Blog/Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing: Definition, Types, Benefits, Pros & Cons


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Praise Iwuh

June 06, 2023

Cloud Computing is the transmission of —hardware, storage, databases, networking, and Software—on demand to organisations and people through the Internet.

Think of it as having an invisible storage space where you can store all your essential files, videos, images, and even games. However, rather than storing them in a flash, this storage space can be accessed and stored online through servers. 

This means you can access your precious documents or files anywhere, whether in the office, home, or space! Furthermore, it completely eliminates the need for physical storage devices. Are you fascinated by this?

Well, this is not all there is to know about cloud computing. In this article, we will cover the basics of cloud computing. This includes the definition, types, pros and cons of cloud computing. It is going to be a fun, educating ride! 

Let's get started! 

What you will learn:

Definition of Cloud computing

Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Models

Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing

Definition of Cloud computing

Cloud Computing (also called utility or on-demand computing) is the transmission of —hardware, storage, databases, networking, and Software—on demand to organisations and people through the Internet.

The fundamental tenet of cloud computing is that clients can access and maintain their data without managing their physical devices or IT infrastructure because all data is stored in the cloud. (This is how the term "cloud computing" came about).

This cloud can be public (information and data sent over the Internet that can be shared with a diverse spectrum of businesses and people), private (data and other information only available to users within your company), and hybrid cloud (a synthesis of the two. There are both public and private clouds in this setting).

Additionally, with the help of cloud computing, you can process data without sitting at a computer or carrying around heavy equipment. Instead, all of the work is transferred to vast computer clusters located far away in cyberspace. This means your data, work, and applications are accessible from any device with an Internet connection, wherever in the globe, immediately the Internet becomes into the cloud.

Cloud computing also allows businesses to access and manage resources and applications wherever there is an internet connection, much like how you can check your email inbox online through a web browser. 

Furthermore, users also enjoy the following functions anytime they use cloud computing:

  • Delivering Software on demand
  • Storage, backup, and data retrieval
  • Audio and video streaming
  • Creating and testing apps
  • Analysing data
  • Sending and receiving emails

Types of Cloud Computing

It is very common to confuse the types of cloud computing for the cloud computing models or services. However, here is a tip to help you distinguish between both classifications. The types of cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) describe the level of services provided. In contrast, the cloud computing models (public, private, hybrid, multi-cloud) describe the deployment and ownership of the cloud infrastructure. 

First, we start with the types of Cloud Computing. There are three major types of Cloud computing. They include Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

a cloud-based product delivery simulation where the cloud provider creates and manages online application software, offers automated software updates, and makes the Software accessible to its customers online using a subscription model.

2. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 

an online computing method that provides internet-based pay-as-you-go access to IT infrastructure like computing, storage, and network resources. For instance, you can use IaaS to request and set up the resources or data you need to operate your IT systems and applications.  

3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

a full-featured cloud development and deployment environment with the resources you need to execute anything from essential cloud-based products to complex enterprise applications.   

Difference Between SaaS, IaaS and PaaS

The major difference between PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS is that PaaS is frequently built on top of an IaaS platform to minimise the need for system administration because it enables you to concentrate on app development rather than infrastructure administration, while IaaS exists to give you the most incredible flexibility when it comes to hosting custom-built apps and to offer a general data centre for data storage, and SaaS provides ready-to-use, out-of-the-box solutions that address a specific business need. (such as a website or email). Most popular SaaS systems are created on IaaS or PaaS platforms.

Also, SaaS products are entirely handled by another company, including the servers and the actual data. This is not the case with PaaS. With PaaS, you can use the cloud-based infrastructure as a building block when creating Software. While with IaaS, Operating systems are more directly under the control of administrators.

Read more on SaaS vs IaaS vs PaaS: How to Differentiate Between Them. 

Cloud Computing Models/ Services

There are four major cloud computing models. They include Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Multi-Cloud.

1. Private Cloud

Here, the company is the only user of the services because all services and infrastructure are privately managed. The private cloud could be hosted in the company's data centre, or third parties could host it for a fee. 

Also, private clouds provide additional possibilities for customisation, control, and security, but they may also cost more to set up and maintain.

2. Public Cloud

Here, third-party operators provide the public clouds. They also use the Internet to offer storage transfer services while maintaining the hardware and infrastructure for administering the cloud. As a result, public cloud services are frequently affordable, adaptable, and simple to use. An excellent example of third-party operators who provide public clouds is Microsoft Azure

3. Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud is created by combining private and public databases. This means that the hybrid cloud can share data and applications. As a result, businesses can exchange and move data and apps between private and public clouds, which offers them greater flexibility and infrastructure optimisation.

It also enables businesses to use the scalability and affordability of public cloud services while maintaining sensitive data on a private cloud.

4. Multi-Cloud

Multi-cloud refers to utilising numerous cloud service providers to satisfy specific needs or take advantage of each provider's distinctive offers.

With Multi-Cloud, Organisations can simultaneously employ many cloud services from various suppliers, eliminating vendor lock-in, maximising savings, and gaining access to more comprehensive features and services.

Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has become an increasingly popular way to store and access data and software applications. It has many benefits, including easy access from any location with an internet connection, financial savings, and scalability. But there are disadvantages as well, just like with every technology. 

Therefore, It is essential to weigh the pros and cons of cloud computing to make informed decisions about utilising its potential benefits while being aware of its limitations.

First, we start with the pros of Cloud Computing.

Pros of Cloud Computing

If you are considering migrating to your data center to the cloud, here are the major benefits of using doing so:

1. Flexibility 

One major advantage of cloud computing is that it gives businesses more flexibility. With it, organisations can quickly scale resources and storage up to satisfy business demands without investing in physical infrastructure.

In the same way, if resources are not being used, they can scale back instantly because there are no low bandwidth limitations on the cloud. 

Cloud computing is more adaptable than the in-house technical infrastructure, allowing companies to make last-minute changes while maintaining productivity.

2. Easy accessibility

Using the cloud and an internet connection, users can quickly and easily access information stored anywhere, at any time, worldwide. 

Due to this, companies can quickly boost their organisational output and efficiency.

3. Data Security

You would agree with us that a top priority of most businesses is the ability to protect all data from hackers. Well, one of the best ways company owners can guarantee data loss prevention is to use cloud-based services.

This is because it is difficult for hackers to access private information on the cloud (despite some people's claims that its open platform and straightforward access can make it simple for hackers).

Cloud computing features strong encryption on files and databases that can reduce the susceptibility to hacker attacks. For instance, in a RapidScale study, 94% of businesses reported improved security using cloud solutions. However, contrary to common belief, using the cloud increases your vulnerability, not decreases it.

4. Automatic Updates

Cloud computing simplifies the process of regularly updating your Software or firmware. You no longer need to be concerned about manually updating your Software because the cloud handles everything. 

Due to cyclical upgrades and automatic software repairs, users can now concentrate their time and energy on work. Also, business IT departments are no longer required to update the Software manually. This saves time and money that would have been used for outside IT advice.

5. Real-time insight access

Cloud computing allows businesses to access the data they need in real-time. For instance, distribution companies can respond to issues or changes as required because the cloud makes temperature and humidity data visible and usable. The cloud also provides storage transfer and manufacturing equipment machine learning capabilities so maintenance staff can identify potential failures and monitor machine health even from distant locations.

Read this detailed article on the 15 Advantages of Cloud Computing.

Cons of Cloud Computing

Here are some of the disadvantages of Cloud Computing:

1. Internet Connectivity

Cloud computing's primary drawback is the necessity for an internet connection. In on-demand computing, all information (including images, music, and video) is kept in the cloud and accessed online. 

This means you require a good internet connection anytime you want to access these files or cannot view the data.  

2. Downtime

Another major disadvantage of cloud computing is downtime. Cloud providers are susceptible to technical issues due to several causes, including power outages, poor Internet connectivity, the need for maintenance at data centres, etc. This might cause the online service to experience a brief outage.

3. Limited Control

Since cloud users have less influence over how the services within a cloud infrastructure operate and are delivered, it is essential to note that the service provider owns, controls, and monitors cloud infrastructure.

The good news is that you can reduce most of these drawbacks by thoroughly assessing cloud service providers and their pricing models.


Cloud computing has revolutionised how we store and access data and software applications. It has become a potent tool for individuals, companies, and organisations due to its adaptability, scalability, and simplicity. However, just like every technology has benefits and limitations, cloud computing also has some. Hence, making decisions about using cloud computing while being aware of its limitations requires carefully weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the technology.

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