Cloud services – what is it?
Cloud services – this is a very interesting development of the last decade, which has changed some basic concepts of storage, use or processing of data and is becoming more and more trendy every day.
In an age of modern technology, quality and affordable cloud services are a true value to consumers and an integral part of a successful, profitable business on the expanses of the World Wide Web.
A wide range of services that can significantly enhance the company’s technological activity allows us to fully concentrate on the priority business tasks: after all, their optimal implementation through high-speed IT solutions is guaranteed.
The user can create his own exclusive collection of resources, using them for the most rapid execution of computing processes in just a couple of clicks, and manage them through the API or control panel with maximum comfort. You can also deploy a virtual server, change its configuration in just a few minutes, as soon as you like, adjusting to the current needs of the owner. It is equally convenient to delegate your domains through DNS-servers, managing resource records through a special panel or API.
Cloud services: what is this? The main varieties
Most users believe that the cloud is something of a voluminous storage of information. This is not quite true. In general, the whole system of the service functioning is built on exactly such principles that involve access to remote servers.
However, several basic categories should be clearly distinguished. If we give the simplest classification, we can say that cloud services are:
- storage of user and other files;
- remote gaming services;
- anti-virus services;
- information processing tools based on the web interface.
Of the cloud approaches, there are three main ones:
- SaaS (software as a service) – cloud application program, sharpened for specific tasks of the customer. The program is used by the customer, but fully serviced by the provider;
- PaaS (platform as a service) – when the client uses parts of the cloud provider’s power for its IT tasks;
- IaaS (infrastructure as a service) – when a client is provided with a cloud platform, as the total processing power, on which he independently chooses, how and in what form it is used to solve problems.
When using any of these cloud models, the user pays only for resources. He chooses from the package of services only what is needed specifically for him. Such dotted use of IT services became possible thanks to cloud technologies.
What is a “cloud”? Is there a physical place where it is located?
“Cloud” is a technology that allows you to use the resources of third-party computers, as if they were standing in your room. Although in practice these virtual machines can be on servers thousands of kilometers away from you. Access to data centers with servers is provided via the Internet or through dedicated communication channels. At the same time, you may not even notice that you are working in a cloud program, because all actions are displayed on the screen of your local computer. This concept was formulated back in the 1960s, but was actively implemented in practice in the late 1990s and in the 2000s.
Not only files, but practically the entire office IT infrastructure are transferred to the cloud: applications, services, servers, and so on. Access to the necessary data or tools is possible from any device from anywhere on the planet where there is Internet. And also providers of cloud services open users access to some useful services, for example, to expensive processing systems for large data. So companies do not need to buy them into ownership.
What are these cloud-based offices?
Cloud office is called the whole ecosystem, with which the company can do without a real office space. A significant part of its IT infrastructure works through the cloud. Business can transfer all communication, e-mail, planning tools, videoconferences, accounting, payments and other services to the cloud.
Despite the fact that they are all somewhat similar to each other, there are some basic differences, which will be discussed later.
Service of cloud storage of information. In the simplest sense, a cloud service is nothing more than a dedicated disk space on a remote server where the user can save their files and folders, upload them again to their computer, perform simple actions to manage them, or share them in order to they could be used by someone else. Roughly speaking, in fact it is such a remote hard drive. The allocated space, which can be used for free, depending on the owner of the service, can vary within fairly wide limits. On average, this figure fluctuates around 25-30 GB. For a larger amount will have to pay. This is justified for business or for those who store music or video files that take up a lot of space. Among the most famous and most popular services are the following:
- Google Drive;
- Built-in Windows systems of the latest generations of OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive);
- Mail.Ru cloud;
- Yandex Disk;
Today, very many companies provide such services, however, speaking of cloud technologies, other aspects of their use and use can not be bypassed.
Antivirus services. At the present stage of development of protection tools, which are presented in the form of anti-virus software, cloud technologies have become actively used in this field. The most simple example of their implementation can be called the popular antivirus scanner Panda Cloud Antivirus. How it works? If a threat to the system is suspected, for example, when downloading a file from the Internet, the scanner does not save it to the hard disk, and before that it sends it to the “sandbox”, which is essentially the same cloud in the which performs a suspicious object analysis. And only after that a permit is given or a prohibition on its preservation is established.
Interaction with cloud services through the web interface. Work with cloud services can also be presented in the form of user interaction with software of a certain type via the web interface when connecting to the server via the Internet. The essence is that the application is installed not on the user’s computer, but on the remote server. If you want to edit the same office documents located in the cloud, the server program is launched, but only as a web application. The user in the browser can edit the file in the same way as if it were the same MS Office installed directly on the local computer. The file is also stored on the remote server where it was originally hosted. In some services, there is the possibility of simultaneous access and editing, when several users participate in the process itself. In this case, changes in the document are displayed in all real-time users connected to the editor. The advantages of this approach are obvious, because in stationary versions of office applications this can not be achieved.
Game services. Cloud gaming service (Cloud Gaming) is also one of the varieties of such technologies. The essence of its use boils down to the fact that online game software is initially installed on a remote server, and when a gamer accesses the game, it can be partially downloaded to the user’s computer. In these technologies, two directions are distinguished: the streaming of part of the game in the form of files necessary for its immediate launch (File Streaming), which is approximately 5% of the total size; Stream video processing (video streaming) – hosting and processing of all game content directly on the server of the owner of the service. The first type was previously represented by services such as Utomik and Kalydo, which have already sunk into oblivion, and the second type is developing more dynamically and is represented by such giants as Playkey, LiquidSky, OnLive and many others. However, in most cases, any cloud service for games implies a fee for using a special access key (PlayKey) or buying game resources (LiquidSky). But with this approach, you can run the game from any device (computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, game consoles).
Proceeding from all the above, it can be concluded that cloud services are not only a convenient tool for saving their own information, but also an excellent management tool, working with a variety of programs without physically installing them on your PC, simultaneous access and editing of files and, of course, great opportunities in the development of entertainment industry. And these are only the main directions for developing cloud technologies. If we take into account the pooling of computing capabilities of computers, at some point connected to the World Wide Web, the prospects for the development and use of such services look very tempting.