CentOS 7 – Cloud Computing

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The new generation of services provided via the Internet is known as cloud computing. In the computer industry, many organizations use cloud computing as they don’t like to purchase the equipment that can resolve their resource solutions, or hire what is required to manage and maintain it. Cloud computing is like a third-party data source that offers various capabilities to store and process data.

Within the list of the best solutions for establishing a cloud-computing environment, we have chosen OpenStack. In this chapter, we will cover in brief what cloud computing is and how to set up a single node using OpenStack.

Over the course of this chapter, we will go through the following topics:

  • Overview of cloud computing
  • Cloud-computing services
  • Introducing OpenStack
  • Components of OpenStack
  • Installing and setting up of OpenStack

An overview of cloud computing

Cloud computing is the capacity to perform computing outside the usual way of relying on local machines. Cloud computing relies on shared resources to handle the needed calculation or treatment. It shares the same aspects as Grid computing where both technologies have its processing power gathered to resolve or treat problems too heavy for a standalone machine (server or a personal computer).

The goal of cloud computing is to harness high supercomputing power to perform high-level computations in consumer-oriented applications, such as finance, personalized information delivery, data storage, and so on.

In order to perform this overwhelming task, cloud computing relies on a gigantic number of super powerful servers (blades…) connected through an extremely fast connection (InfiniBand (IB)) to share the workload across their computing units. This kind of infrastructure runs on specially configured systems, where they are linked together to simplify the task. Some infrastructures rely on virtualization technology to enhance their cloud computing.

Source: http://networksolutionsintl.com

Briefly, the most precise reason for many companies to use cloud computing is that it enables them to make computer resources look like a utility, which they can pay for over time without having the real hardware on site and the burden of managing it and sustaining it within their team. Also, cloud computing offers many interesting features for enterprises, such as:

  • Elasticity: The capacity to scale computing resources up and down as the need requires
  • Self-service provisioning: The capacity to provide the required amount of resources for the job, on demand
  • Pay per use: The capacity to measure the resources used by the users so they only get charged for the resources they have used

Cloud computing has hugely evolved over time. However, it has always kept the main three board services:

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

Software as a Service

SaaS refers to every application running on a machine other than the current user machine, where the user has access to some or all of its services through their web browser, and sometimes through a thin client application that only works as a presentation interface. SaaS applications are generally accessible worldwide using any kind of device that can access the Internet (computer, mobile, and so on). The thing that makes an SaaS application work well is that it is a kind of scalable application where the user can process its treatment over as many virtual machines as needed to answer the load demand. Most cloud-computing infrastructures use a load-balancing system to organize the load between the virtual machines, where the application keeps running without any interruption and perform a better execution results.

Source: http://icorees.com/

SaaS is characterized as follows:

  • Its services are accessible for any connected device
  • Easy-to-use application just after signing in
  • Where everything is stored on the cloud over hundreds of machines well configured for disasters such as disk crash and so on, plus user data and services are always available
  • Computing power for applications is always scalable when needed

We can distinguish some of the most famous SaaS that we use every day, such as e-mail services (Gmail, Yahoo…), social media and communication tools (Facebook, Skype…). All we need to use these daily services is an Internet connection and a device that has a web browser or a thin client application for mobile.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a service that offers its clients the capacity to build and deploy applications on a cloud-based environment. PaaS acts like SaaS when providing scalability to its users. When deploying their applications, they have on-demand access to the needed resource to run their application, where it offers all those services without the pain of buying, maintaining and managing the hardware needed for the application to run, with all the logistics behind it. PaaS has been well developed to offer to its clients pre-prepared templates to simplify the initialization on the platform.

Source: https://www.zoho.com/

We can distinguish some major benefits of using PaaS from the traditional solution, as follows:

  • Speeds up the development of applications where the environment is already there, and makes it ready for marketing where it is already hosted
  • Removes the complexity of managing the middleware and simplifies the task of having it
  • Simplifies the deployment of web applications

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The third service is IaaS, a kind of service that offers its users everything needed to establish a fully qualified infrastructure. IaaS provides servers with different characteristics, network equipment, and storage space on demand. The user of the infrastructure has all the rights to manage his infrastructure as desired, with all the rights of a system and network administrator. This service offers its users more than just the infrastructure but a pack-kind of resource (small, medium, and extra-large computing power and memory) to answer the workload requirements. As we said before, users act as system and network administrators so as to deploy their applications. They then need to establish their networks, install the desired OS, and set up their machines, where the users also maintain, manage and update their systems manually, as desired.

Source: http://cloudplus.com/

The benefits of IaaS can be summed up as follows:

  • It removes the task of investing in hardware
  • As with other cloud solutions, IaaS is scalable on demand to answer the user need for resources and equipment
  • A variety of flexible and innovative services are provided as per user requirements

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