Key Cloud Concepts
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With a wide range of Cloud courses already available at a deep technical level, this course is aimed as an introduction to those looking at Cloud Computing from the perspective of a beginner who may have no previous experience of the topic at all.

Before implementing or adopting Cloud technology, you will want to have an understanding of what it is exactly and what options you have when thinking about your deployment. This course covers a wide range of Cloud Computing topics areas, providing you with a solid foundation of understanding.

We will start by defining Cloud Computing, then we will explore what this definition means. We will look at the different deployment models such as Public, Private, and Hybrid Clouds before digging into what actually makes a Cloud a Cloud. Here we break down the Cloud model by looking at the key concepts and characteristics that make it so appealing to a wide range of organizations and individuals.

This course also looks at the different service models of Cloud Computing, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), providing examples and differences between each.

With all of these different deployment and service options, this course looks at ways other organizations are utilizing the Cloud with some common use cases that you may be familiar with.

Lastly, an overview is given on how typical on-premise data center solutions are reflected within the Cloud. Some people may already be aware of these solutions but are unsure of how certain infrastructure such as networks is architected from a Cloud Computing perspective. As well as networking, we will also look at Storage and compute (server) resources and how these are deployed in comparison to on-premise solutions.

Learning Objectives

The key learning objectives of this course will enable to student to have:

• A clear definition of what Cloud Computing is

• A comprehensive understanding of Cloud Computing

• An understanding of Cloud Computing benefits and key concepts

• An understanding of when and where to use it using the appropriate industry models

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone who wants to learn about Cloud Computing, and that may have NO or very little of it knowledge of it currently. It’s for those of you who are looking to learn more about the Cloud to decide if it's something you want to adopt within your business, or those of you that may be seeking a career move and want to learn the foundation of Cloud principles, then this course is certainly for you.

• Beginners to Cloud Computing

• Business Managers


• A basic understanding of server hardware components

• A basic understanding of what a Data Center is

This Course Includes

• 35 minutes of high-definition video

• 8 lessons

• Links to key documentation by Public Cloud providers

What You'll Learn

Lesson: Introduction - This lesson provides an introduction to the trainer and covers the intended audience. We will also look at what lessons are included in the course and what you will gain as a student from attending the course.

Lesson: What is Cloud Computing? - Following this lesson the student will be able to explain what Cloud Computing is and the underlying technology that its based upon, virtualization. The student will also be aware of the primary resources of the Cloud: Compute, Storage, and Network.

Lesson: Cloud Deployment Models - Following this lesson the student will know the different deployment models available and will be able to give an understanding and distinction between Public, Private, and Hybrid Clouds.

Lesson: Key Cloud Concepts -  Following this lesson the student will be able to describe what makes a Cloud a Cloud and what its key characteristics and concepts are.

Lesson: Cloud Service Models - Following this lesson, the student will be able to explain what Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) are and the differences between them.

Lesson: Common use cases of Cloud Computing - Following this lesson the student will have a comprehensive understanding of the different use cases cloud computing can have.

Lesson: How Data Center architecture is reflected in the Cloud - Following this lesson the student will understand how typical on-premise infrastructure is architected differently within the Cloud.

Lesson: Key Points - This lesson will review all of the key points of the previous lesson.

If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


Hello and welcome to this lecture aimed at providing you with an understanding of some of the concepts which make cloud technology so important. Cloud computing has a number of key characteristics that allow it to be the powerful service that is it today, and it's a good idea to have an understanding and awareness of these and what they offer. On-demand resourcing. This essentially means that when you want to provision a resource within the cloud, it's almost immediately available to you to allocate where and when you need it. No more waiting around for hardware to be ordered, installed, cabled, and configured before using it. Scalability. 

Cloud computing offers you the ability to rapidly scale your environment's resources both up and down and in and out, depending on your requirements and demands of your application and services. When scaling up and down, you effectively alter the power and performance of an instance, perhaps using one with a greater CPU or memory power. When scaling in and out, you are simply adding or removing the number of instances you're using to your fleet of compute resources. This offers a significant advantage compared to on-premise solutions, from a cost-perspective alone. Economy of scale. 

Due to the huge scale of resources public cloud offerings provide, which are optimized and shared between different organizations, thanks to virtualization technology, you as the end user benefit from exceptionally low resource costs compared to traditional hosting. Flexibility and elasticity. Cloud computing offers huge flexibility and elasticity to your design approach. You can choose to have as many or as few resources as you require. You decide how much and how long you want it for, and at what scale. 

The amount of choice you have allows you to fully customize exactly how you want and need your environment, using only the resources required. Growth. Cloud computing offers your organization the ability to grow using a wide range of resources and services. Couple with the on-demand element, and your growth constraints are significantly reduced compared to a classic on-premises environment. This growth also includes the ability to reach global customers with ease, by provisioning resources across the cloud vendor's global network. Utility-based metering. 

With many cloud services, you only pay for what you use. What do I mean by this? If you only have an instance running for two hours, and then shut it down, then you only pay for two hours worth of compute resources, and that's it. Think of it like this. In your house, you only pay for your electricity when you use it, and to help keep costs down, you turn off the lights when you're not using them. So it's the same billing process for many resources and services. You only pay for resources when you are using them. Shared infrastructure. 

As discussed previously, during the virtualization section, hosts within the cloud are virtualized. As a result, multiple tenants can be running instances on the same piece of hardware. This significantly reduces the amount of physical hardware required, which in turn reduces the amount of power, cooling, and space required in the data center. And in turn, helps with the economy of scale, all resulting in cheaper costs to you as the customer. Highly available. By design, many of the core services within the public cloud and its underlying infrastructure are replicated across different geographic zones and regions. 

Having data copied to multiple different places automatically, helps you to ensure the durability and availability of your data and services, without even having to configure and architect for this resilience. It's provided by the vendor as a part of their service. Security. 

This is one of the most discussed topics within cloud computing, and many enterprises still have concerns over how secure it is. However, public cloud vendors such as AWS and Microsoft Azure are considered to be more secure than your own data center. This is down to the fact that they have to adhere to global compliance programs across multiple industries and by applying the shared responsibility model. The vendor will operate to an exceptionally high standard of security for the underlying infrastructure of the cloud, and it's down to you, the end user, to then architect security in the cloud, using the tools, services and applications available. 

For more information on the shared responsibility model for Amazon Web Services, please take a look at our existing blog here. These are just some of the key characteristics of cloud computing, and you can see how differently it operates from your traditional on-premise data center deployments that you may be using today. That now brings me to the end of this lecture. Next I'll be looking at the different cloud service models available.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.