What is a cloud service provider or cloud provider?
A cloud provider or cloud service provider, is a company that offers services of cloud computing typically, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) like amazon, software as a service (SaaS) like Adobe, or platform as a service (PaaS) like Oracle Cloud.
Cloud service providers have their own data centers and compute resources(physical machines) to host cloud computing infrastructure and platform services for consumer(end-user) organizations.
Cloud services generally use various pricing ex. pay-as-you-go subscription models. Consumers are charged only for those resources they have consumed, such as the number of requests, or amount of data transferred, the number of times services are used or the storage space(capacity) or virtual machines used.
The most well-known cloud service providers are:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) was founded in 3 march 2006
- Google Cloud Platform (formerly GCP) was founded in 2008
- Microsoft Azure was founded in 2008
Why do we need a cloud provider?
Cost and flexibility: The pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud services allows organizations (consumers) to only pay for the number of resources they consume. Using a cloud provider also eliminates the requirement of IT-related capital equipment investments. Organizations should check the details(components) of cloud pricing to correctly measure usage and break down cloud costing.
Scalability: with the cloud providers we don’t need to care about scaling(upgrade or downgrade), organizations can effortlessly scale up or scale down the computational resources based on their business demands.
Mobility: with the cloud providers we don’t need to care about physical machines(resources) and their maintenance. Resources and services purchased from a cloud provider can be accessed from any physical location with a good working network connection.
Disaster recovery: Working with cloud providers is beneficial when things go wrong Ex. if we have our own data center and unfortunately the data center is destroyed for any reason in that case you have no options for recovery of the Data. but with cloud providers offer quick and reliable disaster recovery.
Challenges with cloud providers
Hidden costs: Cloud services usage may incur expenses not factored into the initial return on investment analysis. For example, the unplanned structure of data(data redundancy) forces consumers to exceed employed amounts, leading to additional costs. To be cost-effective, companies also must factor in additional staffing requirements for monitoring and controlling cloud use.
Cloud migration: Transferring data to and from the cloud services can take time. Companies might not have access to their vital data for weeks, while large amounts of data are transferred to the cloud.
Cloud security: When trusting a cloud provider with vital(critical) data, Companies risk security breaches, compromised credentials, and other considerable security risks. Also, providers may not consistently be transparent regarding security problems and practices. Companies with precise protection conditions may rely on open-source cloud protection tools, in add-on to the provider’s tools.
Performance and outages: Outages, downtime and technological issues on the cloud provider’s end can generate essential data and resources unavailable during crucial business conditions.
Complicated contract terms: Organizations contracting cloud providers must actively bargain agreements and service-level agreements (SLAs).
Vendor lock-in: Increased data transfer expenses or use of proprietary cloud services that are inconsistent with competitor services can create difficulty for customers to switch Cloud providers this situation is called vendor lock-in. To avoid vendor lock-in, organizations should contain their own cloud exit strategy before subscribing or signing any contracts.
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