Modern computing technology has been around since the 1950s. We have witnessed many changes so far. Cloud Computing journey started when we had physical servers that we used to operate our enterprise applications on, but companies were getting bigger and the requirements of the applications were getting greater. That meant buying more and more physical servers to keep up with technology changes and company expansion. As a result, we started to face the following problems:
- More space was needed for physical servers.
- The cost of power usage for the physical servers and air conditioning.
- You were not fully utilizing your environment, because every server was acting with one or two server roles, which meant some of each server’s resources were wasted.
- The IT operations were not as efficient as they should have been. As a result, you had to hire more system engineers to manage the infrastructure.
Cloud Computing Advantages
These major problems have been targeted by another technology called virtualization. This technology has totally changed the game and let us enter a new era of computing. It technology allowed us to run different operating servers on the same server simultaneously and with total isolation. In a nutshell, this technology made our world better and provided the following advantages:
- Utilizing hardware resources: Instead of installing a server that is acting with one role only (that is, a domain controller), you can create another server to act with another role (a SQL server) on the same physical server, until you fully utilize your hardware resources.
- Saving cost: You no longer have to buy many new physical servers, since you can use the same physical server for many different purposes. As a result, you will pay less for power, and air-conditioning.
- Saving space: You will be able to save space in your company for other purposes, such as using a floor that you used in the past for your physical servers to take on board a new team.
- Hardware failure resiliency: If you faced a major issue with the hardware of the physical servers, it would take a long time to get the solution up and running again, but with virtualization, you can have your applications on another server. They are stored in files on the physical servers and can be reused on another physical server to continue operating normally. If you used high availability for your virtualization platform, you will see almost no downtime.
Cloud Computing Features
The next step was based on virtualization technology and it was the move to the cloud. You do not have to care about the hardware, system infrastructure, middleware, and so on, only the stuff you want to use. Cloud computing offers solutions that will fit every role in an organization. Here are some of its features:
- Hardware: Hardware installation and maintenance was a big problem, because even after embracing virtualization technology, we still had our own hardware that we needed to take care of. But with cloud computing, this provide a low-latency is the responsibility of the cloud service provider.
- Global presence: Microsoft has many data centers across the globe, which means it can provide low-latency services.
- On-demand service: You no longer have to wait for the hardware purchase, the infrastructure preparation, and the application installation, which would take a long time. With cloud computing, you can request the service you wish and it should be up and running in a matter of minutes.
- Scalability: When you have load on your cloud services, you can scale them in and out according to your usage.
- Broad network access: You can connect to your cloud resources from anywhere in the world using any device with an internet connection and any operating system. Pay as you go: You only pay for the services that you use.
- Hybrid compatibility: Using Azure does not mean you need to give up your on-premises solutions. You can have a hybrid solution that spans on-premises and Azure.