What is the cloud?

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Let’s understand the concept of the cloud.

What is the cloud?

The cloud refers to an IT environment that provides virtualized servers accessible through a vast network, as well as programs and databases running on servers. The cloud makes it easy to use necessary computing resources through the Internet.

What is the difference between the cloud, cloud computing, and cloud services?

The difference between the cloud, cloud computing, and cloud services is as follows:

Cloud computing is a technical method of using computing resources on the cloud. It provides users with virtualized resources, such as servers, storage, and a network, and it is and scalable resources, such as servers, storage, and a network, to meet user needs.

Cloud services are cloud computing-based services. There are multiple forms of cloud services, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

That is, the cloud is the delivery of computing resources over the Internet from a conceptual perspective while cloud computing refers to its technical implementation. Lastly, cloud services refer to a variety of cloud computing services.

[Gartner’s definition] Cloud computing is a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using internet technologies.
[Forrester's definition] Cloud computing is a standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use, self-service way.

What are the types of cloud services?

There are different types of cloud services, such as infrastructure, platform, and software services.

An Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a service that provides computing resources (IT infrastructure), such as servers, storage, and networks.
A Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a service that provides platforms to develop, run, and manage applications.
A Software as a Service (SaaS) is a service that allows users to use software through the Internet instead of purchasing and installing it to use applications.

What are the types of cloud computing?

There are four main types of cloud computing: Public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud and multicloud, and each cloud has its own advantages and disadvantages.

A public cloud refers to a cloud service that anyone can access through the Internet. It shares the infrastructure provided by the cloud provider, so the price is relatively low.
A private cloud is a cloud service built by a company or organization, which is accessible through an internal network, not through the Internet. Its infrastructure is built and operated by the company itself. It offers services with relatively high security and customization for specific requirements.
A hybrid cloud is a form of cloud service where a public cloud and private cloud are combined. The data linkage between a public cloud and private cloud allows for more flexible business. It can also provide optimal services in each cloud environment according to company requirements.
A multicloud combines cloud services delivered by more than two cloud service providers into one application or business. That is, it aims to produce optimal business results by mixing many cloud services.

What are the types of cloud providers?

Cloud providers can be divided broadly into Cloud Service Providers (CSP) who provide IT infrastructure and SW services based on the cloud, and Managed Service Providers (MSP) who provide consultation, migration/implementation, and operating services for cloud introduction.
CSPs provide cloud infrastructure, platforms, software, and applications. They offer infrastructure and services based on cloud services, and companies and organizations use them to develop or operate applications.
On the other hand, MSPs are cloud companies with services that support the operation of cloud services for companies or organizations. They resolve issues that may arise while using cloud services or assist with optimizing cloud services for companies and organizations. To that end, backups, recovery, security inspection and monitoring, application support, and infrastructure management are provided.
Therefore, CSPs offer infrastructure and services based on cloud services, whereas MSPs run them and provide cloud services to meet the requirements of companies and organizations.

Samsung SDS is both a CSP offering cloud infrastructure and a MSP delivering management services for multicloud environments.

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What are the advantages of the cloud?

Resources are flexibly scalable on demand.

Cloud services can scale up or down resources as needed, allowing companies or organizations to use resources more flexibly and quickly than building their own infrastructure. Increasing server capacity or adding applications does not require the cumbersome task of upgrading traditional infrastructure.

Distributed operations of the cloud offer high availability and reliability.

Cloud services are distributed and operated in many regions, ensuring high availability and reliability, even in case of geographical disasters or technical difficulties. To achieve this, the cloud service providers use multiple servers and automatically switch to other servers when a server fails.

High-performance hardware, cutting-edge cloud technologies, and security technologies are applied.

Cloud service providers use high-performance hardware and cutting-edge technologies to provide cloud services, allowing companies to achieve better performance than building their own infrastructures. Also, cloud service providers take responsibility for security and updates and operate their services with up-to-date security solutions, reducing the burden on companies to work on security and updates.

It is more cost-effective than building your own infrastructure

Cloud services are more cost-effective than the conventional way of building your own infrastructure, saving time and effort in managing servers and network infrastructure. Companies can reduce costs for building and maintaining their own infrastructure, and it is economically beneficial for cloud service providers to build and operate infrastructure for multiple clients. Cloud service providers are in charge of system management and maintenance, freeing companies from having to secure separate IT manpower. In addition, they can use management tools provided by the cloud service providers to monitor resource usage and simplify system management with automated management capabilities.

Development and deployment becomes quicker, and collaboration and sharing becomes easier.

With cloud services, required resources are readily provisioned and software is rapidly deployed. They also allow many users to easily collaborate and share documents and files. Cloud services not only shorten the time it takes to develop or upgrade software, but also greatly help improve productivity and collaboration.

What should we consider when introducing the cloud?

Security and personal data protection

Data security and personal data protection are crucial to the cloud. Some industries and countries have legal requirements for data protection, personal data protection, and regulatory compliance. Also, having user data stored on the external server may cause issues with security or personal data. Therefore, security must be reinforced with data encryption, access control, and regular security inspections. In addition, companies need to check the policies of cloud service providers in terms of security and personal data protection and assess if they conform to the security requirements of the company.

Data transfer and compatibility

There can sometimes be compatibility issues while transferring data from the existing system to the cloud. Thus, it is necessary to check the compatibility before any data transfer and resolve any compatibility issues with a data conversion tool if needed, or utilize migration support from the cloud service provider.

Data backup and recovery

Cloud environments may also have potential risks of service interruption, data loss, or system failure due to server issues. Therefore, it is recommended to consider a multicloud strategy or a hybrid cloud, in which a local infrastructure and cloud infrastructure are combined, to prepare for service interruptions. It is also required to build strategies for data backup and recovery and carry out regular data backups to prevent data loss. Or, you can review the recovery options and services delivered by cloud service providers and use a multicloud strategy to diversify risks.

Cloud performance and scalability

The performance of a cloud service should be in accordance with the company requirements while also being easy to expand on demand. You may select a cloud service provider most suitable for company requirements by comparing multiple cloud service providers, considering service quality, price, support, etc. You should also check the performance benchmarks and scalability options of the service provider and monitor the system to see if performance issues can be resolved quickly. Furthermore, you should evaluate whether the cloud service is easily scalable as the company grows, and make sure service quality is guaranteed through the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Management, operation, and provider dependency

Technologies or human resources needed to manage and operate the cloud infrastructure may be insufficient. You can carry out training to enhance the skills of your employees or cooperate with other companies specialized in cloud management. However, excessive dependence on a cloud service provider may make you vulnerable to changes in the provider's policies or prices. Therefore, it is required to utilize standardized protocols and APIs to decrease dependency and arrange a strategy that allows you to easily switch to another cloud service provider if needed.

Companies or organizations shall carefully review and prepare for the above considerations and issues, such as security or data transfer before using a cloud service. Check out Samsung SDS's Samsung Cloud Platform (SCP), a partner who truly understands businesses and simplifies the complexity of the cloud!

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