It’s hard to find a person who uses the internet but doesn’t enjoy at least one cloud computing service. “Cloud computing” sounds complex, but it’s actually all around you. The term encompasses every tool, app, and service that’s delivered via the internet.
The two popular examples are Dropbox and Google Drive. These cloud-based storage spaces allow you to keep your files at arm’s reach and access them in a few clicks. Zoom is also a cloud-based service – it makes communication a breeze.
Cloud computing can be classified into four types: public, private, hybrid, and community. These four types belong to one of the three cloud computing service models: infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, or software as a service.
It’s time to don a detective cap and explore the mystery hidden behind cloud computing.
Cloud Computing Deployment Models
- Public cloud
- Private cloud
- Hybrid cloud
- Community cloud
The “public” in public cloud means anyone who wants to use that service can get it. Public clouds are easy to access and usually have a “general” purpose many can benefit from.
It’s important to mention that with public clouds, the infrastructure is owned by the service provider, not by consumers. This means you can’t “purchase” a public cloud service forever.
Advantages of Public Cloud
- Cost-effectiveness – Some public clouds are free. Those that aren’t free typically have a reasonable fee.
- Scalability – Public clouds are accommodating to changing demands. Depending on the cloud’s nature, you can easily add or remove users, upgrade plans, or manipulate storage space.
- Flexibility – Public clouds are suitable for many things, from storing a few files temporarily to backing up an entire company’s records.
Disadvantages of Public Cloud
- Security concerns – Since anyone can access public clouds, you can’t be sure your data is 100% safe.
- Limited customization – While public clouds offer many options, they don’t really allow you to tailor the environment to match your preferences. They’re made to suit broad masses, not particular individuals.
Examples of Public Cloud Providers
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud Platform
If you’re looking for the complete opposite of public clouds, you’ve found it. Private clouds aren’t designed to fit general criteria. Instead, they’re made to please a single user. Some of the perks private clouds offer are exclusive access, exceptional security, and unmatched customization.
A private cloud is like a single-tenant building. The tenant owns the building and has complete control to do whatever they want. They can tear down walls, drill holes to hang pictures, paint the rooms, install tiles, and get new furniture. When needs change, the tenant can redecorate, no questions asked.
Advantages of Private Cloud
- Enhanced security – The company’s IT department oversees private clouds. They’re usually protected by powerful firewalls and protocols that minimize the risk of information breaches.
- Greater control and customization – Since private clouds are one-on-one environments, you can match them to your needs.
- Improved performance – Private clouds can have functions that suit your organization to the letter, resulting in high performance.
Disadvantages of Private Cloud
- Higher costs – The exclusive access and customization come at a cost (literally).
- Limited scalability – You can scale private clouds, but only up to a certain point.
Examples of Private Cloud Providers
- IBM Cloud
- Dell EMC
Public and private clouds have a few important drawbacks that may be deal-breakers for some people. You may want to use public clouds but aren’t ready to compromise on security. On the other hand, you may want the perks that come with private clouds but aren’t happy with limited scalability.
That’s when hybrid clouds come into play because they let you get the best of both worlds. They’re the perfect mix of public and private clouds and offer their best features. You can get the affordability of public clouds and the security of private clouds.
Advantages of Hybrid Cloud
- Flexibility and scalability – Hybrid clouds are personalized environments, meaning you can adjust them to meet your specific needs. If your needs change, hybrid clouds can keep up.
- Security and compliance – You don’t have to worry about data breaches or intruders with hybrid clouds. They use state-of-the-art measures to guarantee safety, privacy, and security.
- Cost optimization – Hybrid clouds are much more affordable than private ones. You’ll need to pay extra only if you want special features.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud
- Complexity in management – Since they combine public and private clouds, hybrid clouds are complex systems that aren’t really easy to manage.
- Potential security risks – Hybrid clouds aren’t as secure as private clouds.
Examples of Hybrid Cloud Providers
- Microsoft Azure Stack
- AWS Outputs
- Google Anthos
Community clouds are shared by more than one organization. The organizations themselves manage them or a third party. In terms of security, community clouds fall somewhere between private and public clouds. The same goes for their price.
Advantages of Community Cloud
- Shared resources and costs – A community cloud is like a common virtual space for several organizations. By sharing the space, the organizations also share costs and resources.
- Enhanced security and compliance – Community clouds are more secure than public clouds.
- Collaboration opportunities – Cloud sharing often encourages organizations to collaborate on different projects.
Disadvantages of Community Cloud
- Limited scalability – Community clouds are scalable, but only to a certain point.
- Dependency on other organizations – As much as sharing a cloud with another organization(s) sounds exciting (and cost-effective), it means you’ll depend on them.
Examples of Community Cloud Providers
- Salesforce Community Cloud
- IBM Cloud for Government
Cloud Computing Service Models
There are three types of cloud computing service models:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
IaaS is a type of pay-as-you-go, third-party service. In this case, the provider gives you an opportunity to enjoy infrastructure services for your networking equipment, databases, devices, etc. You can get services like virtualization and storage and build a strong IT platform with exceptional security.
IaaS models give you the flexibility to create an environment that suits your organization. Plus, they allow remote access and cost-effectiveness.
What about their drawbacks? The biggest issue could be security, especially in multi-tenant ecosystems. You can mitigate security risks by opting for a reputable provider like AWS or Microsoft (Azure).
Here, the provider doesn’t deliver the entire infrastructure to a user. Instead, it hosts software and hardware on its own infrastructure, delivering only the “finished product.” The user enjoys this through a platform, which can exist in the form of a solution stack, integrated solution, or an internet-dependent service.
Programmers and developers are among the biggest fans of PaaS. This service model enables them to work on apps and programs without dealing with maintaining complex infrastructures. An important advantage of PaaS is accessibility – users can enjoy it through their web browser.
As far as disadvantages go, the lack of customizability may be a big one. Since you don’t have control over the infrastructure, you can’t really make adjustments to suit your needs. Another potential drawback is that PaaS depends on the provider, so if they’re experiencing problems, you could too.
Some examples of PaaS are Heroku and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
Last but not least is SaaS. Thanks to this computing service model, users can access different software apps using the internet. SaaS is the holy grail for small businesses that don’t have the budget, bandwidth, workforce, or will to install and maintain software. Instead, they leave this work to the providers and enjoy only the “fun” parts.
The biggest advantage of SaaS is that it allows easy access to apps from anywhere. You’ll have no trouble using SaaS as long as you have internet. Plus, it saves a lot of money and time.
Nothing’s perfect, and SaaS is no exception. If you want to use SaaS without interruptions, you need to have a stable internet connection. Plus, with SaaS, you don’t have as much control over the software’s performance and security. Therefore, you need to decide on your priorities. SaaS may not be the best option if you want a highly-customizable environment with exceptional security.
The most popular examples of SaaS are Dropbox, Google Apps, and Salesforce.
Sit on the Right Cloud
Are high security and appealing customization features your priority? Or are you on the hunt for a cost-effective solution? Your answers can indicate which cloud deployment model you should choose.
It’s important to understand that models are not divided into “good” and “bad.” Each has unique characteristics that can be beneficial and detrimental at the same time. If you don’t know how to employ a particular model, you won’t be able to reap its benefits.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.