Cloud, Technology

Public Cloud Computing: Basics for Beginners

Cloud computing is changing how businesses operate and how IT organizations support them. It’s also changing how people use technology in their...

avatar Written by Louie Missap · 4 min read >

Cloud computing is changing how businesses operate and how IT organizations support them. It’s also changing how people use technology in their everyday lives. As consumers, we now expect to be able to access our favorite applications and services anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

The popularity of cloud computing is due to the many benefits it offers businesses and individuals. From a business perspective, cloud computing can help you reduce costs, improve agility and speed of innovation, and increase scalability and flexibility.

If you’re new to cloud computing, this guide will introduce you to the basics of public cloud computing, including key concepts, deployment models, management (AWS support plan), and more.

What is Public Cloud Computing?

Public cloud computing is a model for delivering information technology (IT) services in which resources are retrieved from the internet through web-based tools and applications rather than a local network or personal computer.

The public cloud is one type of cloud computing that also includes private and hybrid models. In a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the service provider, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform.

With public cloud computing, businesses can avoid the upfront investment in hardware and software, as well as the ongoing costs of maintenance and support. Instead, they pay for only the resources they use on a pay-as-you-go basis.

How does public cloud computing work?

In public cloud computing, service providers make resources available to customers over the internet, such as virtual machines (VMs), storage, and applications. Customers can then access and use those resources as needed.

For example, businesses that need more storage capacity can rent it from a public cloud provider on an as-needed basis rather than having to invest in and manage their storage infrastructure.

Most public cloud resources are housed in data centers that use high-speed networks to connect to customers. The service provider (AWS, Azure, etc.) manages the data center, including the network, hardware, and software.

What are the benefits of public cloud computing?

Compared to private and hybrid cloud models, public cloud computing has several advantages, which can appeal to businesses of all sizes.

Pay-as-you-go pricing:

One of the biggest benefits of the public cloud is that you only pay for the resources you use on a pay-as-you-go basis. This can help you save money, compared to the private cloud, which requires a large upfront investment in hardware and software, as well as ongoing maintenance costs.

Elastic scalability:

Another advantage of public cloud computing is that it’s easy to scale up or down as your needs change. This is because you can add or remove resources as needed. This can be a big benefit for businesses that experience sudden spikes in demand or fluctuating seasonal patterns.

Improved agility and speed of innovation:

The public cloud also enables businesses to be more agile and responsive to change. That’s because it’s easier and faster to provision new resources as needed. This can help you bring new products and services to market faster.

Increased security:

In addition, public cloud providers invest heavily in security, which can result in increased security for customers. That’s because public cloud providers have the resources and expertise to keep pace with the latest security threats.

What are the different public cloud deployment models?

There are three main public cloud deployment models:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)– IaaS is the most basic form of public cloud computing. In this model, businesses rent storage, networking, and other computer resources from a public cloud provider on an as-needed basis.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)– PaaS builds on IaaS by providing a platform for businesses to develop, test, and deploy applications. In most cases, the public cloud provider manages the underlying infrastructure while the customer manages the application and data.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)- SaaS is a complete solution that includes both the platform and the application. In this model, businesses can access and use cloud-based applications, like email and customer relationship management (CRM), over the internet.

What are some of the public cloud vendors?

Some of the most popular public cloud vendors include:

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

By far, the most popular public cloud vendor is AWS, which is part of Amazon.com. AWS offers a comprehensive set of services, including storage, networking, computing resources, and a wide range of applications.

There are also plenty of AWS support options, including CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS). This software helps businesses manage their AWS environment, including provisioning, monitoring, and optimizing resources. Check out cloud management to learn more.

Microsoft Azure

Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud offering. It includes a wide range of services, from storage and networking to computing and analytics. Like AWS, there are also plenty of support options available for Azure, including CAMS.

The main advantage of Azure is that it integrates well with other Microsoft products and services, like Active Directory, Exchange, and SharePoint.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

GCP is Google’s public cloud offering. It includes many services, including storage, networking, computing, and data analytics. GCP offers support options, like CAMS, to help businesses manage their cloud environment.

One of the main advantages of GCP is its Google BigQuery service, which is a powerful data analytics tool.

These are just a few of the most popular public cloud vendors. Many other smaller public cloud providers, like DigitalOcean and Vultr.

What are some of the public cloud challenges?

Public Cloud Computing

Despite all the advantages of public cloud computing, there are also some challenges. These include:

Security concerns:

One of the biggest public cloud concerns is security. That’s because businesses are entrusting their data to a third-party provider.

To mitigate this risk, it’s important to carefully evaluate the security measures of any public cloud vendor before signing up and getting cloud management software with comprehensive security features.

Lack of control:

Another public cloud challenge is businesses’ lack of control over their data and applications. This can be an issue for businesses that require a high level of control, such as those in highly regulated industries.

Cost:

Another public cloud challenge is cost. Public cloud services are typically charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, which can be expensive for businesses that use many resources.

To help mitigate this cost, it’s important to carefully evaluate your public cloud needs and only use the resources you need. Of course, the public cloud is still cheaper than building and maintaining your private cloud infrastructure.

Risk of vendor lock-in:

Another public cloud challenge is the risk of vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in is when a business relies on a particular public cloud vendor and finds it difficult to switch to another vendor.

To avoid this, carefully evaluate your public cloud needs upfront and choose a vendor that offers the flexibility to scale up or down as needed.

Final Thoughts

A public cloud is a popular option for businesses of all sizes. It offers several advantages, including flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. However, some public cloud challenges are also to consider, like security concerns and vendor lock-in.

To help decide whether the public cloud is right for your business, carefully evaluate your needs and preferences. If the public cloud is the right fit, choose a reputable vendor and take advantage of cloud management software to help you optimize your public cloud environment.

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Written by Louie Missap
Louie is the father behind the travel blog Browseeverywhere.com.
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