Cloud Principles and Delivery Mechanisms

Explore cloud principles and services

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I would like to start by introducing you to some of the foundational topics that we will build upon during this course. Let's first define what we mean by cloud computing. Cloud computing provides the customer with a resource, such as an application service, that is available globally and can scale to provide infinite computer, network, and storage resources as we need them. There are four main advantages to moving off premises and into the Cloud. Global placement of your data center infrastructure, reduced operational costs, consolidation of your servers and services, which then gives us improved reliability, resilience, and agility.

This is not merely small pocket change. This can offer you game changing savings, and put you ahead of your competition. Currently, large organizations rent parts of the data center to host traditional servers as virtualized servers and services. These are located in the cloud, and are available everywhere globally. As your needs reduce, the costs are also reduced. The key here is flexibility. Traditional IT costs are fixed and rigid, with purchase decisions locked in for years ahead of time, with IT managers managing fixed budgets.

Accountants like cloud computing, because they can use the usage and cost relationship to predict expenditure, allowing them to forecast IT expenditure with budgets and forecasts. As businesses start moving their traditional computing services to the cloud, they'll often consolidate their servers with virtualization, and also move traditional on premise services to the cloud, such as Exchange server moving to Office 365. Over time, IT becomes more rationalized, and managers look to move more services to the cloud, and what is left behind is then reviewed and rationalized further, and IT is made to become more efficient.

By using the build it large and sell it to many concept with no expense spared, cloud service providers can offer world-class features that are technically complex and outside the normal reach of most enterprises. As a customer, you can rent these services at an affordable price. You thereby take advantage of features such as clustering and geo replication, best in class hardware, security and design, unlimited scale and agility, and immediate responsiveness to expand and contract easily. Because the cloud service has been used and optimized for thousands of customers, the cloud service provider constantly evolves their offering, and releases new services every few months.

The 1962 comic book featuring Spiderman contained the statement, "With great power, "there must also come great responsibility." Because the cloud offers us infinite computing resources at our fingertips, we need to be careful that we closely control our cloud computing usage, so that excessive costs are not incurred. You may need to provide internal users with the ability to self-service and spin up new virtual machines or cloud services. In these situations, you should have caps and policies in place to limit uncontrolled proliferation of cloud instances.

This is called server sprawl. You also need to prevent users from using unapproved cloud search providers. A productivity service, such as Office 365, offers the same off the shelf service to thousands of customers throughout the world via the cloud. Microsoft Office is through a complex multitenancy arrangement. You can think of the customer as each having a separate room in an ultra private and secure hotel. Each guest is looked after by the hotel staff, and guests never see other tenants. And for whilst ever you pay your monthly bill, your room is maintained for you.

Just like the large hotel chains, there are huge benefits to having hotels in multiple cities across the country. For a cloud provider, these multitenancy benefits include by purchasing in bulk often expensive high-quality appliances they can benefit from an economy of scale saving. Data centers are huge utility warehouses where customers access a shared infrastructure. Data centers host thousands of customers, and yet they are maintained by a handful of specialist technicians, which keeps the maintenance cost low. And finally, because everything is taken care of, you can sit back and monitor the service with a light touch and focus on how to optimize how you'll use the cloud.

Let's first define what we mean by cloud computing, in the context of a public cloud solution, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure. Cloud computing provides the customer with a globally available resource pool that is capable of delivering virtually unlimited computer, network, and storage resources as you need them.

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Gain a new or enhanced understanding of cloud principles, service offerings, delivery mechanisms, and security requirements. This course focuses on the objectives for the first two domains of the Microsoft Cloud Fundamentals exam (98-369: Understand the Cloud and Enable Microsoft Cloud Services). IT professionals and those interested in pursuing certification can use this course as an exam preparation resource.

Topics include:

  • Cloud principles and security mechanisms

  • Cloud security requirements and policies

  • Cloud updates and availability

  • Types of cloud services

  • Signing up for cloud services

  • Configuring cloud services

  • Configuring Microsoft Intune

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