Cloud computing is the one of the top hard skills companies need most right now and in the future. Cloud is a game-changer in a world in which digital transformation continues to revolutionize the way that business is done, leveraging AI and machine learning, blockchain and other new technologies. So, if you are looking for a future-proof (and lucrative) career full of opportunities, then gaining cloud skills is a sure bet.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing enables segregation and sharing of physical resources so that many users can have “slices” of a physical server. This means one server can be “sliced” into many virtual servers, each acting as their own secure environment, managed through the internet.
Think of your Instagram account: all your images, videos and stories are stored on your profile that no one else can access. Your profile lies on a shared server with many other users. This is what cloud computing is like, except organizations can use these virtual slices/servers for much more than storing images of what you had for lunch.
Public vs private clouds is not about access but about sharing physical resources.
● A public cloud is where many different users share one physical resource. They maintain their own virtual machine but it shares a hypervisor’s (type of server) physical RAM, disk space and computing capacity. Think of a ratio of one physical machine to many people with many virtual machines.
● A private cloud is where one user has access to one physical resource but they can maintain as many virtual machines/servers as they like on it, all belonging to them. Think of one physical machine to one person with many virtual machines.
● Both public and private clouds are managed remotely. In fact, any “hosted” infrastructure is managed remotely. This is because the physical devices live in a data center which is connected to the internet and managed remotely by administrators and engineers via secure credentials and access controls.
Cloud service providers may specialize in one or more of the following: Software as a service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). As technology advances and demand increases, specialized services in AI (artificial intelligence), desktop applications and IT services are proliferating.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
● If managed correctly, cloud computing is a scalable solution to the cost of physical hosting. You’re sharing the resources (hardware, electricity and space in a data center), so you should share the costs.
● On-demand elasticity is the biggest benefit to cloud computing. This means scaling up or down as you need it, which in turn reduces the operating costs of your business.
● There are also “managed hosting” providers who can support your cloud servers. They come at a cost but they provide peace of mind.
● Data security in the cloud is multilayered and, while you may have been told that the cloud is more secure, it isn’t. It’s just as vulnerable as the next system if left improperly secured, patched and managed.
● You do still need to do backups and only managed providers will schedule these for you – at a cost.
Ultimately, you need to understand what services you and your business really need, and what that might cost. Pricing structures and contracts for cloud services can be complex.
Your Cloud Career Path
Given that cloud technologies are crucial to the rapid transformation of organizations, employees with cloud computing skills are in high demand. It is currently one of the fastest-growing and highest-paid fields in IT, with workers in this field receiving an average salary of $120,186.
If you are considering a career in cloud consulting and cloud management, choose a bachelor’s, master’s or MBA degree that will give you the real-world skills to excel, combining classroom theory with hands-on practical experience. You should ensure that your course will cover all the fundamentals of cloud, as well as the latest developments in this fast-moving field. For example, EU Business School offers a BA (Hons) in Business with a pathway in Cloud Computing as well as an MBA with a pathway in Cloud Computing on its Munich campus. In addition, EU is a member institution of the AWS Academy, and regularly hosts exam preparation courses for industry-recognized AWS Certification.