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The cloud market is evolving, and cloud providers are constantly adding new services that can help ease business tasks. According to Statista, the Public cloud market alone is projected to reach $322 billion in 2022.
But what are cloud services? What are the different types of cloud services? How businesses could leverage cloud services? We’ll answer all of these questions along with how to seamlessly migrate to cloud services in this article. So, keep reading!
What Are Cloud Services?
The cloud is when you are provided with remote access to computing power, data storage and various ready-to-use services like databases, log collection servers and other cool things as soon as possible.
The main advantages of this approach are that you do not need to buy hardware and software, you do not need to configure and maintain anything. Just connect to the remote interface and get started.
Types Of Cloud Services
Let’s try to explain in simple words what cloud services are. The most basic case is access to a virtual server. By purchasing a cloud, you immediately get access to the command line on a computer with the specified characteristics and the operating system you need. Such a server is called a virtual server not because it is made in VR, but because your server runs inside another (very powerful) physical server along with a dozen other similar virtual counterparts.
The second popular use of the cloud is storing a large number of user files (avatars, photographs, customer documents, etc.). In this scenario, you get network access to the system that stores, reads and writes data. Physically, this thing may look like hundreds of servers and thousands of disks, but for you, it will be just a simple cloud where you can throw anything. The storage capacity is theoretically unlimited, there can be as many disks as you want.
The third use case is ready-made cloud components, a kind of add-on over cloud servers. Load balancers, database servers, containerized application launchers – all of these things are needed for every decent IT project since the use of ready-made components greatly reduces the costs of launching and configuring your infrastructure.
Off-the-shelf services in the cloud are the fourth type. Ready-made services for sending push notifications to phones, Ready-made neural networks. Ready-made data analysis systems and Ready-made backends for mobile applications. Such services differ from other cloud services.
For your money, you don’t simply get hardware and software for quickly assembling your solutions, but completely ready-made solutions for various business problems. There are thousands upon thousands of pre-built bricks on the market for use in your applications. The cloud provides instant access to ready-made, reliable and functional programs.
How Cloud Services Work
If you focus on the base, you can see that cloud service is network access to remote servers. They can be located anywhere in the world, contain thousands (or even millions) of computers and dozens of programs. But you won’t see all this complexity. All you need is a network connection and a cloud client on your computer.
Servers are maintained and configured by qualified administrators, whose task is to ensure the simplest and most stable work and user access to servers, cloud components and services at any time of the day or night, in any conditions and under any load.
And administrators also take care of the uninterrupted operation of the entire data centre in which the clouds are spinning: they plan the power supply of buildings, the connection of fast communication channels, the replacement of equipment with a new one. Lots of people are working 24 hours a day to keep the clouds working perfectly.
This is the basic principle of building cloud systems.
Benefits Of Cloud Services
Any cloud service always has three huge advantages:
You get rid of the headaches of deploying and maintaining IT infrastructure. Because you don’t have to monitor the health, reliability and security of the system for you. Server management is a very demanding task: you need to make backups, install updates, replace broken hardware, configure services. You offload all these worries to the cloud service provider and just use everything ready.
In many cases, you save money. For most businesses, clouds are cheaper than their fleet of devices and admin staff. And you can also rent cloud capacities for minutes and hours – that means you’ll only have to pay for the actual time of using remote machines. Cloud resources are created and deleted in seconds, so there is no need to keep a hundred or two servers in reserve for a rainy day.
Of course, there are specific cases when cloud solutions are more expensive or simply may not be suitable. For example, companies or departments with a very stable computing load without fluctuations or departmental services with an abundance of regulations that complicate the use of clouds. But for most cases, the cloud is great, especially if you are experimenting with products and a business model.
You develop and bring products to market faster. Build applications and projects from ready-made pieces to test business hypotheses, Easily! No more waiting for your engineers to write the necessary components from scratch.
Cloud Migration Is A Global Trend
According to TechNavio’s forecast, the global market for cloud migration services will grow by an average of 23% per year shortly and will amount to about $ 4.4 billion in 2022.
The market remains rather fragmented, occupied by many players, none of which has a dominant share. One of the key drivers in the direction of cloud migration will be the increasing adoption of cloud computing. Up to 43% growth will be provided by the American market, analysts expect.
Why it’s Time to Migrate your Products to Cloud?
Most midsize and large businesses understand the benefits of clouds and use cloud technologies to varying degrees.
Many companies are moving to the cloud only principle – that is, they are beginning to consider the cloud option of building infrastructure as the only scenario for business development. According to Gartner forecasts, in 2019, a third of IT companies’ investments were directed to cloud-only products.
Application Providers can Automate Software Development
Applications operating on the SaaS (software as a service) model, for example, Skype for Business and others, have two common features:
- they are constantly updated, therefore, the high speed of bringing updates to the market (time to market) becomes an important factor in competitiveness.
- they are susceptible to disruption: if the SaaS goes down, there are a lot of disgruntled users, a lot of publicity, to the point that they write about it in the news.
SaaS development is literally between two fires: it is necessary to add new functions faster than competitors will do, while at the same time fixing errors instantly and preventing the service from falling.
Cloud infrastructure allows you to automate the operations of testing code, assembling applications from components, and delivering updates to users. A large company with powerful IT expertise and technical base can afford to build its centre infrastructure and hire employees to administer servers, networks, virtual environments, databases, containers and other low-level elements. But if we take ordinary SaaS companies, this is not an option for them.
PaaS (platform as a service) solutions will be especially valuable for development: in the cloud, you can get ready-made and configured containers, machine learning systems, databases, and more. A small startup can take them like building blocks and build an automated development infrastructure in the cloud. According to Gartner, about 50% of the tools that cloud providers offer can only be obtained in the cloud and nowhere else.
E-commerce And Retail Get Online Store Resiliency At Peak Sales
The load on online stores and other online retail services is often unpredictable. During the year, there can be both seasonal changes and unpredictable peaks and falls in sales. In addition, bursts of buying activity always occur during sales – sometimes they go better than expected, and some “Black Friday” can easily bring down the site. In 2018, sites were disrupted for Walmart, Lululemon and Ulta. And the J.Crew brand lost $ 775,000 in five hours of downtime.
Building an infrastructure that can withstand peak loads in your own data centre is difficult and expensive. We need to buy additional servers in case of spikes in sales. Such equipment will work only during hot periods, but it will have to be serviced during downtime – this is another item on the list of expenses. In addition, additional servers do not guarantee that the infrastructure will not collapse – you need to accurately predict what load is expected during sales and promotions, and this is not always possible.
The clouds have a tool to solve the problem – automatic scaling. Cloud services can distribute user requests across different data centres. At the same time, the capacity of the virtual resources that the company leases from the provider will automatically increase and decrease depending on the load. That is, during a sale, the capacity can increase many times over so that the store can process all requests without any problems. And at other times, the capacity decreases, and the company does not have to overpay for resources that it does not use.
The Financial Sector Uses Clouds For Data Mining
Finance, banking, insurance were once considered conservative industries, but now they have broken into the IT vanguard and are among the first to introduce innovative technologies. In addition, even banks are beginning to trust public clouds, for example, JPMorgan is ready to transfer highly sensitive information to the cloud.
For companies that are not yet ready for such experiments, public clouds will also come in handy: they can be used to test new solutions in the field of big data analysis, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. There is great value in rapidly testing and introducing new services – even a small increase in profits through machine optimization provides huge benefits across the entire customer base.
Also, companies in the financial sector can significantly save on the automation of routine operations, which is provided by the transition to the cloud infrastructure. McKinsey experts believe that it is realistic to automate 75-80% of transactional operations, such as payment processing, and up to 40% of strategic tasks, such as financial control and planning.
In Healthcare, Clouds Can Help Store Personal Data
The handling of digital health data is strictly regulated by law as it is sensitive data. They can be transferred to the cloud: cloud providers already know how to configure their platforms to work with confidential information and personal data in the mode that is needed by a particular company or established by the requirements of any department.
The solutions offered by cloud providers comply with the provisions of GDPR and CCPA “On Personal Data”. Also, healthcare organizations can store patient identification data in their data centre and transfer it to the cloud only in an impersonal form for high-tech processing.
Also, cloud solutions can simplify the interaction of pharmaceutical companies and other medical organizations with other companies. For example, Pfizer uses clouds to store confidential data from partner labs.
How To Migrate To Cloud Services
Here’s a step-by-step cloud migration plan for you:
- Decide what is worth taking out to the cloud and what is not. It may be more convenient to leave some data or systems inside the company, and transfer only a part to the cloud. In many cases, it is easier to fully migrate to the cloud infrastructure, consult with technical experts.
- Decide with whom you will work. When choosing a provider, three factors are most important: a good reputation, a wide range of services provided and the geographic proximity of data centres to your target markets – this affects the final speed of work.
We arrange the launch of your applications in the cloud or include the cloud infrastructure in your network.
When developing new or modifying your programs, always consider cloud alternatives – you can often use off-the-shelf components to solve your problem, for example, database services, machine learning, development, and so on. You don’t have to develop everything yourself, it’s expensive!