Understanding Cloud Computing: A Beginner's Guide

Are you a beginner in the world of cloud computing? Are you trying to understand what cloud computing is and how it can benefit your business? Don't worry, we've got you covered. In this beginner's guide, we will explain everything you need to know about cloud computing.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of on-demand computing services such as servers, storage space, applications, and software over the internet. Instead of keeping all your data on your computer or local server, you can store it in the cloud, which is a network of remote servers hosted on the internet.

Now, you may be wondering, what are the benefits of using the cloud?

Benefits of Cloud Computing

  1. Cost Savings: Cloud computing reduces the need for expensive hardware, infrastructure and software, which results in a lower overall cost.
  2. Scalability: You only pay for what you use, and you can scale up or down depending on your needs.
  3. Flexibility: Access your files and applications from anywhere, at any time, with an internet connection.
  4. Increased Collaboration: Share files and resources with ease, empowering teams to work together no matter where they are located.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are three types of cloud computing - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure such as virtual machines, storage, servers, and network components. Instead of running your own hardware, you access computing resources provided remotely by the cloud service provider.

  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS provides a platform to develop, run and manage applications without the need for infrastructure or operating systems. Essentially, you can build and deploy your applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

  3. Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS offers ready-to-use software applications that are delivered over the internet. They include email, file-sharing, and customer relationship management systems, to name a few.

Cloud Deployment Models

There are four deployment models for cloud computing: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and community cloud.

  1. Public Cloud: Public clouds are accessible to anyone on the internet, and the infrastructure is owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider.

  2. Private Cloud: Private clouds are designed for a single organization, and the infrastructure can be owned, managed, and operated by the organization or a third-party provider.

  3. Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid clouds combine the benefits of public and private clouds. They allow organizations to use both internal and external clouds to achieve greater efficiency, cost savings, and scalability.

  4. Community Cloud: Community clouds are shared by several organizations belonging to a specific industry or niche. They offer shared services, data, and applications to members of the community.

Cloud Computing Services

Cloud computing services are divided into three categories - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): With IaaS, the cloud provider offers virtual machines, storage, and networks. You control the operating system, middleware, and applications.

  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): With PaaS, the cloud provider offers a platform for developing, deploying, and managing applications. You control the applications and data.

  3. Software as a Service (SaaS): With SaaS, the cloud provider offers a software application that you can access from anywhere with an internet connection.

Cloud Services Providers

There are several cloud service providers in the world, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). These providers offer similar services, but there are differences between them.

Depending on your business requirements, you'll need to choose a cloud service provider that suits your needs best. If you're looking for a reliable and cost-effective option, AWS is a great choice. If you're looking for a fully integrated and easy-to-use platform, Microsoft Azure is a good option. If you're looking for a competitive pricing model and advanced machine learning capabilities, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a great option.

Common Cloud Computing Terminology

Before jumping into cloud computing, it's essential to understand the common terminology associated with it. Here are some of the most common terms you may encounter while working with the cloud.

  1. Cloud Service Provider (CSP): A third-party company that provides cloud computing services to customers.

  2. Virtual Machines (VM): A virtual instance of a physical computer that provides access to computing resources like CPU, memory, and storage.

  3. Elasticity: The ability to scale computing resources or services quickly, allowing you to meet the changing demands of your application.

  4. Object Storage: Storage that uses key-value pairs of data to store and retrieve data.

  5. Load Balancer: A device or software that distributes network traffic across multiple servers to optimize resource utilization.


Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses store and manage data. With its cost savings, scalability, and flexibility, the cloud is becoming an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. Understanding the different types of cloud computing, deployment models, services, and terminology is critical for anyone new to the world of cloud computing.

So there you have it, a beginner's guide to cloud computing. We hope this guide has demystified cloud computing for you and helped you understand how it can benefit your business. Remember, cloud computing is an ever-evolving field, so stay curious and keep learning.

Additional Resources

deepdive.video - deep dive lectures, tutorials and courses about software engineering, databases, networking, cloud, and other tech topics
datamigration.dev - data migration across clouds, on prem, data movement, database migration, cloud, datalake and lakehouse implementations
datawarehousing.dev - cloud data warehouses, cloud databases. Containing reviews, performance, best practice and ideas
jupyter.app - cloud notebooks using jupyter, best practices, python data science and machine learning
cloudchecklist.dev - A site for cloud readiness and preparedness, similar to Amazon well architected
etherium.sale - A site where you can buy things with ethereum
react.events - react events, local meetup groups, online meetup groups
butwhy.dev - A site for explaining complex topics, and concept reasoning, from first principles
learnjavascript.dev - learning javascript
flutter.design - flutter design, material design, mobile app development in flutter
makeconfig.dev - generating configurations for declarative programs like terraform and kubernetes, except using a UI to do it
fluttertraining.dev - A site for learning the flutter mobile application framework and dart
singlepaneofglass.dev - a single pane of glass service and application centralized monitoring
optimization.community - A community about optimization like with gurobi, cplex, pyomo
logicdatabase.dev - logic database, rdf, skos, taxonomies and ontologies, prolog
javafx.tips - java fx desktop development
newfriends.app - making new friends online
ner.systems - A saas about named-entity recognition. Give it a text and it would identify entities and taxonomies
painpoints.app - software engineering and cloud painpoints
babysit.app - A service and app for finding a babysitter or applying to babysit

Written by AI researcher, Haskell Ruska, PhD (haskellr@mit.edu). Scientific Journal of AI 2023, Peer Reviewed