Common Use Cases of Cloud Computing
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Before attempting to implement Cloud technologies, you first need to understand what it is exactly and what options are available.  This course covers a wide range of Cloud-related topics and provides you with a solid foundation of knowledge.

We will start by looking at what Cloud Computing is and describing the three main types: Public, Private and Hybrid.  Then we will look at key concepts and the different service models (including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS).  Finally, we will discuss common use case scenarios as well as the differences between a traditional on-premises data center. 

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Learning Objectives

  • A clear definition of Cloud computing
  • An understanding of basic Cloud concepts
  • Familiarity with the main Cloud types and services
  • Common use cases for Cloud computing
  • Comparisons with on-premises data centers

Intended Audience

  • Anyone who wants to learn about Cloud Computing


  • General knowledge of computers and the internet
  • Basic understanding of data centers and servers

It's great to understand the technical details of how cloud computing works. But in this section, I wanna provide you with some practical-use cases so that you understand how people typically use the cloud. Startups. One of the difficulties in creating a new startup company is the initial amount of work and overhead that are required. Technology-wise, you might have to build an entire IT department from scratch. You also probably need things like servers, networking, licenses, and a team to build everything out and keep it running. And, because a startup's needs can radically change, purchasing a bunch of equipment and hiring employees that might not be needed tomorrow can be too risky. What if your customer base increases 100 times overnight? Will your company be able to keep up? In cases like these, partnering with a cloud vendor is a perfect fit.

Proof of concept. Similarly, the cloud is a great fit for research and development. If you need to build a proof of concept, the cloud can let you create it at a fraction of the cost. You don't need a huge initial investment of capital. Access whatever resources you need and then evaluate. Is your prototype going to work? Will it be successful? Is it going to bring in enough revenue to justify its cost? You can use the results of your proof of concept to better predict success or failure before committing too many resources.

Traffic Bursting. A very common scenario for companies is to have periods of time where extra computing resources are required. Perhaps you're in the retail business and the Christmas season brings with it additional shoppers and orders. In a classic data center environment, to handle the extra load, you would need to have extra hardware on hand that would mostly sit idle the rest of the year. A far better way to handle this would be to leverage on-demand resources from a public cloud. The major cloud vendors can scale to handle almost any load imaginable.

Backup and Disaster Recovery. Due to the public cloud's built-in resiliency and durability, it makes for a great backup solution. If something like an earthquake or hurricane strikes the same area your systems are running, then you can simply move them to another location. With the cloud, you have access to virtually unlimited storage space. All of your data can have multiple copies, and those copies can be stored across many different locations. Physically relocating a new data center can take weeks, months, or even years. Moving around in the cloud might only take you a few minutes, depending upon your setup. It also can be significantly cheaper.

Cold or infrequently accessed storage costs much less than warm storage that holds frequently used data. So you can archive your backups for practically pennies. In the cloud, keeping detailed backups of everything is actually viable.

Websites and other Web-based Services. Many organizations choose to host their web services in the cloud due to its ability to rapidly scale up and down with demand. In addition, the wide geographic distribution of data centers, gives you the ability to place servers close to your users. It also allows you to access certain services like Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs. A CDN is a set of systems that redirects traffic to a nearby caching server. As a result, this can significantly reduce a website's latency for its users across the globe.

Testing and Development Environments. Many companies do not have the extra resources available for proper testing and development. Financially speaking, they can just be too costly. Using the public cloud allows you to spin up servers for a short time and then shut them down when you're finished. So if you need to occasionally build and test one of your products, you don't need a set of dedicated machines.

Big Data. The cloud also makes it easier and cheaper to manage massive amounts of data, or big data. Building and maintaining specialized resources to handle huge data sets can be expensive and complicated. By using the cloud, you have access to specialized resources to make your analysis quicker and easier. Having some of these elements managed by a cloud vendor allows you to focus on the data and not worry about the underlying architecture.

Now, this was just a few examples, and there are many other use cases as well. At this point, you probably have a few ideas of your own.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Daniel began his career as a Software Engineer, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. After twenty years of dealing with insufficient training and fragmented documentation, he decided to use his extensive experience to help the next generation of engineers.

Daniel has spent his most recent years designing and running technical classes for both Amazon and Microsoft. Today at Cloud Academy, he is working on building out an extensive Google Cloud training library.

When he isn’t working or tinkering in his home lab, Daniel enjoys BBQing, target shooting, and watching classic movies.

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