Understanding How Cloud Computing Works

The basic architecture of the Cloud Computing is simple to illustrate. In what is called the “Cloud Pyramid,” the resources of the Cloud can be visualized as three key segments: Cloud infrastructure at the bottom, Cloud platforms in the middle, and Cloud applications at the top.

Apps Platform

Cloud Computing Infrastructure At the apps level of a Cloud, client enterprises are served fully functioning Software as a Service (SaaS) resources, with little need for programming on the part of the client. The client need not worry about the details of creating applications, building/ maintaining platforms or over-seeing the details of infrastructure (physical data centers).

Clients who purchase SaaS Cloud resources are, for the most part, acquiring turn-key access to standing computer tools just waiting to receive their data and begin processing. At the platform level, client enterprises are served Platform as a Service (PaaS) resources. Clients purchasing PaaS resources abdicate the responsibility for platform construction/ maintenance and the maintenance of infrastructure to the Cloud supplier, but they take upon themselves the task of either building their own custom applications or else installing apps supplied by third parties, and making sure they work well in concert.

Lastly, client enterprises accessing the Cloud in an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) paradigm take it upon themselves to build/ maintain their own platforms and applications. These clients are basically just purchasing raw computing capacity and storage.

API Interface

The Application Programming Interface (API) is the key to Cloud Computing. It is the API which enables client machines to “interface” with Cloud software. Without the API, there is no Cloud Computing

Most Cloud Computing implementations use Representation State Transfer-based (REST-based) APIs. REST software architecture was first elucidated in 2000 by Roy Fielding, a primary early shaper of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). (Like other systems conforming to the REST architecture, the Web is sometimes described as being “RESTful.”) Indeed, REST was developed in tandem with HTTP; each is integrally involved with the other.

The primary function of REST is to control and modulate the innumerable interactions between those origin servers, gateways, proxies and clients which inhabit, inform and define the Cloud while at the same time setting no arbitrary limitations on these actors. Think of REST as a policing mechanism which allows traffic to go and behave where and how it will, but always in an orderly manner.

The Cloud and the UNIX Paradigm

When we speak of Cloud architecture we are actually referring to the multiple software systems employed to enable Cloud processing. These elegant, efficient systems are “Cloud components.” These components communicate and collaborate via the API. Thus Cloud architecture can be seen as deriving from the classic UNIX paradigm: Multiple specialized programs, each with its own unique task, coming together in the Cloud, performing complex tasks far more expeditiously and economically than would be the case in any other architecture.

The front end of the Cloud architecture is that which is experienced by the client (aka, user). The front end includes the client’s computer or proprietary network and those apps used to access the Cloud (often a web browser). The back end of the Cloud architecture is the abstracted haze of computers, servers and data storage devices which comprise the Cloud.

About Samir Shah

Samir Shah is a blogger who spend most of his time blogging and keeping in touch with all the tech stuff. Owner and founder of Cloud Storage Tips

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