What is cloud computing and where TF is the Cloud?

Graphic by moi.

Cloud computing is a popular technology term.

But, you may still misunderstand the meaning.

When you hear the word cloud computing aka “The Cloud”, you think of iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. — You’re not wrong, but you’re not right either.

You can’t say, “as the name implies” because your data isn’t on the real clouds — Even for 5seconds, we’ve all thought that.

But the cloud symbol used in internet flow charts and diagrams inspired the naming.

You’re now thinking…

What exactly is cloud computing?

According to Investopedia,

These services include:

- Data Storage

- Databases

- Softwares etc.

Before cloud clouding, we kept records in a written folder, stored in a room, and arranged in a certain order.

The desktop method eliminated the tediousness of the written method.

But, the low storage capacity of these desktops made data processing tough still.

That’s when servers came about.

Let’s take an instance:

Bank X needs to store and retrieve large files fast.

Instead of

- the traditional method of pen and paper, where you had to walk to a storage room or

- the desktop method with limited storage and speed.

They could buy servers.

Servers in a Data Center

Servers are computers on steroids.

They have:

- Faster data processing and

- Larger storage capacities than desktops, phones, and PCs.

With servers, like the image above, bank x could access their data on their desktops over a local network.

Bank X had the sole responsibility of:

  • installing the operating system
  • connecting the server to a network
  • securing and maintaining the physical and data infrastructures and also,
  • providing a place for storing these servers.

And these servers are kept in a place called “Data Centers.”

The type of data storage bank x used above is called “On-Premise Storage Solution.”

The data centers are large rooms that needed a 24/7 cooling system and power supply.

If bank x needed more storage, they had to buy more servers.

Talk about the struggle still.

But cloud computing came to the rescue.

Heres’ an excellent explainer video on life before cloud computing:

(445) 00 Before Cloud Computing — YouTube

The common misconception is that somehow your physical infrastructures disappeared.


It’s the location and ownership of your servers that changed.

Cloud computing reduces the management and cost burden on companies that use servers.

With cloud solutions, you don’t need your own data center to use a server.

You can share some or all the responsibility of having a server with, “The Cloud Service Providers”


Good question.

To understand “how”, you need to know the service models of cloud storage.

They include:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a service)
  • SaaS (Software as a service)


Unlike On-premise, you only manage your operating system, applications, and database with IaaS.

Your IaaS provider manages everything else.

If you need more space, call your IaaS provider, pay for more, and it’s done.

You and the IaaS provider share the struggle of setting up and maintaining your servers.

Here are links to know more about IaaS and how to get started:

(445) Use cases of IAAS — YouTube

Getting started with Azure IaaS (microsoft.com)

Examples of IaaS Providers include;

  • Amazon AWS
  • Microsoft azure
  • Google Compute Engine.


Developers are major users of PaaS.

Before PaaS, developers had to handle all the troubles of building and managing software like:

  • installation of the operating system,
  • development of the application, and
  • maintenance of physical servers to manage the application.

But, PaaS eliminates the high cost and bulkiness of developing and maintaining software.

Now, with PaaS, developers can focus on only building and the deployment of their apps.

Here are links to know more about PaaS and how to get started:

(446) What is PaaS (Platform as a Service)? — YouTube


IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS: Examples and How to Differentiate (2021) (bigcommerce.com)

Examples of PaaS providers include;

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
  • Google App Engine.
  • Red Hat Openshift.


SaaS is the most popular cloud storage solution.

SaaS is a solution where you use the service/software without knowledge of how it was/is:

- Developed

- Deployed and

- Maintained.

For Example, Gmail

You don’t worry about your email’s storage location and the development of the Gmail app.

You write your emails and hit send.


Imagine if Gmail didn’t exist, and you needed to send emails.

You would have looked for ways to:

- build the application,

- buy servers to store and retrieve these emails

Creating Gmail took the money and technical- heavy battles of using a service.

Some popular examples of the SaaS model: Google Drive, Facebook, Instagram, Gmail.

Here are links to know more about SaaS and how to get started:

(446) What is SaaS (Software as a Service)? — YouTube

How to Start a SaaS Startup | 5 Lessons I Wish I Had Known Beforehand (foundr.com)

What is SaaS (Software as a Service)? Everything You Need to Know (techtarget.com)

Examples of SaaS Providers include;

  • Salesforce.
  • Oracle.
  • SAP.

There are also three types of cloud computing, and these service providers can be any of the three.

They include:

Public Cloud:

Public cloud providers manage the data of different companies in one data center.

Here, you only buy a part of their servers and other companies can occupy the rest of the same servers.

It’s cheaper for companies who can’t afford their own data centers, but it offers less security for data.

Like Mircosoft Azure.

Private Cloud:

The Private Cloud solution: here you have your own servers or personal data center for you alone.

Like HP Data Centers.

This solution is more expensive but has more security than the public cloud.

Large corporations and organizations that can afford it use this solution.

Hybrid Cloud:

The hybrid cloud solution is the best of both worlds.

This solution uses both cloud services.

You can store sensitive data on a private cloud and less salient information on the public cloud.

Like Amazon Web Services.

Here are links to know more about the types of cloud computing and more on cloud computing:

(446) Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud-Cloud Deployment Model In Cloud Computing |Simplilearn — YouTube

(446) Cloud Computing In 6 Minutes | What Is Cloud Computing? | Cloud Computing Explained | Simplilearn — YouTube

What Is Hybrid Cloud? — Benefits and Advantages of a Hybrid Cloud | NetApp

Before you go,

Remember, your data isn’t in the sky.

But it’s stored, processed, and managed for you by service providers.

Service providers take care of what you don’t want to worry about.

Letting you access information and services, anywhere and anytime.

Unless your providers’ servers are down (^ ^ ). (Google, catch your sub)

Aspiring Gineous | Bohemian