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Cloud Computing Architecture Explained

Updated on May 22, 2013
cloud computing
cloud computing

Clouding computing is no more considered as an emerging technology. Now, it’s a reality and this low-cost computing power is gaining popularity among businessmen, especially medium and small size, and governmental organizations, as people are realizing the power of cloud environments.

What is cloud computing?

Though there is no official definition and straight forward way to explain what exactly cloud computing is, but it can be expressed in general as the following statement:

“cloud computing is such a type of computing environment, where business owners outsource their computing needs including application software services to a third party and when they need to use the computing power or employees need to use the application resources like database, emails etc., they access the resources via Internet.”

For instance, you have a small business, where you need a few small servers for database, emails, applications etc. Normally, servers need higher computing power. On the other hand, PCs or laptop needs lower computing powers and are much cheaper than servers. Moreover, to maintain a client-server environment you need to have a highly skilled network maintenance team. If you decide to avoid the need of purchasing servers and thus cut-off the need of keeping an operation and maintenance team, then going for clouding computing is a very cost-effective solutions. Because in a cloud architecture, you neither have to install nor maintain servers. Just by paying a fixed amount of monthly charge you can outsource your IT infrastructure into a third party IT managed service data center.

In short, in a cloud computing architecture, all the applications are not stored in a company’s hard disk, rather it resides in a third party computer and when a company needs to use application software, and they access it via Internet.

Example of cloud computing:

A very simple example is Yahoo mail and Gmail, both are using cloud computing. When you send or receive email, you never need any application software installed in your computer. You just need an internet connection to send your emails.


  • the operating cost of cloud computing is much cheaper than having a company’s own personal IT infrastructure and managed team
  • Security and privacy is the only concern in cloud environments, because all your files, emails, database are hosted in a third party servers in their premise

Types of cloud computing

Considering the installation of network infrastructure a cloud environment can be broadly categorized into three types- public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud.

Public cloud- this is the most popular type of cloud system and is considered as a main-stream cloud system by cloud computing experts. In public cloud system a third party data center provide both disk space and computing power for all the application software. Amazon web and Google apps is the two most popular public cloud computing service providers.

Private cloud- unlike public cloud, you need to set up your own data center and also bear all the installation & maintenance cost, and have complete control of all your data. This system provides more security and privacy, but it is more expensive cloud solution to public cloud.

Cloud Computing Service provides

You must be familiar with Google apps. Actually, Google Appengine is a could compute service-this is also known as Google’s business solution. You can get more about Google’s cloud solution at: . Other big names in cloud computing service are: Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, HP and DELL.

cloud computing stack
cloud computing stack | Source
cloud services
cloud services | Source

Cloud Computing Service Architecture

Mainly, three types of services you can get from a cloud service provider.

1. Infrastructure as a service- service provider bears all the cost of servers, networking equipment, storage, and back-ups. You just have to pay to take the computing service. And the users build their own application softwares. Amazon EC2 is a great example of this type of service.

2. Platform as a service-service provider only provide platform or a stack of solutions for your users. It helps users saving investment on hardware and software. Google Gc engine and provide this type of service.

3. Software as a service- service provider will give your users the service of using their software, especially any type of applications software. Example-Google (GOOG), (CRM), NetSuite (N)

Why cloud computing?

The main advantage of using cloud computing facility is that customers do not have to pay for infrastructure installation and maintenance cost. As a user of cloud computing you have to pay the service charges according to your usage of computing power and other networking resources. Moreover, you no more have to worry about software updates, installation, email servers, anti-viruses, backups, web servers and both physical and logical security of your data. Thus, cloud computing can help you focus more on your core business competency.

could computing platform
could computing platform | Source

Cloud Computing Explained

Basics of Cloud Computing

Problems with Cloud Computing.

Though from operation and maintenance point-of-view cloud computing is a great cost-effective IT solution for business of any magnitude, but it has at least two major concerns-technical developments, security and privacy. Since cloud computing is relatively a new technology in comparison to other existing computing solutions, it still has lots of scope of becoming a mature system as a reliable and cost-effective computing technology.

Since due to outsourcing all the important data resides in a third party premise, there is always a concern about the trust-worthiness of the cloud service providers. Any security and privacy violation can be fatal- keeping this in mind many business owners are still to be convinced about the security and privacy issues of cloud computing.

More sensitive data are banking and Governmental data. Just think about a classified document of any Govt. agency getting leaked or users credit card information falling into the hands of cyber criminals. As soon as cloud privacy issues are more and more organized and strict rules and governance for cloud operation are in place, the more and more business will feel safe to opt for cloud computing.

Despite some serious privacy related drawbacks, cloud computing is a lucrative choice to improve productivity in any business environment, where IT is in high demand. To raise the security and privacy of cloud service providers, there need to be more co-operations between world governments so as we can develop a unified global rules and guidance for running a safe cloud computing service.


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    • profile image

      m yaseen 2 years ago

      sir the youtube video presentation is awesome great.. i m doing Mtech in cse and i m looking to work in "security issues in cloud computing" any suggestion

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 4 years ago

      @Docmo: Thank you so much Docmo for your encouraging feedback.

      @teaches12345: Thank you so much.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I actually understand this explanation! Thank you for educating me on this option. This must be a cost saver for small business people.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Great article that explains the basics of cloud computing in simple, easy to understand terms. Well done!

    • profile image

      vivek 5 years ago

      it is excellent

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 5 years ago

      @Stars Jasmine: Thank you so much for your request. As a copyright holder of this post I am giving you permission to publish it in printed format .But you are not allowed to publish it on the web.

    • profile image

      Madhu Tanguturi 5 years ago

      hay its really amazing

    • gonce007 profile image

      gonce007 5 years ago

      Quite a knowledgeable hub about cloud computing.This brief explanation will helpful.

    • profile image

      Stars Jasmine 5 years ago


      The Permissions Editor


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      I am in the process of preparing a chapter for a book that is to be published by Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd, India, a reputed educational publisher. The relevant details are:

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      From_Russia_With_Love 5 years ago

      Thanks for your article. It includes all of necessary information about Cloud Computing. Moreover, this topic is presented very structured without superfluous words and difficult terms. I was glad to find this topic and it helps me with my coursework. Thank you once again.

    • profile image

      vijaya shankari 5 years ago

      is it third party data center and cloud computing are same.

    • profile image

      Kamal 5 years ago

      Article is very helful to know about Cloud computing...!!

    • profile image

      dinesh 6 years ago

      It is very useful those who learn abt cloud computing details and how it s work are explained verz NICE.....

    • profile image

      priya 6 years ago

      It is very nice & simple article.

    • profile image

      hitanshu nayak 6 years ago

      it is nice to represent Thank u

    • profile image

      santosh 6 years ago

      Good stuff dude very much help ful

    • profile image

      Ravees 6 years ago

      An article which explains in a simple way about the cloud computing.. The advantages and disadvantages are explained very neatly.. Good Job !!!

    • profile image

      VijayaKumar S 6 years ago

      It's a very nice and simple article about could computing. Thanks you

    • profile image

      A.Ram naresh 6 years ago

      very nice presentation,it is very usefull for students..

      please briefly explain about cloud computing anf it's projects(IEEE).

      THANK YOU..

    • Felixedet2000 profile image

      Felixedet2000 6 years ago from The Universe

      Good to read from another computer genius with good knowledge of the IT environment.

    • profile image

      samiksha kankane 6 years ago

      fantastic hub.......

    • profile image

      Atul 6 years ago


      I had no idea what cloud computing is until i read this article.Seriously Cloud computing will transform the IT industry.Thank you so much..:)

    • profile image

      vicky makhija 6 years ago

      Gr8 Explanation HUB

      can u please help me with links where i could learn all of this in detail

    • profile image

      S.Meganathan 6 years ago

      It is a very simple and good explanation about cloud computing keep this permance in all. Thanking you

    • profile image

      rakesh 6 years ago

      really cloud computing is great technology,it will be more popular in coming years.but if security problem is resolve then every organization will use it.!!!!

    • profile image

      Sanjev 6 years ago

      The article is too good.... i am very much sattisfied with this..

      i sujjest a smart computing technique to give more security to the cloud computing environment

    • profile image

      Amit kumar 6 years ago

      wonderful explanation for cloud computing

      Thank you

    • Anjili profile image

      Anjili 6 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      Good informative share. Voted up

    • profile image

      Cloud Web Hosting  6 years ago

      Cloud Hosting is other biggest happening news with in the hosting industry. Cloud hosting services are boon to website owner who can adjust your web hosting traffic load as per the entire load of your blog or website. There are many other ways where we can go ahead with cloud virtualization. Cloud virtualization could be the most important factor which is going to work out for all the clients who had varying traffic.

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      Interesting.. 6 years ago

      Well portrayed for anyone unsure about cloud computing. One question, though, can't IMS be the answers for the standardisation in which cloud computing is trying to address?

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Wonderful hub, keep it up.

    • profile image

      amrah 7 years ago

      hay its really amazing

    • profile image

      surendran 7 years ago

      wonderful explanation for cloud computing .

      thank u

    • profile image

      AJ 7 years ago

      A good primer for Cloud awareness.

      With regard to data protection, there is nothing to stop clients creating their own cryption layer between themsleves and the third party Cloud provider. Afterall, the Cloud is nothing more than a giant Home Depot for bytes.

    • profile image

      surya 7 years ago

      all essential information has been lodged here.. no need to search anywhere to understand cloud computing after reading dis....

    • save my system profile image

      save my system 7 years ago from United Kingdom - London

      When it comes to backing up your files and photos, no method has quite the ease and flexibility of uploading them to online storage

    • profile image

      Mark 7 years ago

      Thanks for the information shared here. By the way have you heard about the upcoming event Cloudslam 2010. I have planned to participated in th conference to gathered and update more information on Cloud Computing and its services.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      Privacy is always a big issue in a cloud environment.I guess with time cloud solution providers will develop a way to give customers fully control their own privacy.Thank you so much.

    • SUSIE405 profile image

      SUSIE405 7 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Thanks I need to understand cloud computing, now I DO.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      @Djbryle-I love reading your encouraging comments.Thank you so much :)

    • DjBryle profile image

      DjBryle 7 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Thank you so much for sharing this hub, you have simplified what I used to view as so confusing and complicated. You have the talent to explain in simple terms and it helps your readers a lot! Voted up and rated it useful! =)

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      @webmag-I think gradually all the small and mid sized business will move their IT infrastructure into Cloud environment.Still, security is a big concern for cloud customers.As companies like Google,HP, IBM and Amazon developing cloud service, many are already feeling a sense of confidence to outsource their computing resources.thank you so much :)

    • WebMag profile image

      WebMag 7 years ago

      Great hub. Cloud computing is a buzz words these days, and it will only become even more popular as security gets better day by day.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      @hairdry-Thank you so much for taking time.

      @sweetie-I tried to cover cloud computing basics, highlighting the benefits of cloud computing.Glad to see

      you again.thanks :)

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 7 years ago from India

      Nice hub..quite knowledgeable

    • haidry profile image

      haidry 7 years ago

      very informative, and simple, i like the way you explain the whole concept as it is really difficult to close such big topic in few words.