Cloud Computing

What is The Cloud?

Someone's hard drive? Glorified FTP? Where the Magic Happens?

Cloud computing is named as such because the information being accessed is found remotely in the cloud or a virtual space. Companies that provide cloud services enable users to store files and applications on remote servers and then access all the data via the Internet. ~Investopedia

Cloud Services

On-Premise On-Site Software or Cloud
On-premises cloud infrastructure is a term related to cloud computing, which seems to contradict a central principle of cloud services, namely, that cloud services are typically provided off-site as a fundamental part of cloud technology design. On-premises cloud infrastructure would be hardware that is related to cloud services or activities, that is nonetheless located on-site at the client’s physical business location. ~Techopedia

IaaS Infrastructure as a Service
Online services that provide high-level APIs used to dereference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc. ~wikipedia

PaaS Platform as a Service
Category of cloud computing services that allows customers to provision, instantiate, run, and manage a modular bundle comprising a computing platform and one or more applications, without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure. ~wikipedia

SaaS Software as a Service
Software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. SaaS apps are typically accessed by users using a thin client like a web browser. ~wikipedia

SASE Secure Access Service Edge
SASE simplifies wide-area networking (WAN) and security by delivering both as a cloud service directly to the source of connection (user, device, branch office, IoT device, edge computing location) rather than the enterprise data center. Security is based on identity, real-time context and enterprise security and compliance policies. An identity may be attached to anything from a person/user to a device, branch office, cloud service, application, IoT system, or an edge computing location. ~wikipedia

CVPN Cloud Virtual Private Network
Cloud VPN securely connects your peer network to your Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network through an IPsec VPN connection. Traffic traveling between the two networks is encrypted by one VPN gateway and then decrypted by the other VPN gateway. This action protects your data as it travels over the internet. ~Google

Cloud Types

Collaborative effort in which infrastructure is shared between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns (security, compliance, jurisdiction, etc.), whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. This is controlled and used by a group of organizations that have shared interest. The costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud (but more than a private cloud), so only some of the cost savings potential of cloud computing are realized. ~wikipedia

IT model where on-demand computing services and infrastructure are managed by a third-party provider and shared with multiple organizations using the public Internet. ~vmware

Computing services offered either over the Internet or a private internal network and only to select users instead of the general public. Also called an internal or corporate cloud, private cloud computing gives businesses many of the benefits of a public cloud - including self-service, scalability, and elasticity - with the additional control and customization available from dedicated resources over a computing infrastructure hosted on-premises. ~Microsoft

A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between these platforms. This typically involves a connection from an on-premises data center to a public cloud. The connection also can involve other private assets, including edge devices or other clouds. ~TechTarget

Multi Cloud
Multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single heterogeneous architecture. This also refers to the distribution of cloud assets, software, applications, etc. across several cloud-hosting environments. With a typical multicloud architecture utilizing two or more public clouds as well as multiple private clouds, a multicloud environment aims to eliminate the reliance on any single cloud provider.~wikipedia

Cloud Pros and Cons

The most obvious benefits of the cloud are 24/7 Access. Cost Reduction. Scalability. Like an FTP Server The Cloud can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection on multiple devices. Most software is maintained and updated by the service provider.

The number 1 issue is Privacy and Security. This is where Shared Responsibility Agreements come into effect and you should review your service providers' agreement thoroughly.

E.g. Microsoft's Shared Responsibility Agreement covers the following topics:
Moving To The Cloud. Cloud service and delivery models. Shared responsibilities. Compliance obligation, data classification & accountability. Client & end-point protection. Identity & access management. Network control. Host infrastructure. Physical security.

The number 2 issue is Outages. Because the cloud is basically the Internet, service providers can succumb to power outages, catastrophic failure, employee error, and even insider threat. Although there are back-up plans in-case something happens, any kind of outage or downtime can be extremely costly.

Potential for Higher Costs. If you want to move to the cloud your applications may require a rewrite in order to be compatible with the service provider. That daunting task could require weeks and even months to complete. Another cost to you could be over the amount of data you have to transfer, and how much time it will take to complete. Potential errors during the transfer is another issue that may arise.

The level of Customer Support can also become expensive if you require premium support for the cloud package you signed up for.

Another issue to be aware of is Vendor Lock-In. Its kind of a crooked business practice and according to CAST AI vendor lock-in (also called proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in) is a scenario where a customer becomes dependent on a vendor for products and services because they’re not able to use another vendor without substantial switching costs.

While this list of pros and cons is not exhaustive I highly recommend you research every clause hidden within your Cloud Service Providers TOS, AUP, SLA, and Privacy Policy.

Cloud Providers

Amazon Cloud Computing AWS
AWS offers low, pay-as-you-go pricing with no up-front expenses or long-term commitments. We are able to build and manage a global infrastructure at scale, and pass the cost saving benefits onto you in the form of lower prices. With the efficiencies of our scale and expertise, we have been able to lower our prices on 15 different occasions over the past four years.

IBM Cloud
IBM Cloud offers the most open and secure public cloud platform for business, a next-generation hybrid multicloud platform, advanced data and AI capabilities, and deep enterprise expertise across 20 industries. IBM Cloud hybrid cloud solutions deliver flexibility and portability for both applications and data. Linux®, Kubernetes, and containers support this hybrid cloud stack, and combine with RedHat® OpenShift® to create a common platform connecting on-premises and cloud resources.

Microsoft Azure
The Azure cloud platform is more than 200 products and cloud services designed to help you bring new solutions to life—to solve today’s challenges and create the future. Build, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge, with the tools and frameworks of your choice.

Google Cloud
Google Cloud consists of a set of physical assets, such as computers and hard disk drives, and virtual resources, such as virtual machines (VMs), that are contained in Google's data centers around the globe. Each data center location is in a region. Regions are available in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Alibaba Cloud
Alibaba Cloud is a global leader in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, providing services to thousands of enterprises, developers, and governments organizations in more than 200 countries and regions. Committed to the success of its customers, Alibaba Cloud provides reliable and secure cloud computing and data processing capabilities as a part of its online solutions.

Oracle Cloud
Oracle Cloud is one of the few cloud providers that can offer a complete set of cloud services to meet all your enterprise computing needs. Oracle Cloud is the industry's broadest and most integrated cloud provider, with deployment options ranging from the public cloud to your data center. Oracle Cloud offers best-in-class services across Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Salesforce Cloud
Salesforce is the leader in cloud computing, offering applications for all aspects of your business, including CRM, sales, ERP, customer service, marketing automation, business analytics, mobile application building, and much more. And it all works on the same, connected platform, drawing from the same customer data.

SAP Cloud Platform
Over 16,000 customers and partners around the world use SAP Cloud Platform to build application extensions and seamlessly integrate landscapes. Now, the capabilities of this platform as a service (PaaS) are a key part of SAP Business Technology Platform.

Rackspace Cloud
The Rackspace Cloud is a set of cloud computing products and services billed on a utility computing basis from the US-based company Rackspace. Offerings include Cloud Storage, virtual private server, load balancers, databases, backup, and monitoring.

VMware Cloud
Run your digital business on VMware Cloud, spanning 130 countries globally. Deploy your applications anywhere in the world, deliver services locally on every major hyperscaler, and choose from thousands of cloud providers to meet your needs for performance, security and data locality.

Cloud Native

Cloud native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.

These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil. ~Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) via GitHub

Kubernetes is an ideal platform for running contemporary workloads designed as cloud-native applications. It’s become the de facto operating system for the cloud, in much the same way Linux is the operating system for the underlying machines. As long as developers follow best practices of designing and developing software as a set of microservices that comprise cloud-native applications, DevOps teams will be able to package and deploy them in Kubernetes. Here are the 10 key attributes of cloud-native applications that developers should keep in mind when designing cloud-native applications. ~The New Stack

Cloud Monitoring Tools

Zabbix is an open-source monitoring software tool for diverse IT components, including networks, servers, virtual machines and cloud services. Zabbix provides monitoring metrics, among others network utilization, CPU load and disk space consumption.

Nagios Core
Nagios Core is a free and open-source computer-software application that monitors systems, networks and infrastructure. Nagios offers monitoring and alerting services for servers, switches, applications and services.

Icinga is an open-source computer system and network monitoring application. It was originally created as a fork of the Nagios system monitoring application in 2009.

Grafana is a multi-platform open source analytics and interactive visualization web application. It provides charts, graphs, and alerts for the web when connected to supported data sources.

Zenoss Community Edition is a free and open-source application, server, and network management platform based on the Zope application server.

OpenNMS is an open-source solution that helps you visualize and monitor everything on your local and remote networks. It offers comprehensive fault, performance, traffic monitoring, and alarm generation in one place. Highly customizable and scalable, OpenNMS easily integrates with your core business applications and workflows.

The Netdata monitoring agent is free, open-source software that can be installed on physical or virtual servers, containers, and IoT devices to collect console-level, per-second data that is presented as human-friendly metrics optimized for visual anomaly detection, providing unparalleled insights, in real-time, into everything happening on the systems it runs on. With more than 200 integrations, Netdata can monitor web servers, file systems, databases, containers, and more.

Observium is a low-maintenance auto-discovering network monitoring platform supporting a wide range of device types, platforms and operating systems including Cisco, Windows, Linux, HP, Juniper, Dell, FreeBSD, Brocade, Netscaler, NetApp and many more. Observium focuses on providing a beautiful and powerful yet simple and intuitive interface to the health and status of your network.

NetXMS is an open-source network management system. It can be used for monitoring entire IT infrastructures, starting with SNMP-capable hardware and ending with applications on servers.

Pandora FMS Community
Pandora FMS is a monitoring software for IT infrastructure management which includes network equipment, Windows and Unix servers, virtual infrastructure and all different kind of applications. It has a large amount of features, making it a new generation software which discovers all the monitoring issues that an organization may need.