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Cloud Computing Architecture: Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

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10th Mar, 2021
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Cloud Computing Architecture: Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

As we get more digitised the demand for cloud computing services is increasing. Cloud computing solutions reduce the operation costs for companies and allow them to operate with more flexibility. Learning about cloud computing solutions can help you enter one of the hottest industries right now. 

However, to understand how a cloud computing solution works you must be familiar with the components of cloud computing networks. A cloud computing system is very similar to a mobile computing architecture, so if you were wondering how to learn about the same, this is the perfect place to get started. 

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Before we talk about architecture, let’s first understand what cloud computing is.

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What is Cloud Computing?

Services that can be delivered without being physically close to hardware such as analytics, software, and databases are called cloud computing. For example, YouTube employs cloud computing for storing and streaming its user’s videos. Similarly, Flipkart uses cloud computing to store data about all the products present on its website. 

Cloud computing consists of delivering on-demand resources through the internet. These resources include database, server, software, etc and it allows you to build and manage those resources and applications on the cloud platform. 

Some of the most prominent cloud computing providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Oracle, IBM Cloud, and Google Cloud. 

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Through cloud computing, companies can save a lot of funds and resources as they don’t have to physically store the required resources. Servers and storage units are very expensive and that’s why many companies can’t afford them. However, with cloud services, they can use such facilities by paying a small price.  

Virtual desktops, servers, software, data storage, and applications are some of the numerous facilities you can get in cloud computing. 

Some of the notable advantages of cloud computing are:

  • Reduced operating costs
  • Lower risk of data loss
  • Better cybersecurity
  • Enhanced accessibility

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Components of Cloud Computing 

We know that all kinds of organizations large and small, use cloud computing for their digital needs because they can access those resources from anywhere at any time and all that’s required is a stable internet connection. 

The components of cloud computing primarily consist of event-driven architecture and service-oriented architecture. 

Therefore, we can divide the components of cloud computing into two sections:

  • Front-end
  • Back-end

The front-end components of cloud computing work as the client in the architecture and communicate with the backend through the internet or a network. The front-end section remains visible to the user and it sends queries to the backend through the middleware. 

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On the other hand, the back-end components of cloud computing protect the data and respond to the queries sent by the front-end. The back-end has most of the components and is significantly larger than the front-end. 

The entire cloud service model is called BaaS (Back-end-as-a-service). A cloud computing architecture usually has a combination of hardware and software. The selection of the components depends on the business’s requirements and budget. For example, some businesses might only use software components whereas some others might use the hardware components of cloud computing more.

Now that we have become a little familiar with front-end and back-end sections of a cloud-computing network, let’s discuss both of them in detail:

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Front-End Components of Cloud Computing

The front-end of a cloud computing service consists of all the components a user interacts with. It is a collection of the multiple sub-components that make up the user interface and is a vital part of how the user connects to the cloud computing service. Some of the components included in the front-end of a cloud computing network are web browsers, local networks, and web applications. 

The primary components of the front-end are:

User Interface

The user interface consists of all the things the user uses to perform a task on the cloud. Gmail, YouTube Studio, and Google Docs are some of the notable examples of user interfaces of cloud solutions. 

Software

The software running on the user’s end is a vital part of the front-end. It determines how well the user can interact with the cloud network and has a huge influence on the network’s user experience. It usually consists of browsers or client-side applications. 

Client Network or Device

The client network or device is the hardware the user uses to access the cloud computing service. It can be a PC or any other input device. This device doesn’t necessarily need to have sophisticated computing power, which is one of the biggest advantages of cloud services. The cloud would handle the heavy load and processes. 

Back-End Components of Cloud Computing

The back-end section of a cloud computing network supports the frontend section and is responsible for the proper functioning of the entire network. It consists of the storage and hardware present on the remote server. The cloud service provider handles and controls the entire back-end of the network. 

Following are the primary back-end components of cloud computing networks:

Application

The application refers to the interface of the back-end. A user would interact with the application to send the necessary queries and this section handles the client’s requirements and requests. 

Service

The service adds utility to the back-end of the cloud computing network. It takes care of every task running on the system. Some of its examples are storage, development environment, and web services. The service can perform multiple tasks in the cloud runtime, which is why it’s a significant component of the back-end. We can say that it’s the heart of the entire architecture.

Cloud Runtime

It is the concept where the cloud services run. You can say that it’s the cloud operating system where technologies such as virtualization run. Virtualization allows the cloud to have multiple runtimes on the same server. Through virtualization, a cloud system can have multiple software machines running on the same hardware. It is the virtual representation of servers, apps, networks, and storage. Some of the prominent virtualization solutions include Oracle VM for x86 and Oracle Virtual Box. 

Storage

Storage is the section in a cloud where all the data resides. Every cloud service provider offers different storage. Some examples of storage include hard drives, solid-state drives, and Intel Optane DC Persistent storage. The hard drives of service constitute the storage of the cloud back-end. In a cloud computing network, the software would partition the drives according to the requirements of the cloud’s OS for running services. 

Infrastructure

We can say that the infrastructure of a cloud computing architecture is the engine running the operation. It consists of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), CPU, accelerator cards, Motherboard, network cards, and other related components. The infrastructure depends on a user’s cloud computing requirements and workloads. 

Management

The management of a cloud computing network allocates resources to the tasks. It ensures that the cloud solution runs smoothly and efficiently. Another name for management is middleware and it coordinates between the front-end components and the back-end components of cloud computing architecture.

Security

Finally, we have the security implementations of cloud computing solutions. It usually consists of a regular storage backup to prevent any data loss. Similarly, it has a debugging process to tackle issues quickly. Virtual firewalls are also vital for a cloud computing solution to prevent any unwanted party from interfering with the cloud network and accessing its data. 

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Related: Cloud Project Ideas & Topics

Final Thoughts

Cloud computing architecture, as you can see, is quite simple to understand. It has very specific components where each one handles one particular responsibility. 

By understanding the mobile computing architecture, you can easily understand the workings of a cloud computing system. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in learning more about cloud computing or want to become a cloud computing professional, we recommend taking a cloud computing course. 

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Our course will teach you the basic and advanced concepts of cloud computing along with the applications of these concepts. You will learn from industry experts through videos, live lectures, and assignments. Moreover, you’ll get access to upGrad’s exclusive career preparation, resume feedback, and many other advantages. Be sure to check it out.

If you know someone interested in learning about cloud technologies, do share this article with them. 

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Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Ques1. What is the difference between scalability and elasticity in Cloud computing?

Ans: Scalability is used to handle the increasing workload by increasing the proportion of resource capacity. It is the ability to increase or decrease IT resources as needed to meet changing demands or the ability of the system to accommodate larger or smaller loads. Scalability helps businesses scale up or down (vertically) and out or in (horizontally). On the other hand, Elasticity is defined as “the degree to which a system is able to adapt to workload changes by provisioning and de-provisioning resources”. It is measured by the speed by which the resources are coming into demand and the usage of the resources.

2Ques2. Which industries benefit from Cloud computing technology?

Ans: Cloud computing is impacting every corner of the business world. The automotive sector relies heavily on the constant availability of data, and with the Cloud, they can store inventory and additional data in one easily accessible location. Cloud is also proving to be an invaluable solution in the Education sector, where students can access the information they need all in one place, and teachers can distribute assignments with greater ease. The financial sector, healthcare sector, hospitality industry, legal industry, non profit organisations are other industries benefiting from Cloud.

3Ques3. What is Hadoop in Cloud computing?

Ans: Hadoop is an open-source project that seeks to develop software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing. It is an open-source framework that allows for the distributed storage and processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. Hadoop is designed to scale up from a single computer to thousands of clustered computers where each machine offers local computation. Hadoop applications are designed with a fundamental assumption that hardware failures of individual machines or racks of machines are common and should be automatically handled in software by the framework.

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