The Architecture of Cloud Computing

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The shift from traditional on-premise system models to the cloud has gained momentum over the years, a trend that only continues to surge forward. And when it comes to this internet-based storage model, generally the first topic that comes to mind is the general architecture of cloud computing.

It’s helpful to first divide cloud computing architecture into two sections: The front end and the back end. These sections connect to each other through an internet network, with the front end being the computer user and the back end being the “cloud.”

  • Front End: While not all cloud computing solutions have an identical interface, this section includes the computer network and application used to access the cloud.
  • Back End: This includes the servers, computers and data systems that actually generate the cloud.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

In a cloud computing environment, there is a momentous shift in onboarding and maintenance workload. In the cloud, local computers no longer take the intensive role of running their own applications. Instead, the network of computers that make up the cloud handle the heavy lifting.

All the local computer has to do is be able to run the cloud’s interface software, which is often as simple as a Web browser. The cloud network takes care of the rest.

For consumers, Google and Netflix might be common services you think of when you hear of cloud computing. But there is an entirely different “cloud” when it comes to the business world. Here are three main categories of cloud-based solutions:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Businesses subscribe to an application they access over the Internet
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Businesses can create their own custom applications for use by everyone in the organization.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Big players like Amazon, Rackspace and Google provide a backbone that can be “rented out” by other companies.

Storing Data in the Cloud

There are hundreds of different ways data can be stored within cloud computing systems, some with a very distinct focus – such as e-mail messages, photos, etc. – and others that store all different types of digital data.

A cloud storage system requires at least one server connected to the Internet to retrieve the data. A user transmits files over the Web to the server, which then catalogues the data. When the user needs to retrieve the data, they simply access it through a Web-based interface. The server then either transfers the information back to the user or permits the user to access and edit the information on the server.

This makes up the basic architecture of cloud computing.

Redundancy: It Can be a Good Thing

Most cloud computing systems rely on numerous servers, largely to compensate for repair or maintenance needs. Consequently, a users’ same information is stored across multiple machines. This term is referred to as redundancy.

Without the redundancy component of cloud computing architecture, providers would not be able to guarantee that their customers can reach their data at any time. This is why it is important to choose a capable provider with both experience and integrity.


Serving Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C. and other states all around the country, Nuage is a cloud provider with decades of experience implementing ERP systems.

Nuage enables a number of cloud platforms, one being NetSuite, which is used by thousands of organizations worldwide. To learn more, take a look at our NetSuite overview.

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