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In the computing world, there is always something disruptive being developed. Each wave of innovative computational technology tends to lead to new kinds of systems that replace their predecessors.
Think back to the '80s when computers operated independently from one another, to what we have now – millions of computers connected to operate together.
Several factors made this possible. One, the development of powerful microprocessors through the years. The other factor is the invention and development of high-speed computer networks, allowing communication and data exchange at ultra-rapid speeds.
Added to these two elements has been the advancement of smart, cloud-connected devices such as smartphones and nano computers that come packed with powerful CPUs, sensors, lots of memory, impressive computing performance, and networking capabilities.
All these technologies and capabilities lead to computing systems composed of numerous networked computers. Since they are usually geographically dispersed, they are said to form a distributed system.
What is a Distributed System in Cloud Computing?
Let's take a close look at distributed systems: what they are, their design goals, and some examples.
A distributed system is comprised of autonomous computing nodes that appear to users as a single coherent system. Nevertheless, in one way or the other, these autonomous elements need to collaborate.
Each element in a distributed system behaves independently of the other elements and relies on distribution middleware to communicate and share resources.
To a distributed system, middleware operates similarly to what an operating system is to a computer — a resources manager that allows applications to share and deploy resources across a network efficiently.
With this in mind, a distributed system's important goal is to make it easy for applications and users to share remote resources.
How Distributed Cloud Systems Work
Distributed cloud computing delivers the following functions
Resource sharing — whether it's the software, hardware, or data
Openness — is the software designed to be open, developed, and shared
Concurrency — multiple machines can process the same function at the same time
Scalability — computing and processing capabilities multiply when extended to many machines
Fault tolerance — how easily and quickly can failures in parts of the system be detected and recovered
Transparency — how much access does one node have to locate and communicate with other nodes in the system.
Examples of Distributed Cloud Computing Systems
Networks - Intranets, Internet, World Wide Web, and Cellular networks.
Distributed Real-time Systems - Airlines use flight control systems, Uber and Lyft use dispatch systems, manufacturing plants use automation control systems, logistics and e-commerce companies use real-time tracking systems. Today, the majority (if not all) of these systems reside in the cloud.
Distributed Cloud Computing
As more companies adopt cloud computing, they are also looking to it for more advanced use cases. In pursuit of this, vendors are now delivering cloud capabilities in more intelligent ways.
One of them is through distributed clouds, a technology set to mark the beginning of a new era in the cloud computing space.
By definition, distributed cloud means a cloud architecture where public cloud services are distributed to external locations. Still, the public cloud provider remains responsible for architecture, delivery, operations, and updates.
A distributed cloud architecture allows data centers to be located anywhere, eliminating data compliance and latency challenges. The technology helps organizations manage all distributed components – applications and data across multiple clouds, legacy data centers through APIs to improve computing efficiency and application performance.
The distributed cloud also brings aspects of worldwide public cloud regions, hybrid cloud, and edge computing to the original world of cloud computing.
Even more important, the distributed cloud provides the perfect foundation for edge computing enabling servers and application execution where data is created. The distributed cloud also facilitates compliance with industry or country-specific data privacy regulations and serves employees redistributed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Gartner, a research firm, most cloud service platforms will provide at least some distributed cloud services by 2024. The company has also listed distributed clouds as a top trend for 2020.
Taking Advantage of Distributed Cloud Computing for Your Business
The common thing we have seen is that organizations that adopt modern applications reap benefits across their entire business process. They are able to scale up their systems, increase agility, meet customer demands easily, market, and deliver faster.
To achieve benefits with distributed clouds, we recommend technology innovation leaders to;
Identify business scenarios where cloud models will improve business processes and improve efficiency.
Get ready for the next generation of cloud computing by leveraging distributed cloud models.
Overcome insufficiencies in cloud implementations by adopting the like-for-like hybrid model
Identify enhanced future phases use cases of distributed cloud that are
Examine cloud providers responsible for cloud operations to overcome today's private and hybrid cloud computing failures and shortcomings
Exploit the flexibility offered by the increased deployment options of cloud computing
Defining Cloud Computing
In the recent past, cloud computing, a type of distributed system, has taken over the technology industry. Cloud computing has a promising future — over 80% of organizations are estimated to migrate to the cloud by 2025.
Cloud computing technology enables scalable and flexible IT-related capabilities to be delivered to individual users and businesses.
This means you can access the data you have stored in the cloud anywhere, anytime. The cloud helps you access your storage, servers, databases, and application services all in one place.
As a result, cloud computing is cheaper and more beneficial for enterprises as there's no need to build their own infrastructure.
How Distributed Cloud Computing Works
A cloud system comprises a front end and a back end connected through a network, usually the Internet.
The front end represents the client's computer user or client-side, while the back end is the cloud' system. There are innumerable connections comprising servers, computers, applications, and data storage systems on the back end of the cloud system.
A central server manages the cloud system, ensuring a smooth flow of traffic and client demands. This happens through a set of protocols and special software (middleware) to allow communication.
Cloud Computing Services - Distributed Assets
You might have heard about the following three main categories of cloud computing services.
Software as a Service (SaaS) — provides your business with a standardized way of obtaining applications over the web, relieving you from the burden of support, maintenance, management, and any other operations.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — offers businesses access to critical web architecture, including storage facilities, network connections, computing power, and servers, without purchasing and managing the infrastructure themselves.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) — provides businesses with access to a cloud-based environment where they can build and deliver applications without installing and working with IDEs that are often very expensive.
Cloud Computing - Distributed Deployment
Cloud deployment refers to specific configurations of the cloud environment parameters such as accessibility, infrastructure, and storage size. Cloud deployment varies depending on where the infrastructure is located and who controls it.
Here are the most common cloud deployment models
Public clouds: Like their name, public clouds are available to the general public. The cloud infrastructure, however, belongs to service providers who manage and control its resources. As such, user companies don't need to buy and maintain their own hardware as provider companies provide them via the Internet. This cloud model is a top choice for businesses with low privacy concerns.
Private clouds: Unlike public clouds, a private cloud is owned and dedicated to an individual company running its own data centers. The deployment server can be hosted either externally or on the company premises. Regardless of the physical location, these infrastructures are retained on a designated private network and use software and hardware intended for use only by the owner company.
Hybrid clouds: represent a blend/ integration between the private and public cloud. It allows your company to mix and match the facets of the deployment types that best suit their requirements.
To select the right deployment model for your business, you'll need to consider your infrastructure, networking and storage requirements, available resources, business objectives, and the pros and cons of each model.
Is your company ready to take advantage of distributed cloud computing? Let’s talk.
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