What Is Cloud Computing?
Put simply, cloud computing is: the delivery of services, on a pay-as-you go basis. It’s the availability of offsite computer system resources that offers strength and flexibility, and is possibly more budget friendly than building your own in-house database.
I interviewed our Cloud Team here at Metal Toad. Here’s how they describe the cloud in their own words:
AWS Cloud Computing FAQ
#1) How long does it take to get AWS certified technical skills required for cloud computing?
Like anything, it all depends on how much effort and time you put into it, and of course how much knowledge on the subject you already have. The AWS Cloud Practitioner exam should take around 20 hours of study time, having no previous experience. Some good places to obtain courses are Udemy, and Cloud Academy, and practice tests are also available so you know what to expect on your test. Hands on does take longer as you’re trying to 100% understand everything vs. just passing a test, and there are new features rolled out all the time in AWS. But for the basics, EC2, VPC’s, IAM, Security Groups, EFS, it would be reasonable to say that with a good learning program, you could be really proficient in all of those in a month or so.
It comes down to which certification you want to go for and your relevant technical level/skills going into it, but chances are, not as much as you’d think. For example Cloud Practitioner would take a lot less studying than say Devops Engineer. AWS experience of course will mean easier studying and/or less study time needed. I’d recommend taking a few practice quizzes to gauge where you’re at and go from there.
#2) What’s the downside of AWS cloud computing?
As great as it can be for saving money, it can just as easily rack up bills if you’re not careful. Be sure to calculate costs before starting using a service and make sure it’s not still doing something once you’re done. AWS is very powerful, so just a couple clicks can launch a massive symphony of computational energy into motion. It can build a sand castle or move mountains, but either way, somebody’s gotta pay for it.
However from a overall cost stand point dedicated networking hardware and servers can have far more drawbacks than Cloud on cost - you have to purchase them for one, and you own them; firmware patching is 100% on you, and when the hardware becomes dated, old hardware typically becomes fancy boat anchors. With Cloud you never have to worry about outdated hardware, firmware updates, or outages.
#3) What is AWS cloud computing and how useful will it be?
AWS provides the same functionality you would get out of your own data center into services. This is already and will become even more useful as digital products and digital space continue to grow as it provides greater flexibility and reliability but also saves on overhead and ongoing costs.
AWS Cloud Computing allows you to be flexible, save costs where you need to, and spend where you want to - the development of your product. If you’re running bare metal in a datacenter, just know that will likely be a thing of the past in just a few years.There isn’t anything you can’t do in AWS that you can in your typical data center, and pricing is very competitive (and usually much cheaper) with said data centers
Quotes on AWS Computing
“It’s other people’s computers somewhere else. Somewhat more seriously, it’s building services on an infrastructure with an eye towards those services being easily scalable, resilient and able to take advantage of a third party infrastructure.”
- Michael Ellis, Senior Cloud Engineer
“It’s basically remote servers in it’s simplest definition. It’s a server that someone else is hosting for you to upload your data to. In the early days there was DropBox. Now you can run functions and code in the cloud. It’s dispersed. It has backups. It’s not just one server; it’s servers all over the world.”
- Joe Matthies, Software Engineer
“Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, applications, and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Whether you are running applications that share photos to millions of mobile users or you’re supporting the critical operations of your business, a cloud services platform provides rapid access to flexible and low-cost IT resources. With cloud computing, you don’t need to make large upfront investments in hardware and spend a lot of time on the heavy lifting of managing that hardware. Instead, you can provision exactly the right type and size of computing resources you need to power your newest bright idea or operate your IT department. You can access as many resources as you need, almost instantly, and only pay for what you use.
Cloud computing provides a simple way to access servers, storage, databases and a broad set of application services over the Internet. A cloud services platform such as Amazon Web Services owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you provision and use what you need via a web application.”
“In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats.”
- PC Magazine
“Cloud computing is the delivery of different services through the Internet. These resources include tools and applications like data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software.”