Table of contents
As an aspiring DevOps engineer, it is important to understand the key concepts related to cloud computing. In this blog post, we will cover the following topics in detail:
What is the Cloud?
The term "cloud" refers to servers in data centres that are accessed remotely over the Internet. The cloud allows organizations to access a wide range of resources, such as compute, storage, and databases, as needed, rather than having to purchase and maintain them upfront.
Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud
Public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud are three different deployment models for cloud services. The public cloud refers to cloud services that are owned and operated by a third-party provider and made available to the public. Private cloud refers to cloud services that are owned and operated by an organization, for its own use. Hybrid cloud refers to a combination of public and private cloud services, used together to meet the needs of an organization.
AWS, Azure, and GCP
AWS, Azure, and GCP are three major cloud platforms, each with its unique offerings and features. AWS, or Amazon Web Services, is the market leader in terms of market share and is known for its wide range of offerings and strong track record. Azure, or Microsoft Azure, is a close second in terms of market share and is known for its strong integration with other Microsoft products and services. GCP, or Google Cloud Platform, is a newer entrant to the market and is known for its strong focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence.
IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are three different delivery models for cloud services. IaaS, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service, refers to the delivery of raw computing resources, such as servers, storage, and networking, as a service. PaaS, or Platform-as-a-Service, refers to the delivery of a platform, such as a development environment, as a service. SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, refers to the delivery of software applications as a service.
Regions and Availability Zones
Regions and availability zones are concepts that are specific to cloud platforms. A region is a physical location around the world where they cluster data centres. An Availability Zone (AZ) is one or more discrete data centres with redundant power, networking, and connectivity in a region. AZs give customers the ability to operate production applications and databases that are more highly available, fault-tolerant, and scalable than would be possible from a single data centre. All AZs in an AWS Region are interconnected with high-bandwidth, low-latency networking, over fully redundant, dedicated metro fibre providing high-throughput, low-latency networking between AZs.
On-demand self-service refers to the ability of users to access and utilize cloud resources, such as compute, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis, without the need for human intervention.
Resource pooling refers to the practice of sharing a large pool of resources, such as computing, storage, and databases, across multiple users. The provider's computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.
Measured service refers to the practice of tracking and measuring the usage of cloud resources, such as computing, storage, and databases. This is an important benefit of the cloud, as it allows organizations to track and optimize their resource usage, and to pay for only the resources they use. Measured service can be particularly beneficial for organizations with variable resource requirements, as it allows them to track and optimize their resource usage, and to pay for only the resources they use.
Rapid elasticity refers to the ability of the cloud to quickly and easily scale resources up or down as needed. This means it allows organizations to respond quickly to changes in demand, without having to purchase and maintain additional resources upfront. Rapid elasticity can be particularly beneficial for organizations with variable resource requirements, as it allows them to scale their resources up or down as needed, without incurring unnecessary costs.
Reliability refers to the ability of a system to perform its intended functions, with a high degree of uptime. In the context of the cloud, reliability allows organizations to ensure the availability and performance of their resources. Reliability can be achieved through various means, such as redundant hardware and software, failover mechanisms, and load balancing.
Agility refers to the ability of an organization to respond quickly and effectively to changes in its environment. Agility allows organizations to quickly and easily develop, test and launch applications that drive business growth in a constantly changing IT environment.
AutoScaling is a feature of cloud platforms that allows organizations to automatically scale their resources up or down as needed. This allows organizations to respond quickly to changes in demand, without having to manually add or remove resources. AutoScaling can be particularly beneficial for organizations with variable resource requirements, as it allows them to scale their resources up or down automatically, based on pre-defined rules or thresholds.
Fault tolerance refers to the ability of a system to continue operating, even in the event of hardware or software failure. In the context of the cloud, fault tolerance allows organizations to ensure the availability and reliability of their resources. Fault tolerance can be achieved through various means, such as using multiple regions or availability zones, or using load balancing.
High availability refers to the ability of a system to remain operational and accessible, with a high degree of uptime.
Disaster recovery refers to the processes and procedures that an organization puts in place to ensure the availability and recoverability of its resources, in the event of a disaster. In the context of the cloud, disaster recovery ensures the availability and reliability of its resources, even in the event of a major disruption.
Virtualization vs. Multi-Tenancy
Virtualization and multi-tenancy are related, but distinct, concepts in the context of the cloud. Virtualization refers to the practice of creating a virtual version of a physical resource, such as a server or a storage device. Multi-tenancy refers to the practice of sharing a single instance of a resource, such as a software application, across multiple tenants. Multi-tenancy allows organizations to share resources and infrastructure, while still maintaining the security and isolation of their environments.
Centralized security refers to the practice of managing and enforcing security policies from a central location. Centralized security means organizations can enforce consistent security policies across their cloud resources. This can be particularly beneficial for organizations with a distributed workforce, as it allows them to ensure the security of their resources, regardless of location.
I hope this detailed overview of cloud computing concepts has helped teach you key concepts related to the cloud. As an aspiring DevOps engineer, understanding these concepts is essential to your success in building and managing cloud-based systems.
If you're interested in learning more about cloud computing and how to use it to your advantage, I invite you to join me for my AWS Training session on Saturday 14th January between 1pm-6pm GMT. In this session, we'll delve deeper into the concepts covered here, as well as explore practical techniques for using the AWS platform to build and manage cloud-based systems.
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