Cloud computing is renting resources, like storage space or CPU cycles, on another company’s computers. You only pay for what you use. The company providing these services is referred to as a cloud provider. Some example providers are Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

  • Virtual Machines (OS)
  • Container (Docker)
  • Serverless (Functions)
Diagram showing a comparison of virtual machines, containers, and serverless computing

Benefits of cloud computing

  • Cost efficient (Pay as you go, consumption based)
  • Scalable
    • Vertical
    • Horizontal
  • Elastic (Resource change based on load)
  • Current (Software patched, hardware up to date)
  • Reliable (Backups, SLAs)
  • Global
  • Secure
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Lower TCO

CapEx (up front cost)

  • Server hardware cost
  • Storage hardware cost
  • Network hardware
  • Backup
  • IDC
  • Personnel

OpEx (Operational expenses)

  • Pay as you go software
  • Usage scaling
  • Subscription Per user, or per organisation

With the OpEx model, companies wanting to try a new product or service don’t need to invest in equipment. Instead, they pay as much or as little for the infrastructure as required.

OpEx is particularly appealing if the demand fluctuates or is unknown. Cloud services are often said to be agile. Cloud agility is the ability to rapidly change an IT infrastructure to adapt to the evolving needs of the business.

For example, if your service peaks one month, you can scale to demand and pay a larger bill for the month. If the following month the demand drops, you can reduce the used resources and be charged less.

Cloud Deployment Models (3 Types)

  1. Public
  2. Private
  3. Hybrid

Public Cloud

MS Azure is a public cloud, no hardware costs,

Advantages of public cloud

  • Pay as you go
  • No hardware costs
  • Scalability, agility elastic
  • Easy to setup

Disadvantages

  • Legacy apps may not be supported
  • Security requirement
  • Data regulatory requirement

Private Cloud

Cloud environment in your own data centre, your IT manages software hardware, and patching, and configuration

Options in Private cloud

  • IaaS
  • PaaS

Infrastructure as a sService (IasS)

Rent the hardware, typically VMs, with OS, Storage

Types of Azure Virtual Machines

General purpose        

Size: B, Dsv3, Dv3, Dasv4, Dav4, DSv2, Dv2, Av2, DC, DCv2            

Balanced CPU-to-memory ratio. Ideal for testing and development, small to medium databases, and low to medium traffic web servers.

Compute optimized   

Size: Fsv2           

High CPU-to-memory ratio. Good for medium traffic web servers, network appliances, batch processes, and application servers.

Memory optimized     

Size: Esv3, Ev3, Easv4, Eav4, Mv2, M, DSv2, Dv2 

High memory-to-CPU ratio. Great for relational database servers, medium to large caches, and in-memory analytics.

Storage optimized      

Size: Lsv2           

High disk throughput and IO ideal for Big Data, SQL, NoSQL databases, data warehousing and large transactional databases.

GPU    

Size: NC, NCv2, NCv3, ND, NDv2 (Preview), NV, NVv3, NVv4         

Specialized virtual machines targeted for heavy graphic rendering and video editing, as well as model training and inferencing (ND) with deep learning. Available with single or multiple GPUs.

High performance compute   

Size: HB, HBv2, HC, H     

Azures fastest and most powerful CPU virtual machines with optional high-throughput network interfaces (RDMA).

Types of Azure VM servers and their size profiles

VM Name            Cores     GB RAM               Disks

Standard_B1ls    1             0.5                        2             0.0062   0.0108   East US / -16.1%

Standard_B1ms  1             2                            2             0.0248   0.0288   East US / -16.5%

Standard_B1s     1             1                            2             0.0124   0.0164   East US / -16.1%

Standard_B2ms  2             8                            4             0.0992   0.107     East US / -16.1%

Standard_B2s     2             4                            4             0.0496   0.0576   East US / -16.1%

Standard_B4ms  4             16                          8             0.198     0.214     East US / -16.2%

Standard_B8ms  8             32                          16           0.397     0.429     East US / -16.1%

Standard_B12ms              12                          48           16           0.595     0.643     East US / -16.1%

Standard_B16ms              16                          64           32           0.794     0.858     East US / -16.1%

Standard_B20ms              20                          80           32           0.992     1.072     East US / -16.1%

Standard_DS1_v2             1                            3.5         4             0.07       0.126     East US 2 / -18.6%

Standard_DS2_v2             2                            7             8             0.14       0.252     East US 2 / -18.6%

Standard_DS3_v2             4                            14           16           0.279     0.504     East US 2 / -17.9%

Standard_DS4_v2             8                            28           32           0.559     1.008     East US 2 / -18.1%

Standard_DS5_v2             16                          56           64           1.117     2.016     East US 2 / -18%

Standard_DS11_v2           2                            14           8             0.185     0.264     East US 2 / -19.5%

Standard_DS12_v2           4                            28           16           0.37       0.528     East US 2 / -19.2%

Standard_DS13_v2           8                            56           32           0.741     1.056     East US 2 / -19.3%

Standard_DS14_v2           16                          112        64           1.482     2.111     East US 2 / -19.3%

Standard_DS15_v2           20                          140        64           1.852     2.639     East US 2 / -19.3%

Standard_F1s      1             2                            4             0.062     0.108     Central India / -21%

Standard_F2s      2             4                            8             0.124     0.216     Central India / -20.3%

Standard_F4s      4             8                            16           0.249     0.433     Central India / -20.5%

Standard_F8s      8             16                          32           0.498     0.866     Central India / -20.7%

Standard_F16s   16           32                          64           0.996     1.732     Central India / -20.7%

Standard_D2s_v3             2                            8             4             0.117     0.209     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D4s_v3             4                            16           8             0.234     0.418     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D8s_v3             8                            32           16           0.468     0.836     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D16s_v3           16                          64           32           0.936     1.672     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D32s_v3           32                          128        32           1.872     3.344     East US / -17.9%

Standard_A0       1             0.75                      1             0.02       0.02       South India / -10%

Standard_A1       1             1.75                      2             0.06       0.09       West Central US / -15%

Standard_A2       2             3.5                        4             0.12       0.18       West Central US / -15.8%

Standard_A3       4             7                            8             0.24       0.36       West Central US / -15.8%

Standard_A5       2             14                          4             0.25       0.33       Korea Central / -31.2%

Standard_A4       8             14                          16           0.48       0.72       West Central US / -15.6%

Standard_A6       4             28                          8             0.5         0.66       Korea Central / -31.4%

Standard_A7       8             56                          16           1             1.32       Korea Central / -31.3%

Basic_A0              1             0.75                      1             0.018     0.018     South India / -11.1%

Basic_A1              1             1.75                      2             0.031     0.04       East US / -25.8%

Basic_A2              2             3.5                        4             0.081     0.121     East US 2 / -16%

Basic_A3              4             7                            8             0.188     0.308     East US / -6.4%

Basic_A4              8             14                          16           0.376     0.616     East US / -6.4%

Standard_D1_v2               1             3.5         4             0.07       0.126     East US 2 / -18.6%

Standard_D2_v2               2             7             8             0.14       0.252     East US 2 / -18.6%

Standard_D3_v2               4             14           16           0.279     0.504     East US 2 / -17.9%

Standard_D4_v2               8             28           32           0.559     1.008     East US 2 / -18.1%

Standard_D5_v2               16           56           64           1.117     2.016     East US 2 / -18%

Standard_D11_v2             2             14           8             0.185     0.264     East US 2 / -19.5%

Standard_D12_v2             4             28           16           0.37       0.528     East US 2 / -19.2%

Standard_D13_v2             8             56           32           0.741     1.056     East US 2 / -19.3%

Standard_D14_v2             16           112        64           1.482     2.111     East US 2 / -19.3%

Standard_D15_v2             20           140        64           1.852     2.639     East US 2 / -19.3%

Standard_F1       1             2             4             0.062     0.108     Central India / -21%

Standard_F2       2             4             8             0.124     0.216     Central India / -20.3%

Standard_F4       4             8             16           0.249     0.433     Central India / -20.5%

Standard_F8       8             16           32           0.498     0.866     Central India / -20.7%

Standard_F16     16           32           64           0.996     1.732     Central India / -20.7%

Standard_A1_v2               1             2             2             0.043     0.065     West US 2 / -16.3%

Standard_A2m_v2            2             16           4             0.149     0.225     West US 2 / -33.6%

Standard_A2_v2               2             4             4             0.091     0.136     West US 2 / -16.5%

Standard_A4m_v2            4             32           8             0.297     0.45       West US 2 / -30%

Standard_A4_v2               4             8             8             0.191     0.286     West US 2 / -16.8%

Standard_A8m_v2            8             64           16           0.594     0.9         West US 2 / -26.4%

Standard_A8_v2               8             16           16           0.4         0.6         West US 2 / -16.8%

Standard_D2_v3               2             8             4             0.117     0.209     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D4_v3               4             16           8             0.234     0.418     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D8_v3               8             32           16           0.468     0.836     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D16_v3             16           64           32           0.936     1.672     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D32_v3             32           128        32           1.872     3.344     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D48_v3             48           192        32           2.808     5.016     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D64_v3             64           256        32           3.744     6.688     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D48s_v3           48           192        32           2.808     5.016     East US / -17.9%

Standard_D64s_v3           64           256        32           3.744     6.688     East US / -17.9%

Standard_E2_v3                2             16           4             0.148     0.24       East US / -14.9%

Standard_E4_v3                4             32           8             0.296     0.48       East US / -14.9%

Standard_E8_v3                8             64           16           0.56       0.928     East US / -10%

Standard_E16_v3             16           128        32           1.12       1.856     East US / -10%

Standard_E20_v3             20           160        32           1.48       2.4         East US / -14.9%

Standard_E32_v3             32           256        32           2.24       3.712     East US / -10%

Standard_E48_v3             48           384        32           3.36       5.568     East US / -10%

Standard_E64i_v3            64           432        32           4.032     6.976     East US / -10%

Standard_E64_v3             64           432        32           4.032     6.976     East US / -10%

Standard_E2s_v3              2             16           4             0.148     0.24       East US / -14.9%

Standard_E4s_v3              4             32           8             0.296     0.48       East US / -14.9%

Standard_E8s_v3              8             64           16           0.56       0.928     East US / -10%

Standard_E16s_v3            16           128        32           1.12       1.856     East US / -10%

Standard_E20s_v3            20           160        32           1.48       2.4         East US / -14.9%

Standard_E32s_v3            32           256        32           2.24       3.712     East US / -10%

Standard_E48s_v3            48           384        32           3.36       5.568     East US / -10%

Standard_E64is_v3           64           432        32           4.032     6.976     East US / -10%

Standard_E64s_v3            64           432        32           4.032     6.976     East US / -10%

Standard_D1       1             3.5         4             0.077     0.14       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_D2       2             7             8             0.154     0.28       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_D3       4             14           16           0.308     0.56       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_D4       8             28           32           0.616     1.12       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_D11    2             14           8             0.193     0.264     East US 2 / -10.4%

Standard_D12    4             28           16           0.386     0.528     East US 2 / -10.1%

Standard_D13    8             56           32           0.771     1.056     East US 2 / -10%

Standard_D14    16           112        64           1.542     2.111     East US 2 / -10.1%

Standard_DS1     1             3.5         4             0.077     0.14       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_DS2     2             7             8             0.154     0.28       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_DS3     4             14           16           0.308     0.56       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_DS4     8             28           32           0.616     1.12       East US 2 / -13%

Standard_DS11  2             14           8             0.193     0.264     East US 2 / -10.4%

Standard_DS12  4             28           16           0.386     0.528     East US 2 / -10.1%

Standard_DS13  8             56           32           0.771     1.056     East US 2 / -10%

Standard_DS14  16           112        64           1.542     2.111     East US 2 / -10.1%

Standard_L8s_v2              8             64           16           0.688     1.056     East US / -9.3%

Standard_L16s_v2            16           128        32           1.376     2.112     East US / -9.3%

Standard_L32s_v2            32           256        32           2.752     4.224     East US / -9.3%

Standard_L48s_v2            48           384        32           4.128     6.336     East US / -9.3%

Standard_L64s_v2            64           512        32           5.504     8.448     East US / -9.3%

Standard_L80s_v2            80           640        32           6.88       10.56     East US / -9.3%

Standard_G1       2             28           8             0.61       0.67       UK South / -28%

Standard_G2       4             56           16           1.22       1.34       UK South / -28%

Standard_G3       8             112        32           2.44       2.68       UK South / -28%

Standard_G4       16           224        64           4.88       5.36       UK South / -28%

Standard_G5       32           448        64           8.69       9.65       UK South / -19.1%

Standard_GS1     2             28           8             0.61       0.67       UK South / -28%

Standard_GS2     4             56           16           1.22       1.34       UK South / -28%

Standard_GS3     8             112        32           2.44       2.68       UK South / -28%

Standard_GS4     16           224        64           4.88       5.36       UK South / -28%

Standard_GS5     32           448        64           8.69       9.65       UK South / -19.1%

Standard_L4s      4             32           16           0.344     0.528     West US 2 / -9.3%

Standard_L8s      8             64           32           0.688     1.056     West US 2 / -9.3%

Standard_L16s   16           128        64           1.376     2.112     West US 2 / -9.3%

Standard_L32s   32           256        64           2.752     4.224     West US 2 / -9.3%

Standard_F2s_v2              2             4             4             0.106     0.198     East US / -20.2%

Standard_F4s_v2              4             8             8             0.212     0.396     East US / -20.3%

Standard_F8s_v2              8             16           16           0.424     0.792     East US / -20.3%

Standard_F16s_v2            16           32           32           0.848     1.584     East US / -20.2%

Standard_F32s_v2            32           64           32           1.696     3.168     East US / -20.2%

Standard_F48s_v2            48           96           32           2.544     4.754     East US / -20.2%

Standard_F64s_v2            64           128        32           3.392     6.336     East US / -20.2%

Standard_F72s_v2            72           144        32           3.816     7.128     East US / -20.2%

Standard_A8       8             56           32           0.975     1.466     South Central US / -10.3%

Standard_A9       16           112        64           1.95       2.933     South Central US / -10.3%

Standard_A10     8             56           32           0.78       1.173     South Central US / -10.3%

Standard_A11     16           112        64           1.56       2.346     South Central US / -10.3%

Standard_H8       8             56           32           0.582     0.95       North Central US / -6.7%

Standard_H16    16           112        64           1.941     1.901     North Europe / -40%

Standard_H8m   8             112        32           1.301     2.156     South Central US / -45.9%

Standard_H16m                16           224        64           2.601     2.297     West US 2 / -50.8%

Standard_H16r   16           112        64           1.281     3.54       West US / 0%

Standard_H16mr              16           224        64           2.861     4.742     West US 2 / -50.8%

Standard_NV6s_v2           6             112        12           0.767     0.905     South Central US / -10.8%

Standard_NV12s_v2        12           224        24           1.534     1.81       South Central US / -10.8%

Standard_NV24s_v2        24           448        32           3.069     0             South Central US / -10.9%

Standard_NV12s_v3        12           112        12           1.14       1.692     East US / 0%

Standard_NV24s_v3        24           224        24           2.28       3.384     East US / 0%

Standard_NV48s_v3        48           448        32           4.56       6.768     East US / 0%

May require the following:

Azure Express route: Dedicated Fibre to Azure

Virtual Networks: VLANs, virtual network segmentation

VPN Gateways: Required to connect your LAN to Azure Virtual networks

Advantages of Private Cloud

  • More secure
  • More control
  • Better support for legacy apps
  • Not tied to mandatory cloud software upgrades

Disadvantages of Private cloud

  • Upfront Capex costs
  • More skills to support
  • May not scale as much

Hybrid Cloud

Combines Public and private cloud type.

Advantages of Hybrid cloud

  • Flexibility
  • Best of both worlds
  • Better legacy app support
  • Perhaps more compliant

Disadvantages

  • More support required
  • More complex to setup
  • Security more complex

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service is the most flexible category of cloud services. It aims to give you the most control over the provided hardware that runs your application (IT infrastructure servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, and operating systems). Instead of buying hardware, with IaaS, you rent it. It’s an instant computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the internet.

  • Migrating workloads. Typically, IaaS facilities are managed in a similar way as on-premises infrastructure and provide an easy migration path for moving existing applications to the cloud.
  • Test and development. Teams can quickly set up and dismantle test and development environments, bringing new applications to market faster. IaaS makes scaling development and testing environments, fast and economical.
  • Storage, backup, and recovery. Organizations avoid the capital outlay and complexity of storage management, which typically requires skilled staff to manage data and meet legal and compliance requirements. IaaS is useful for managing unpredictable demand and steadily growing storage needs. IaaS can also simplify the planning and management of backup and recovery systems.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

PaaS provides an environment for building, testing, and deploying software applications. The goal of PaaS is to help you create an application quickly without managing the underlying infrastructure. For example, when deploying a web application using PaaS, you don’t have to install an operating system, web server, or even system updates.

Resources are purchased from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis and accessed over a secure Internet connection.

  • Development framework. PaaS provides a framework that developers can build upon to develop or customize cloud-based applications. Just like Microsoft Excel macro, PaaS lets developers create applications using built-in software components. Cloud features such as scalability, high-availability, and multi-tenant capability are included, reducing the amount of coding that developers must do.
  • Analytics or business intelligence. Tools provided as a service with PaaS allow organizations to analyse and mine their data. They can find insights and patterns, and predict outcomes to improve business decisions such as forecasting, product design, and investment returns.

Software as a service (SaaS)

SaaS is software that is centrally hosted and managed for the end customer. It is usually based on an architecture where one version of the application is used for all customers, and licensed through a monthly or annual subscription. Office 365, Skype, and Dynamics CRM Online are perfect examples of SaaS software.

Options Cost and Ownership

TABLE 1
IaaSPaaSSaaS
Upfront costsThere are no upfront costs. Users pay only for what they consume.There are no upfront costs. Users pay only for what they consume.Users have no upfront costs; they pay a subscription, typically on a monthly or annual basis.
User ownershipThe user is responsible for the purchase, installation, configuration, and management of their own software, operating systems, middleware, and applications.The user is responsible for the development of their own applications. However, they are not responsible for managing the server or infrastructure. This allows the user to focus on the application or workload they want to run.Users just use the application software; they are not responsible for any maintenance or management of that software.
Cloud provider ownershipThe cloud provider is responsible for ensuring that the underlying cloud infrastructure (such as virtual machines, storage, and networking) is available for the user.The cloud provider is responsible for operating system management, network, and service configuration. Cloud providers are typically responsible for everything apart from the application that a user wants to run. They provide a complete managed platform on which to run the application.The cloud provider is responsible for the provision, management, and maintenance of the application software.
  1. IaaS requires the most user management of all the cloud services. The user is responsible for managing the operating systems, data, and applications.
  2. PaaS requires less user management. The cloud provider manages the operating systems, and the user is responsible for the applications and data they run and store.
  3. SaaS requires the least amount of management. The cloud provider is responsible for managing everything, and the end user just uses the software.

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