Cloud Application Architectures: Building Applications and Infrastructure in the Cloud

Cloud computing is the future of the computing, which happens to provide common business applications online that run from web browser and is comprised of virtual servers located over the internet. Basic idea behind cloud computing is the accessibility of application and data from any location as long as you are connected to the internet. Cloud computing makes the laptop the most essential tool to get the job done.

For example Hosted Email (SaaS) Security provides safeguards at the Internet level, eliminating spam and malware before they reach your internal network infrastructure. The hosted email provides centralized security with built-in redundancy, failover, and business continuity, while easing network and security administration. In the hosted email software as a service the security controls are at work at the internet level. It’s about time to expand the corporate perimeter beyond firewall and one of the major benefit of cloud computing is to give organizations capability to implement security controls at internet level and eliminate threats before they reach the internal network.

An online backup service is another example of software as a service (SaaS) which provides users with an online system for backing up and storing computer files.

Cloud computing incorporates several different types of computing, including:
 software as a service (SaaS)
 platform as a service (PaaS)
 infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

It is a range of technologies that have come together to deliver scalable, tailored and virtualized IT resources and applications over the Internet.

Cloud Computing have several benefits and potential risks which you may want to know before signing a contract with a cloud vendor.



Cloud Computing benefits

  • Users can avoid capital expenditure on hardware, software, and other peripheral services, when they only pay a provider for those utilities they use;

  • Consumption is billed as a utility or subscription with little or no upfront cost;

  • Immediate access to a broad range of applications, that may otherwise be out of reach, due to:

  • The lowering barriers to entry;

  • Shared infrastructure, and therefore lower costs;

  • Lower management overhead.

  • Users will have the option to terminate a contract at any time, avoiding return on investment risk and uncertainty.

  • Greater flexibility and availability of ‘shared’ information, enabling collaboration from anywhere in the world – with an internet connection.


  • Cloud computing associated risks

  • Cloud computing does not allow users to physically possess the storage of their data which leaves responsibility of data storage and control in the hands of their provider;

  • Cloud Computing could limit the freedom of users and make them dependent on the cloud computing provider;

  • Privileged user access – how do you control who has access to what information?

  • Security of sensitive and personal information lay with the vendor. How do you explain this to your customers when their data is compromised without sounding like you’re ‘passing the buck’?

  • From a business continuity stand point, can you rely on each vendor to have adequate resilience arrangements in place?

  • Long-term viability — ask what will happen to data if the company goes out of business; how will data be returned and in what format?



  • Complexities of cloud computing will introduce new risks and complexity is the enemy of security. The organizations and end users should be mindful of this security principle before introducing this new variable into their risk equation. As a consumer you need to watch out and research your potential risks before buying this service and consider getting a comprehensive security assessment from a neutral third party before committing to a cloud vendor.

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