What is Cloud Architecture?
Simply put, cloud architecture is how a series of interconnected components, from software tools and applications to networking and server storage, combine to form a cloud of shared resources.
Cloud architecture refers to the complete infrastructure of hardware and software that businesses and institutions use to create, index, store, and share vast amounts of data from multiple users and locations.
The most basic building blocks of cloud architecture are represented as being either front-end, back-end, or cloud-based delivery.
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What’s the difference between the cloud’s front end and its back end?
The cloud’s front end represents the point at which a user interacts with the software clients, user interfaces, and client-devices or networks. This can be as simple as an email application or as complex as deep AI-based analytics tools. When provided to the user as an application, it is referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS). At the same time, the cloud architecture’s back end can simply be referred to as the actual hardware behind the cloud—everything from data storage to processors to network switches—also known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
What is cloud-based delivery?
Cloud-based delivery refers to the way users access, manage, and use the data itself. Depending on the type of application, this could be anything from a simple web portal to analytics or network management. This combination of virtual software and centralized hardware is what powers enterprise-level accessibility and flexibility, while also providing scalable, secured storage of large amounts of data.
What is cloud architecture framework?
A cloud architecture framework is the “rules of the road” or best practices behind a working cloud environment. While many parts of the cloud are based purely on technology, cloud architecture framework includes everything from components to roles, policies, security—even training.
At the component and sub-component level, the two most crucial factors to cloud architecture framework are their interoperability (their ability to communicate and send large amounts of data) and portability (their ability to move to a different cloud or server without difficulty). Provisioning is another significant consideration—how your cloud will adapt when changes or needs arise for available resources.
Another part of the framework is security. Elements like multi-factor authentication, account creation and maintenance, data classification, and proper logging of all network activity need to be carefully considered when establishing your cloud environment’s framework.
Lastly, a cloud architecture framework addresses end-to-end orchestration. This is the coordinated management of the entire cloud environment to ensure it is working to meet its intended goals. This includes frequent audits of the cloud itself, from security to performance to compliance.
What are the types of cloud architecture?
With three different types of cloud architecture to access and store data in the cloud, organizations can choose the service model that best serves their particular needs: public, private, or hybrid.
Regardless of the model, the security, flexibility, and cost savings of a cloud experience continue to attract new businesses and IT professionals every day.
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The public cloud is, as the name implies, a complete third-party framework of computing resources like networking, memory, processing, and storage. This is the most common type of cloud computing today, allowing businesses to scale their resources as needed without purchasing or maintaining their own hardware or software.
There are times when using a private, or on-premises, cloud is necessary. In this model, the entire cloud system is managed by the organization. The decision to maintain a private cloud environment is often due to data security and sovereignty, industry compliance, or storage and processing resources availability. A private cloud can be hosted either by a third party or as part of a company’s own data center.
Lastly, hybrid cloud offers a best-of-both-worlds solution, in which an organization maintains an optimized private cloud for their own resources while still being able to leverage the vast resources of the public cloud due to cost and scalability. A hybrid cloud combines public and private cloud elements connected securely over a virtual private network (VPN) or private channel.
Cloud architecture: The fundamentals
There are three major components present in virtually every cloud service. The front-end is represented by the clients and devices used to virtualize, or to access and manage, all cloud data. These front-end tools can range from virtual web and mobile applications to complex analysis and automation tools, depending on the particular needs of an organization.
The back-end is comprised of the virtual servers, storage, and infrastructure such as CPUs and GPUs, network switches, and accelerator cards that power user access and queries. Unlike with traditional network hardware and in-house data centers, cloud enables companies to easily scale as their needs change without needing to purchase and maintain their own equipment.
Lastly, cloud-based delivery is the critical point connecting the front- and back-end, powered by SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS platforms. There are hundreds of different use cases, all of which can be easily customized to the particular needs of any organization.
How is cloud architecture used?
Cloud-native architecture is a system that’s purpose-built to run entirely in the modern cloud. Its most significant advantage over legacy systems like on-premises servers is flexibility and scalability. When it comes to modern cloud applications (versus the traditional native “monolithic” application model), the use of specialized microservices has been a significant development.
A cloud-native application is better thought of as one large application made from dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of these microservices or application programming interfaces (APIs). This model also enables applications to be developed more simply while providing critical updates in days rather than weeks or months. Development teams and IT professionals greatly benefit from this integrated work environment, which enables members of the team to handle specific tasks while automating processes like compiling and deployment.
The number of cloud architecture applications continues to grow rapidly in almost every industry. Specialized applications (e.g., SalesForce and Marketo) are powering businesses to be more collaborative and iterative while increasing productivity and reducing downtime.
HPE and cloud architecture
HPE continues to develop and integrate all of the components necessary to create a working cloud environment. Building upon our legacy of high-performance computing and data storage, HPE has brought that same focus to creating the entire cloud ecosystem from edge to core to cloud and back.
HPE’s cloud architecture solutions go beyond simple hardware and software. The ability to visualize and manage your entire cloud environment, combined with analytics and AI-assisted tools with near-endless possibilities, gives organizations more flexibility than ever before.
Whether it’s platform, software, or infrastructure as a service (PaaS, SaaS, IaaS, respectively), HPE is leading the way for business and industry to integrate their organization into the cloud environment. Compared to the traditional networking model, HPE’s cloud architecture provides best-in-class security, flexibility, and scalability—while also providing tremendous cost-savings benefits.