Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Computing: The Ultimate Guide to Concepts, Options, and Opportunities

What is Cloud Computing

There is so much discussion around the cloud these days. You hear things like Cloud Computing, an overarching concept that encompasses computing services like cloud services, and cloud storage. Then, there are the professionals who derive a source of livelihood from the different services that are needed in the cloud computing multiverse. And the little pieces that make up the whole might be too daunting to comprehend in its entirety.

Then, there is some confusion with the traditional way of getting applications deployed known as hosting.

What do these terminologies mean?

Where is the overlap with traditional hosting?

What benefits does the cloud bring?

These and many more questions will be answered as you peruse this article.

Now let’s begin to break down these concepts.

Unveiling the Cloud

Imagine how you have a lot of files, photos, and videos on your computer or smartphone. Normally, these things are stored right on your device. Now, think of “the cloud” as a virtual space on the internet where you can store and access these things.

What is Cloud Computing

So, instead of keeping all your files only on your computer, you can save them on the cloud. This way, you can reach them from anywhere with an internet connection, using different devices like your computer, tablet, or phone. It’s like having a storage space that’s not tied to a specific device – it’s up in the “cloud” and can be accessed whenever you need it.

Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud are some examples of cloud storage. They provide a convenient way for people to store, share, and access their files from different devices, making it easier to manage and use their digital stuff.

However, that is just one implementation of the cloud.

When we create websites, we use the term hosting to refer to it as putting the website files on a server that is connected to the internet so it can be accessed anywhere.

A server is just a computer. When websites are hosted on the server, it can be viewed like putting your files on your computer. The difference is that a server responds to external requests from other computers. These requests are known as HTTP requests.

So, we can be grammatically correct if we say websites are put up on the cloud as well even when we refer to hosting but we are not technically correct because how both is used in the ecosystem has brought about a difference.

Cloud Services, Hosting,

The Cloud and Traditional hosting

Before the word “cloud” started to become common, deploying web services was done by purchasing servers with an exact amount of storage and memory. This is what we refer to as the traditional method of hosting where the servers can either be shared(Shared Hosting), dedicated for a web app (Dedicated Hosting) or created through virtualization schemes when you host the websites on virtual machines (VPS hosting).

There are evidently some similitude between traditional hosting and what is known to be “the cloud” today and both concepts are often misconstrued. That shouldn’t be the case.

The cloud is just a new concept to connote significant changes made to the way data is been stored and how applications are been managed.

For instance, cloud computing has revolutionized application deployment with CI/CD pipelines helping to provide swift updates to the live applications without downtime necessitating for faster software releases.

This innovation has also made it possible to scale the resources an application would need without having to buy more server hardware which would result to downtime as a result of data transition from the old to new server. In cloud computing, when an application needs more computing resources, it can be allocated from the available pool, often without a need to shut down the instance of the application.

In the case of both “cloud computing” and traditional hosting, we have servers been a major infrastructure to be managed. The methodologies for how they are been managed is what makes them different.

A cloud is a network of these computers(servers) that store and manage data and applications over the internet. And traditional hosting also makes use of these networking procedures to permit communication between servers in order to make data retrieval possible but cloud computing depends a lot on virtualization technologies to mock a physical hardware and also allow allocating resources easier to do without causing a downtime.

Cloud Services

There are some cloud services that is dedicated to storage like Google Drive, Drop Box and the likes, then others dedicated to providing computing power. What this means is that there are services that provide companies with the ability to access and utilize computing resources over the internet. And the beauty of this is that the resources can be scaled and managed at any time.

This is why using cloud services outshines traditional hosting solutions that just allocates fixed specifications.

Cloud services only helps us get hosting done efficiently.

Cloud services providers also provide services like Software As A Service(SaaS) to enable users use a software without any knowledge of what it took to build it but after it has been purchased through a subscription model, the user can use the software as he pleases within the confines of the app’s purpose. So, this model of service is when companies offer software to be used by users that find it appealing. The companies manage the use of the software by different users and stores the data on the cloud and also makes available for the users to access the data anytime through any means.

Another service is the Platform As A Service(PaaS) where the provider helps in managing the hardware, and computing environment needed to support an application.

The third is Infrastructure as A Service where there is much control over the hardware and other resources the server needs. There is also a lot more customization that can made as compared to PaaS.

Some of the popular cloud service providers we have include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure.

Professions in the Cloud Computing Industry

As a result of the different services that needs to be provided, professions have stemmed out of those services and has been a cash cow to many. These are some of the professions that is now available in the cloud computing industry.

Software Engineers

This is not specific to the cloud computing industry but I thought of including since there are many SaaS apps available today and these apps are built by software engineers. A lot of problems are been solved in our world and more creators and entrepreneurs are using the SaaS model to produce their solutions. In fact, it is estimated that venture capitalists and investors are more likely to put money in a software, if the word SaaS is used to spice it.

Cloud Administrators

These professionals specialize in overseeing a cloud platform’s presence and infrastructure. They are responsible for crafting, implementing, and updating guidelines governing employee and user access to cloud services. Additionally, they establish and enforce security protocols, monitor system uptime, and evaluate the necessity for technological updates.

Cloud Support Engineers

In the realm of technology, challenges are bound to surface. Cloud support engineers excel in problem-solving, offering troubleshooting expertise to customers, primarily B2B clients rather than end users. Beyond delivering on-demand assistance, these professionals often play a crucial role in crafting user manuals, tutorials, FAQs, and help guides. Strong communication skills and a background in tech support and debugging are essential for success in this role.

Cloud Architect

Consider cloud architecture as the foundational framework for all other cloud technologies to operate seamlessly. It serves as the structural backbone, much like the frame of a house. Cloud architects are the masterminds behind designing and executing a company’s cloud computing strategies. Their role is to ensure smooth progress, adherence to budget constraints, and a seamless transition to cloud operations.

Cloud Security Analysts

Cloud security analysts play a vital role in safeguarding the integrity and security of a company’s cloud infrastructure. Their responsibilities encompass evaluating potential threats, fortifying defenses to prevent data breaches, securing sensitive data, and addressing security gaps in the event of a breach.

DevOps Engineers

DevOps engineer is a skilled IT professional who plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between software development and IT operations. Their primary focus is on creating a collaborative and efficient environment, streamlining the development and deployment processes to enhance overall system reliability and performance.

DevOps engineers are responsible for automating and optimizing various aspects of the software development lifecycle. This includes coding, building, testing, and deployment phases. By implementing continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, they facilitate faster and more reliable software releases.

Cloud Engineers

Cloud engineers take charge of the managerial facets of a company’s cloud strategies. Collaborating closely with architects, these professionals not only ensure the effective implementation of cloud strategies but also handle administrative tasks. This includes negotiating with clients and vendors to maintain alignment with objectives and budgetary constraints. In essence, they look for cost-saving measures and performance optimization in cloud infrastructure.


Suffice to say that a small scale software or application deployment requiring the use of less resources, traditional hosting would be sufficient. However, for large scale applications that require consistent update and scaling, using cloud services is better fit.

Now, hopefully you have been equipped with sufficient information about “the cloud” and how it is relevant in the software industry.

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