This article deals with ‘ Cloud Computing.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is a service whereby shared resources are provided to computers as metered service over a network (typically the internet). This allows consumers & businessmen to use the application without installation & access their personal files at any computer with internet access.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
|Agility||Improves user’s ability to re-provision technological infrastructure. |
|Cost|| Cost is claimed to be reduced since the infrastructure is typically provided by a third party & doesn’t need to be purchased for one time or infrequent intensive computing tasks. |
|Device & location independence||It enables users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what they are using like PC or mobile. |
|Multi-tenancy||It enables sharing of resources & costs across a large pool of users thus allowing for infrastructure at lower cost & also proper utilisation of system that are often only 10-20% utilised. |
|Security||Security is often as good or even better than other traditional systems, in part because providers are able to devote resources to solving issues that many customers cant afford.|
Service Models of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing providers offer three fundamental services:-
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- It is the most basic cloud service model.
- In this model, cloud providers offer equipment supporting the operations like raw storage, firewalls, balancers & networks.
- The equipment is owned by the service provider, which is also responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. The client is typically charged on a per-user basis.
- Example: Amazon Web Services which provides virtual server and storage.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- In this model, the cloud provider delivers a computing platform or solution stacks like operating system, programming language execution environment and the web server.
- Application developers can develop & run their software solutions on a cloud platform without the cost & complexity of buying & managing the underlying hardware & software layers.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
- In this model, the cloud provider installs and operate application software in the cloud & cloud users access the software from cloud clients. This eliminates the need to install & run the application on the cloud user’s own computer simplifying maintenance & support.
Government of India’s Initiatives in Cloud Computing
1 . Meghraj (Government of India’s Cloud)
- To harness the benefits of cloud technology, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has initiated a project named ‘MeghRaj’ for creating a Government of India cloud (GoI Cloud) computing environment at the national level.
- The GI Cloud is envisaged to provide the following outcomes:
- Optional utilisation of ICT infrastructure. A software availed by any department in the government of India can be made available to other departments with no additional costs;
- Speedy development and deployment of e-Gov applications;
- Quick replication of successful applications;
- App Store hosting certified applications.
- It is part of the government’s Digital India Initiative, to enable Indian citizens to store certain official documents like PAN, driving licence, passport, mark sheets etc. on the cloud.
- It is linked to a person’s Aadhar number.
- It is based on the IaaS model as storage (infrastructure) is provided as a service.
- Driving License and Registration Certificates have also been linked with the Digilocker. People will no longer need to carry around physical copies of their RCs and Driving Licences. They can instead access digital copies of the same on their mobile phones via the DigiLocker mobile app.
- Digital locker minimizes the usage of physical documents.