Unquestionably, one of the most important developments in IT over the past decade is the development of cloud computing services. Cloud computing refers to the on-demand delivery of computing resources via the internet. As internet connection bandwidth exploded, cloud computing allowed for data storage and processing power on a level never before available on-premises. Today, there is an ever-growing list of use cases for cloud solutions.
IT professionals who are knowledgeable in cloud platforms, development tools and cloud security will find amazing opportunities in some of the most highly compensated and desirable positions with companies nationwide.
In this article, we’ll examine exactly what cloud computing is and why you should get cloud certified.
What is the Cloud?
For most of the early days of computing, all the processing and data storage was local. A company or individual user simply had a computer. The processor within that computer and any internal and external drives made up their entire system.
Lack of scalability was a huge drawback. For individuals or small companies, budgets, power, and space limited the ability to scale a system up to a much larger size. Of course, if a user did scale something to a huge size, then wanted to go smaller, it meant a big waste of resources.
When internet connection speeds were limited, there wasn’t much anyone could do. As bandwidth got to the point where data speeds are up to gigabit level, placing physical servers, and storage off-site in massive data centers became a reality.
Types Of Clouds
There are generally considered to be two types of clouds: public and private. How exactly do they differ?
The cloud concept isn’t just applied to huge data centers. The concept works just as well for individual companies as well. They will sometimes have private clouds, for the exclusive use of their employees. Individuals are taking advantage of private clouds as well.
For example, a law firm might host all documents, emails, and other data storage on its own private servers. The end users access this remotely, and store nothing locally. This allows for remote work, whether at home or on the road, while maintaining a high level of security for the sensitive data that lawyers work with. It also ensures that data can’t be lost, as it’s stored on RAID protected drives making disaster recovery highly possible.
For individuals, they may wish to house a library of movies or music that they’d like to access from anywhere in their home, or even on vacation. They supply the server and drives, and access the media through a web browser, mobile device, or smart television.
While some public cloud services are truly open to the public, providing services such as Gmail, messaging services or websites, the term is also used to describe cloud platforms that are managed by other companies like AWS (Amazon Web Services) or Google Cloud. For instance, a company may contract with AWS to handle all its cloud services, rather than creating its own private cloud.
Examples Of Cloud Computing
It’s not hard to find examples of the different types of cloud computing these days. The benefits in computing power and cost savings are so great that most application development is headed in the direction of the cloud. Here are some examples of real-world cloud applications.
Laptops that run on operating systems like Google Chrome are inexpensive and widely available. While they have a small hard drive and processing power, they really don’t need it. They simply act as a conduit for the cloud resources and computing power that is in Google’s gigantic data centers. The only drawback is that without an internet connection or during outages, they are not terribly useful.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Other Similar Services
There was a time that people built huge pieces of furniture to house their VHS tape collection. These days, that’s a thing of the past. Nearly every movie ever made is available through one of these streaming services. It’s a cost-effective way of providing a huge amount of entertainment.
SalesForce Cloud Based CRM Software
SalesForce was a pioneer in developing cloud delivered software that offered a powerful solution for their customer service business needs without the expense of setting up their own servers and data storage.
Benefits Of Cloud Computing
As the number of cloud-native applications has grown, so too have the amazing benefits they have provided. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are usually far beyond the reach of individual users, but very possible at the cloud level.
IoT (Internet of Things)
It’s amazing how nearly every common household device is now somehow connected to the internet. Home automation is now the norm. The cloud environment is what makes this possible. A lightbulb, for instance, doesn’t have to have much more than a simple chip to be able to be switched on and off remotely, and display in various colors and light levels. Instead, the hard work is done all on the back end, in the cloud. Firmware upgrades are pushed out to these devices all the time, allowing for even higher levels of functionality.
One of the most fascinating elements of cloud computing is the data analytics available when all these various devices are connected. Researchers analyze this massive trove of data to spot meta-trends on a level never before possible. Moreover, big data helps modern businesses today make data-driven decisions and strategies.
Why Should You Get Cloud Certified?
IT positions with cloud service providers are some of the most highly compensated and desirable positions you can find. With great salaries and benefits, you want to put yourself in the best position to land one of these jobs. They are often highly competitive positions, so you need to be able to demonstrate experience and competency in building and maintaining cloud infrastructure.
Certifications and Areas of Expertise
If you are looking to land that high paying job in software development and APIs for the cloud, you need to demonstrate experience and certifications in several key areas. Here are just a few:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), enabling scaling of resources on an as-needed basis with different pricing models.
- Platform as a service (PaaS) Cloud infrastructure as a standalone service provided to others who want to avoid the expense and complexity of setting up their own cloud.
- Software as a service (SaaS) delivering software applications over the cloud.
- Certification from Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, AWS and more
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