Image made in Canva by author

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing allows users to access shared pools of configurable computing resources, including networks, servers, storage, applications, and services. In cloud-based computing, users do not manage their premises’ data centers or hardware infrastructure. Instead, it is managed by a cloud service provider and made available to users in an on-demand self-service model. Cloud services use the Internet to communicate between systems and end-users and deliver software applications. Cloud computing is an advanced technology that has brought about significant changes in how we consume IT services today; it has helped businesses increase productivity and efficiency while reducing operational costs significantly.

Role of Cloud Computing in Data Science

It is a vital consideration to make when building a data science product. You will have to consider how you are going to process and store the data, as well as analyze it. Cloud computing is only one way of doing this. Still, in 2022, it will be the most common way of storing and processing data in data science due to its ability to scale up through elasticity (i.e., more resources can be added or removed based on need). The cloud can also provide better security than on-premises solutions because all your data is stored elsewhere than where it’s being processed or analyzed. Cloud computing also allows for team collaboration since everyone can access the same version of your dataset at any time. This removes the hassle of sharing files between different programs or teams working together on a project. Instead, everything happens in real-time via APIs over HTTP/HTTPS protocols, making collaboration easy.

What Is Data as a Service (DaaS)?

Data as a service (DaaS) is a cloud computing service that provides data storage and access to data. It stores large amounts of raw, structured, or unstructured data remotely, usually in the cloud. This can help companies save space on their servers and improve efficiency overall by consolidating storage needs into one location. This type of solution also makes it easier for businesses to access information when they need it. The different types of DaaS include:

Structured Data as a Service (SDaaS): This type allows users to organize their databases into virtual containers that can be easily accessed from any device with an internet connection; Big Data as a Service (BDaaS): These platforms provide tools for analyzing large sets of structured or unstructured data stored in the cloud; External Data Management Platforms (EDMPs): These systems allow users with limited IT skillsets to analyze new types of information without having an infrastructure setup specifically tailored toward this purpose

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a model that conveniently provides ubiquitous, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources such as storage, network, servers, applications, and services. These can be released and provisioned quickly with minimal effort from the management or service provider interaction. The cloud model primarily promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics:

1. On-Demand Self-Service

In cloud computing, organizations no longer need to procure and maintain physical IT assets to deliver services. Instead, they can provide resources on an as-needed basis by using self-service interfaces such as portals or web services callable through distributed platforms from different devices. With this level of automation, the user can obtain the desired service immediately without waiting for human intervention or assistance from multiple service providers spread across different geographical regions worldwide today.

2. Broad Network Access

As the name suggests, cloud computing is internet-based and accessible from anywhere. This can make it more convenient for people to use than on-premises solutions. Cloud computing allows users to access their data from any device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) anywhere (home, office, or train). It also means that cloud services are generally available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The technology behind this flexibility is the ability for companies to scale up or down their capacity quickly when needed to meet demand peaks during working hours or quiet periods at night and on weekends.

3. Resource Pooling

Cloud providers manage large pools of resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released to meet fluctuating business demand. This cloud service model is called infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS typically offers the highest level of abstraction, making it extremely easy to use. As a result, it’s beneficial for test environments or other situations when you need hardware quickly but not permanently. In contrast to traditional data centers’ capacity-based resource allocation model, cloud computing systems offer users the ability to provision resources as needed without any commitments or long-term contracts. In addition, they provide easy scaling and automatic self-management functions that allow users to increase or decrease their usage at any time.

4. Rapid Elasticity (Scalability)

Cloud environments allow users to scale up or down according to current demand. In computing, you can increase or decrease the resources you need at any given time. This ability allows businesses to adapt quickly as their needs change over time. It also makes it possible for cloud computing providers to offer a wide range of services on an as-needed basis, which has been one of the big reasons for its popularity among businesses and individuals in recent years. Cloud providers use virtualization technology to set aside extra resources on servers not currently being used by other customers or programs to make scaling easy and reliable. Then, when those resources are needed again later on down the line, they can be immediately reallocated without having to shut down or reboot anything (which would take valuable time).

5. Measured Service

Cloud computing has many advantages as an alternative to traditional data centers. It’s a model that is cost-effective, flexible, and scalable. In addition, cloud computing providers offer subscription-based services that allow businesses to pay for their use rather than investing in costly hardware or software. For example, if you’re starting and don’t need full access to the power of your servers at all times, you can rent time on a server when needed. This allows companies to scale their computing needs without upfront costs or long-term commitments.

2. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created by Microsoft. It provides computing, storage, databases, analytics, application services, and more cloud-based services. Azure allows users to deploy, manage and maintain applications on Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure. These applications can be hosted within the data centers of Microsoft’s global network of regional Azure Data Centers or in third-party data centers with which Microsoft has established partnerships.

3. Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a cloud computing service from Google that provides infrastructure services, platform services, and business products. It offers a set of services for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications on the web. With its suite of tools, Google Cloud Platform allows users to create their applications or use pre-existing ones. It also includes data analytics capabilities that enable users to analyze their data to get insights into their business performance.

4. Oracle Cloud

Oracle Cloud is a broad, enterprise-grade cloud platform that offers the most features and benefits of any public cloud provider. As a result, Oracle Cloud has more enterprise customers than any other public cloud provider, making it a perfect option for enterprises that want to move to the cloud. Oracle Cloud offers what users expect from an enterprise-class IaaS: compute, storage, databases, and networking capabilities. But it goes beyond those basics with advanced capabilities like serverless computing via Fn (Function as a Service), Kubernetes container orchestration, machine learning, and big data analytics through “some” APIs (for example, Hadoop). It also offers industry-specific technologies like Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances for storage needs or Oracle Public Cloud Marketplace so that users can bring in their licenses to deploy on their virtual machines or containers in minutes instead of days.

5. IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud provides a platform that includes the infrastructure and tools necessary to build, deploy and manage applications. It’s an example of a PaaS. IBM Cloud has been around for more than 15 years as a software-as-a-service (SaaS). In 2019, IBM announced plans for the next generation of cloud computing: IaaS. The new service enables consumers to deploy workloads on-premises or in IBM’s data centers. IBM also offers hybrid cloud capabilities so that users can choose where their data resides depending on what works best for them at any given time.


Cloud computing is a growing business trend that will continue to grow as its utility becomes more widely known. With the continued increase of data available from various sources, organizations and data scientists can leverage this information for their benefit with the help of cloud computing. This will lead to better decision-making processes that can be carried out faster than ever. This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional. © 2022 Hassan

Why Cloud Computing Is Critical for Data Science - 56Why Cloud Computing Is Critical for Data Science - 78