374d7c.jpg Image from 123RF

With cloud, just think of a bunch of warehouses where you can rent some space depending on your needs.

During peak season, upgrade. During off peak season, downgrade. You don't have to worry about maintaining the 'warehouses'. You don't have to worry about the amount of space you need, just roll with the flow.

So you can focus on your business, without having to worry about servers and storage and all that technical glitz.

2. What Are The Popular Cloud Use Cases?

a) Instagram
Ever wondered how you can access your account after losing a phone and get all your photos, videos and chats still intact? Or how you can upload a million photos without having to worry about storage? That's because all your photos are stored on servers in a data center, instead of locally on your device. So you can pretty much use instagram as your 'backup drive' to store all your memories!

b) Gmail
Gmail acts as a cloud email provider, where all your emails are stored in the cloud. So when you lose your phone, no worries! Your emails are still intact.

3. Who Are The Major Cloud Service Providers?

There are four most popular cloud providers today:

  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

4. What Type Of Cloud Services Are Provided?

There are 3 major service models provided for by the cloud providers:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

images.jpeg Image by Wikimedia

To understand how these service models work, we'll use the analogy of a landlord, (cloud provider) and a tenant (client).

1. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)

In computing, infrastructure basically means the computers and servers and hard drives that store data, run applications, etc. Normally, a company would have had to host their own infrastructure on premise and maintain them. With IaaS, a cloud provider hosts the infrastructure on behalf of the client (mostly Network Architects). So you have full control of the resources you need to build applications, store data, but you don't have to worry about maintaining the servers. Think of it as leasing land from your landlord to build a house, provided you come with building materials. You pay rent for the piece of land, but the house is yours.

Examples Of IaaS

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • Digital Ocean
  • Linode

2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

In PaaS, clients (mostly developers) rent everything they need to build their own applications. Therefore, PaaS vendors provide the infrastructure and all the development tools and frameworks needed to build the applications, so developers don't have to start from scratch. It's similar to leasing a piece of land, plus all the building materials and construction workers needed to build your house.

Examples Of PaaS

  • Heroku
  • AWS Lambda
  • Google App Engine

3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the most common service model used. I'm sure most of you have used it at some point. In SaaS, the cloud provider hosts applications and makes them available to the end users over the internet. So it's the software application, accessible to users through web browsers, that's being sold to clients. The users just have to pay a subscription fee to access the application. So in this case, the landlord builds and maintains the house, you just pay rent to occupy it.

Examples Of SaaS

  • Netflix
  • Slack
  • Google apps

For a more comprehensive analogy on the cloud service models, I give to you a modification of the famous 'Pizza As A Service' analogy, made by Paul Kerrison


So in my next blog post, I'll be introducing AWS together with its features. Then we start building stuff on AWS! It's gonna be fun! See you soon.