Cloud Computing Architecture
- Amruta Bhaskar
- May 31, 2021
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Cloud computing is on-demand accessibility of computer resources. In simpler terms, cloud computing refers to the idea of using a network of remote servers on the Internet to accumulate, manage, and route the data. Delivering any computing service on the Internet is cloud computing. These cloud computing services can be storage, server, database, software, networking, intelligence, and analytics. When we say on-demand accessibility, it nurtures the idea of only paying for the services you are using.
Businesses are adopting cloud computing for its multi-fold benefits like minimizing capital expense, on-demand self-services, global scalability, optimum performance, security, high productivity, and reliability. Let’s understand the core areas of cloud computing with a diagram.
Cloud computing features three levels of connectivity including the cloud, network devices like router& switches, and end-user.
The cloud comprises resources like virtual desktop, software platform, servers, applications, and data storage. They process data through routers and switches.
And the end-user can access the information from any device.
Cloud Architecture refers to the various components in terms of databases, software capabilities, applications, etc. engineered to leverage the power of cloud resources to solve business problems. Cloud architecture defines the components as well as the relationships between them.
The fundamental components of the cloud computing architecture are:
- Front-end platform
- Back-end platform
- Cloud-based delivery
Besides the front-end and back-end platforms, cloud-based delivery allows transmitting information via various cloud infrastructures such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The entire cloud architecture is aimed at providing the users with high bandwidth, allowing users to have uninterrupted access to data and applications, on-demand agile network with the possibility to move quickly and efficiently between servers or even between clouds and most importantly network security.
The various cloud-based services have their own distinct and unique cloud architectures:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) involves software hosted and maintained on the internet. With SaaS, users do not have to install the software locally.
- Development as a Service (DaaS) involves web-based development tools shared across communities.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides users with application platforms and databases, equivalent to middleware services.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides for infrastructure and hardware such as servers, networks, storage devices, etc. running in the cloud, available to users against a pay per usage basis.
What is Front End Cloud Architecture?
The front end infrastructure includes everything that the end-user interacts with. It is the broader assimilation of various sub-components that together offer the user interface. And it forms an essential part of how the end-user connects to the cloud computing infrastructure. The front-end cloud infrastructure includes components like local networks, web browsers, and web applications.
The main front-end cloud components are described below:
- User Interface: The user interface refers to all the things that end-user access to send requests or perform any task on the Cloud. Some of the popular cloud-based user interfaces are Google Doc, Gmail, etc.
- Software: The software architecture in the front end is the software that runs on the user’s end. Frontend software architecture primarily comprises client-side applications or browsers.
- Client Device or Network: Being a crucial part of the frontend architecture, Client Device or Network refers to the hardware at the end user’s side. It can be any input device or PC. In cloud computing, the client-side device doesn’t require extraordinary ability to process the heavy load. The cloud can take the entire heavy load and processes the same.
What is Back End Cloud Architecture?
The backend architecture in the cloud empowers the frontend architecture. It comprises hardware & storage and they are located on a remote server. The cloud service provider controls and handles this backend cloud architecture.
Ideal backend cloud architecture always should be robust as it holds the whole infrastructure on the cloud. The prime components of backend cloud architecture are:
Application: The Application is a substantial part of the backend architecture. It refers to the user interface that the backend offers to the end-user to send queries. This layer of the backend takes care of the client’s requests and requirements.
Service: This is a magical area of the backend cloud architecture. It adds utility to the entire backend architecture. The service handles every task that runs on the cloud computing system. Some of the cloud services are application development environment, storage, and web services. Besides, the service can execute a wide array of tasks on the cloud runtime.
Cloud Runtime: The term ‘Cloud Runtime’ is the concept where the services run. It’s like a cloud operating system where technology like virtualization is used. Virtualization is a key technology on the cloud which allows multiple runtimes on the same server. For instance, virtualization is a way via which we can create a base of software. In simple words, it’s the virtual representation of apps, servers, storage as well as networks. When we create runtimes with the support of virtualization software, they are called as Hypervisors. Some of the leading hypervisors are Oracle Virtual Box, Oracle VM for x86, VMWare Fusion, etc.
Storage: Storage in the cloud is where the data resides of a cloud application. The data storage varies as per different cloud service provides. However, all of them have a common dedicated segment for cloud storage. Some of the examples of storage are solid-state drives, hard drives, Intel Optane DC Persistent storage, etc. The hard drives in the server bays form storage in the cloud backend architecture. And especially in a cloud computing system, the software partitions the drives as per the needs of the OS in the cloud to run myriad services.
Infrastructure: The engine that steers all the cloud software services is called infrastructure. It includes CPU, Motherboard, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), network cards, accelerator cards, etc. The infrastructure models always depend on the workloads of the clients.
Management: The management software allocates specific resources to specific tasks and is responsible for the flawless functioning of any cloud environment. In technical terms, management is the ‘middleware’ and it coordinates between the frontend and backend architecture in a cloud computing system.
Security: Security is an integral and critical part of any cloud computing infrastructure. We create security infrastructure by keeping the debugging process in mind. In case of any issue, debugging should be easy. Regular storage backup is the first step to ensure security in a cloud computing system. And virtual firewalls are other crucial elements of the cloud security infrastructure.