You have selected free tutorial of the Microsoft Corporation for the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) :
98-369: MTA: Cloud Fundamentals :
Module 1: Understand the Cloud :
Describe cloud principles and delivery mechanism
hints: Differentiate between on-premises IT service models; differentiate between subscription or pay-as-you-go versus upfront CapEx/OpEx funding model; use cloud services to expand capacity (elasticity of the cloud), scalability, redundancy, and availability; differentiate between cloud services that are configurable versus on-premises services that are customizable
In a cloud computing system, there's a significant workload shift. Local computers no longer have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles them instead. Hardware and software demands on the user's side decrease. The only thing the user's computer needs to be able to run is the cloud computing system's interface software, which can be as simple as a Web browser, and the cloud's network takes care of the rest. For the smallest business player can gain benefit from cloud computing as:
- Start small and buildup–don’t over provision
- The pay-as-you-go ethos is helpful bu tkeep an eye on costs
- PAYG can work out more expensive than on-premise; be sensible in you rplanning
- Have a proper back-up and disaster recovery process in place–if something can go wrong, it will
- Make sure that you’rebuying services from a reputable supplier–there is a lot of ‘cloud washing’ (ie.deceptive marketing)out there
- You’re still responsible for compliance–don’t pass the buck to your provider when it comes to conforming to regulations
As per the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the usage or accessibility is to cost only to the level of usage to the customers based on their needs and demands, also known as the pay-as-you-go or pay-as-per-use model. If the need is more, more quantum computing resources are made available ( provisioning with elasticity) by the provider
Cloud storage benefits can address many challenges that physical storage doesn’t:
- You are not dependent on a single server
- There is no direct dependency on any hardware
- You don’t have to buy more disk space than you initially need to accommodate future data growth
- Business continuity isprovided in the event of a site disaster
- A ‘virtual’storage container can be provisioned that is larger than the physical space available
- You can drastically reduce over-provisioning in a pay-as-you-go model
- Youcanaccessyourentirestorage poolfromasinglepoint.
A consolidated set of points briefing the benefits of cloud computing can be as follows:
- Achieve economies of scale: We can increase the volume output or productivity with fewer systems and thereby reduce the cost per unit of a project or product.
- Reduce spending on technology infrastructure: It is easy to access data and information with minimal upfront spending in a pay-as-you-go approach, in the sense that the usage and payment are similar to an electricity meter reading in the house, which is based on demand.
- Globalize the workforce: People worldwide can access the cloud with Internet connection.
- Streamline business processes: It is possible to get more work done in less time with less resource.
- Reduce capital costs: There is no need to spend huge money on hardware, software, or licensing fees.
- Pervasive accessibility: Data and applications can be accessed anytime, anywhere, using any smart computing device, making our life so much easier.
- Monitor projects more effectively: It is possible to confine within budgetary allocations and can be ahead of completion cycle times.
- Less personnel training is needed: It takes fewer people to do more work on a cloud, with a minimal learning curve on hardware and software issues.
- Minimize maintenance and licensing software: As there is no too much of on-premise computing resources, maintenance becomes simple and updates and renewals of software systems rely on the cloud vendor or provider. 10. Improved flexibility: It is possible to make fast changes in our work environment without serious issues at stake.
This isn't a fundamentally new idea, but it's now a commercial reality for users (businesses and academics) to pay for computing resources as they use them, with no upfront cost, and with effectively infinite scalability.
The power of a computer is realized through the applications. There are several types of applications.
- a stand-alone application: The first type of applications that was developed and used was a stand-alone application. A stand-alone application is developed to be run on a single system that does not use network for its functioning. These stand-alone systems use only the machine in which they are installed. The functioning of these kinds of systems is totally dependent on the resources or features available within the system. These systems do not need the data or processing power of other systems; they are self-sustaining. But as the time passed, the requirements of the users changed and certain applications were required, which could be accessed by other users away from the systems.
- web applications web applications were different from the stand-alone applications in many aspects. The main difference was the client server architecture that was followed by the web application. Unlike stand-alone applications, these systems were totally dependent on the network for its working. Here, there are basically two components, called as the client and the server. The server is a high-end machine that consists of the web application installed. This web application is accessed from other client systems. The client can reside anywhere in the network. It can access the web application through the Internet. This type of application was very useful, and this is extensively used from its inception and now has become an important part of day-to-day life. Though this application is much used, there are shortcomings as discussed in the following:
- The web application is not elastic and cannot handle very heavy loads, that is, it cannot serve highly varying loads.
- The web application is not multitenant.
- The web application does not provide a quantitative measurement of the services that are given to the users, though they can monitor the user.
- The web applications are usually in one particular platform.
- The web applications are not provided on a pay-as-you-go basis; thus, a particular service is given to the user for permanent or trial use and usually the timings of user access cannot be monitored.
- Due to its nonelastic nature, peak load transactions cannot be handled.
The cloud as mentioned can be classified into three broad access or service models,
- Software as a Service (SaaS),
- Platform as a Service (PaaS),
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Cloud application in general refers to a SaaS application. A cloud application is different from other applications; they have unique features. A cloud application usually can be accessed as a web application but its properties differ. According to NIST , the features that make cloud applications unique are described in the following :-
- Multitenancy: Multitenancy is one of the important properties of cloud that make it different from other types of application in which the software can be shared by different users with full independence. Here, independence refers to logical independence. Web Each user will have a separate application instance and the changes in one application would not affect the other. Physically, the software is shared and is not independent. The degree of physical isolation is very less. The logical independence is what is guaranteed. There are no restrictions in the number of applications being shared. The difficulty in providing logical isolation depends on the physical isolation to a certain extent. If an application is physically too close, then it becomes difficult to provide multitenancy. Web application and cloud application are similar as the users use the same way to access both.
- Elasticity: Elasticity is also a unique property that enables the cloud to serve better. elasticity can be defined as the degree to which a system is able to adapt to workload changes by provisioning and deprovisioning resources in an autonomic manner such that at each point in time, the available resources match the current demand as closely as possible. Elasticity allows the cloud providers to efficiently handle the number of users, from one to several hundreds of users at a time. In addition to this, it supports the rapid fluctuation of loads, that is, the increase or decrease in the number of users and their usage can rapidly change.
- Heterogeneous cloud platform: The cloud platform supports heterogeneity, wherein any type of application can be deployed in the cloud. Because of this property, the cloud is flexible for the developers, which facilitates deployment. The applications that are usually deployed can be accessed by the users using a web browser.
- Quantitative measurement: The services provided can be quantitatively measured. The user is usually offered services based on certain charges. Here, the application or resources are given as a utility on a pay-per-use basis. Thus, the use can be monitored and measured. Not only the services are measureable, but also the link usage and several other parameters that support cloud applications can be measured. This property of measuring the usage is usually not available in a web application and is a unique feature for cloud-based applications.
- On-demand service: The cloud applications offer service to the user, on demand, that is, whenever the user requires it. The cloud service would allow the users to access web applications usually without any restrictions on time, duration, and type of device used.
The Internet is sometimes referred to as the "cloud" and "cloud computing" is the array of Internet-based services, often available to the public, for gathering, storing, processing and sharing information. Some cloud services, such as those offered by Apple or Google, may be free to end-users. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has finalized its first set of guidelines for managing security and privacy issues in cloud computing. The key guidelines include:
- Carefully plan the security and privacy aspects of cloud computing solutions before implementing them.
- Understand the public cloud computing environment offered by the cloud provider.
- Ensure that a cloud computing solution—both cloud resources and cloud-based applications—satisfy organizational security and privacy requirements.
- Maintain accountability over the privacy and security of data and applications implemented and deployed in public cloud computing environments.
For the general user who wants a convenient, Internet-based solution for storing or sharing personal information, cloud computing may provide a reasonable option.
- World-class security – Provision world-class security at every level. Security is more than just user privileges and password policies. It's a business imperative, especially for providers who are responsible for customer data. Cloud-computing platforms must have detailed, robust policies and procedures in place to guarantee the highest possible levels of:
- Physical security
- Network security
- Application security
- Internal systems security
- Secure data-backup strategy
- Secure internal policies and procedures
- Third-party certification
- Compliance, trust and transparency – Provide compliant, transparent, real-time, accurate service performance and availability information. Clouds should provide customers with detailed information about service delivery and performance in real time, including:
- Accurate, timely, and detailed information about service performance data and planned maintenance activities
- Daily data on service availability and transaction performance
- Proactive communication
- Multi tenancy – Deliver maximum scalability and performance to customers with a true multi tenant architecture. A multi tenant architecture allows for high scalability and faster innovation at a lower cost. Single-tenant systems, on the other hand, are not designed for large-scale cloud-computing success. The internal inefficiencies of maintaining a separate physical infrastructure and/or separate code lines for each customer make it impossible to deliver quality service or innovate quickly. Multi tenancy provides customers with the following benefits:
- Efficient service delivery, with a low maintenance and upgrade burden
- Consistent performance and reliability based on an efficient, large-scale architecture
- Rapid product release cycles
- Scalability – Support many users with proven scalability. A larger scale means a larger customer community, which can deliver more and higher-quality feedback to drive future innovation. A larger customer community also provides rich opportunities for collaboration between customers, creating communities that can share interests and foster best practices. Cloud-computing platforms must have:
- Proof of the ability to scale to many subscribers
- Resources to guarantee the highest standards of service quality, performance, and security to every customer
- The ability to grow systems and infrastructure to meet changing demands
- Support that responds quickly and accurately to every customer
- Proven performance and reliability as customer numbers grow
- High performance – Deliver consistent, high-speed performance globally. Cloud-computing provider's platforms must deliver consistent, high-speed systems performance worldwide and provide detailed historical statistics to back up performance claims, including:
- Average page response times
- Average number of transactions per day
- Functional disaster recovery and business continuity options – Protect customer data by running the service on multiple, geographically dispersed data centers with extensive backup, data archive, and fail over capabilities. Platforms providing cloud-computing services must be flexible enough to account for every potential disaster. A complete disaster recovery plan includes:
- Data backup procedures that create multiple backup copies of customers' data, in near real time, at the disk level
- A multilevel backup strategy that includes disk-to-disk-to-tape data backup in which tape backups serve as a secondary level of backup, not as the primary disaster-recovery data source. The disk-oriented model ensures maximum recovery speed with a minimum potential for data loss in the event of a disaster.
- High availability – Equip world-class facilities with proven high-availability infrastructure and application software. Any provider offering cloud-computing services needs to be able to deliver very high availability. Requirements for proving high availability include:
- ◦Facilities with reliable power, cooling, and network infrastructure
- High-availability infrastructure: networking, server infrastructure, and software
- N+1 redundancy
- Metrics with detailed historical availability data on the entire service, not just on individual servers
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