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What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is a method of computing in which a shared group of resources — such as file storage, web servers, data processing services, and applications — are accessed via the internet.Footnote 1Learn Cloud Computing These resources are housed in data centers around the world and are available to any person or device connected to the web.
The advantages of cloud computing include cost saving, ease of scaling, and consolidating resources. A company’s use of cloud technology and services can easily scale up or down as needed, reduce expenses, and eliminate idle resources. Cloud computing lowers the cost of services for businesses and individuals because they no longer need to invest in expensive infrastructure and software to house and deploy the services locally.Footnote 2 Footnote 3
Read on to learn about cloud computing, including types of cloud computing, cloud computing certification, and cloud computing jobs.
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Types of cloud computing
There are several types of cloud computing and ways to deliver cloud services. Cloud computing services may be private, public, or a combination of the two. Public cloud computing offers resources that are accessible on the internet and can be shared across different organizations. Examples of public cloud computing services include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. On the other hand, private cloud computing is in-house infrastructure that is built and owned by a specific organization. Hybrid cloud computing integrates private and public services.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): access to networking features of the cloud — such as virtual or physical servers — that allow organizations to run applications and store data.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): access to a cloud-hosted platform that is ready to use for developing, running, and managing applications.
Software as a Service (SaaS): access to cloud-hosted software — usually an end-user product, such as a web-based email platform — that is managed and maintained by the service provider.
These services can be used in tandem, and many organizations use more than one model.
Uses of cloud computing
Cloud computing can be applied for a variety of uses. Below are some examples of uses of cloud computing:Footnote 6
Building and testing applications
Data storage and analysis
Cloud computing course curriculum
Cloud computing classes cover a wide range of topics from cloud computing infrastructure to cloud management. Lessons may also touch on the tasks and responsibilities of a cloud engineer. Online courses for cloud computing range from beginner-level classes to more advanced options. Some courses offer the potential for students to earn a cloud computing certification.
In introductory cloud computing courses, students may become familiar with concepts including the benefits of cloud computing, cloud infrastructure, cloud security, and other trends in cloud computing. By the end of the cloud computing class, students will be able to answer the question “How does cloud computing work?”
Advanced cloud computing classes may focus on topics such as the intersections of cloud computing and artificial intelligence, developing applications specific to cloud services or private cloud management.
Discover cloud computing jobs
The field of cloud computing is growing as businesses move more of their infrastructure to the cloud, creating more demand for experts in cloud computing.Footnote 7 Cloud computing job titles include cloud systems developer, cloud administrator, cloud architect, cloud computing engineer, and cloud security manager.
How to become a cloud administrator
Cloud administrators help organizations maintain their cloud infrastructure, including configuring cloud applications, troubleshooting cloud computing issues, and protecting an organization’s cloud security.Footnote 8 To learn cloud computing and the basics of the field, network and computer systems administrators typically earn at least a bachelor’s degree in a subject such as information science.Footnote 9 Some cloud administrators complete a boot camp. They can also earn a bachelor's degree program in computer or data science, though some may earn a master’s in data science or related fields. To become a cloud administrator, technology professionals typically have several years of experience working with cloud computing services. In addition to formal education and work experience, cloud administrators often possess skills including strong technical knowledge of cloud-based tools and services, data management, problem-solving, and analytical skills.