Cloud Computing Technical Interview Questions

What is Cloud Computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is computing in the cloud. Basically, it is the practice of storing and running applications and services over the cloud. The cloud here refers to nothing more than servers, which communicate with devices over the internet. As the files and applications are not stored on the device but can be downloaded and used over the air, i.e. internet, the term cloud has been incorporated with it.

The computing services can include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more. They are often called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage.

What is a cloud?

The term cloud is actually used as a metaphor for the internet. In terms of cloud computing, the cloud refers to a network that consists of hardware, networks, storage, services, and interfaces. It is a space where things can be stored and delivered from.

Basically, the cloud is a place where services and files can be stored, and from where they can be distributed to other networks or device. Here, the files are stored on servers and transmitted over the internet.

What are the advantages of using cloud computing?

Cloud Computing is very popular now, and the reason behind is that it offer a multitude of benefits and advantages over traditional computing techniques, including, but not limited to:

  • Being more cost effective –one does not have to invest in hardware or in developing of the technologies
  • Easy storage of data – one can easily store data in a cloud account
  • Data backup – all data is backed up and easily available from anywhere
  • Incremented productivity – Work does not stop or has to suffer as all files are easily accessible from anywhere
  • Save time – as one does have to save data, take copies, and backup data. All data easily available
  • Powerful server capabilities – allows various capabilities to store and process data on larger and secure servers
  • SaaS (Software as a service) – easy access to application software that can be shared over the internet
  • Information technology sandboxing capabilities – allows for sandbox computing, i.e. a computer environment in which a program, code or file can run without affecting the application
What are the basic characteristics of cloud computing?

Since its development, cloud computing has really taken off. However, how does one actually define cloud computing. A good cloud computing will have the following basic characteristics:

  • Elasticity and scalability – services can easily be scaled large or small depending on the needs of the customer or as per the resources available
  • Self-service provisioning and automatic de-provisioning – where resources can be provisioned or de-provisioning as needed
  • Standardized interfaces – the interfaces are all standardized
  • Billing self-service based usage model – one can opt for the package that fits their needs the best
What is a Cloud Service?

A cloud service is exactly what it sounds like. It is a service available over the cloud. Technically speaking, a cloud service is any service that is made available to users on demand over the internet with the help of a cloud computing provider and its servers, rather than from the company's own on-premises servers.

Cloud services are meant to be easier to access and use. They can also be dynamically scaled in order to meet the needs and requirements of the user, making them very user friendly. Cloud services are also completely managed by a cloud services provider.

What are main features of cloud services?

Cloud service is any service that can be made accessible over the cloud. However, there are some features that define a cloud service. They are as follows:

  • They are dynamically scalable to meet the needs of the user
  • They can be used to access and manage commercial software
  • They can be used for centralizing the activities of the management of the software in the Web environment.
  • They can be used to develop applications that are capable of managing several clients
  • They can be used for centralizing the updating feature of software that eliminates the need for downloading the upgrades
Which platforms are used for large scale cloud computing?

There are two platforms that are primarily used for scale cloud computing: MapReduce and Apache Hadoop.

MapReduce – is a software by Google. It supports distributed computing and works on large set of data. It distributes the data to several other computers known as clusters by using cloud resources. It has the capability to deal with both structured and non-structured data.

Apache Hadoop – is an open source distributed computing platform written in Java. It creates a pool of computers that use the hadoop file system. It then clusters the data elements and applies the hash algorithms that are similar, and then creates copy of the files that already exist.

What are the different data types used in cloud computing?

Cloud computing includes various different data types such as emails, contracts, images, blogs, etc. It should be noted that cloud computing is constantly adapting and new and efficient data types are being need to effectively store data. Due to this latency requirements are constantly increasing, as the demand to store various types of data is increasing. However, companies are going for lower latency for many applications.

Which are the different layers that define cloud architecture?

The Cloud Computing architecture is defined by several layers. These layers allow for better operational efficiency. Basically, they allow the architecture to be more organized, while also being able to be managed from one place.

CLC or Cloud Controller – top most level; used to manage the virtualized resources like servers, network and storage with the user APIs.

Walrus – used for storage; acts as a storage controller to manage the demands of the users; maintains a scalable approach to control the virtual machine images and user data.

Cluster Controller or CC– used to control all the virtual machines for executions. The virtual machines are stored on the nodes and manages the virtual networking between Virtual machines and external users.

Storage Controller or SC– block-form storage device; dynamically attached by Virtual machines.

Node Controller or NC– lowest level; provides the functionality of a hypervisor that controls the VMs activities, which includes execution, management and termination of many instances.

What are the different layers in cloud computing?

The three layers that define cloud computing are:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This provides cloud infrastructure. It mainly provides hardware for computing like memory, processor speed, network bandwidth, etc. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an example of IaaS.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): This provides the developers an environment to develop application or software with ease. The developers just need to develop the product, rest all functions like scaling and performance is handled by PaaS. Google App Engineer is an example of PAAS.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): This provides the users software or applications which can be used directly without the need of installing them. The software remains on the cloud, but it can be edited easily. Github is an example of SaaS.
What do you mean by software as a service?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software licensing and distribution model which allows applications to be centrally hosted and available. It eliminates the need to install the applications on users system or for having their own data centers. This reduces the cost that is needed for hardware and its maintenance. Some of the places where Saas can be used.

  • Sales
  • Accounting
  • Planning
What is Platform as a Service?

Platform as a Service(PaaS) provides the developers an environment to develop an application or software with ease. The developers just need to develop the product, without the worry of building and maintaining the infrastructure. The major advantage of PaaS is that it allows the app development to be much more effective, by reducing the complexity that is associated with high level programming as it also provides the environment itself. The disadvantage of PaaS is that sometimes it can be locked onto a specific version which cannot be changed later.

What is on-demand functionality? How is it provided in cloud computing?

On demand functionality is a model which allows computing resources to be made available when they are needed. The resources are usually provided through the internet. Resources such as storage capacity, processing speed and applications or software are made available to users. These resources are highly useful for temporary short term or for long term projects, for routine work and for computing requirements. The major advantage of this is that it reduces the cost, as the resources are rented and can be made available when required.

What are the different models for deployment in cloud computing?

There are several different models for deployment in cloud computing. Some of the most common are:

  • Public cloud: In public cloud, services are available over a network that is open for everyone. This is the most cost effective way to use cloud because the operational costs are shared by multiple users. Some cloud services are charged and some are free. E.g. Google Apps, Amazon Web Services, etc.
  • Private Cloud: In private cloud, everything is controlled by a single organization. It is owned and operated by a single entity. Only authorised users are permitted to use it. The major benefit of private cloud is that the organization gets to keep control of all its data, thus it can manage its own security and make it more secure. However, this also makes it more expensive to operate.
  • Hybrid Cloud: This is a mixture of public and private cloud. This provides benefits of both the models. In this the responsibilities can be spread around. The important functions can be managed by private clouds while the less important functions can be handled by public cloud. This gives it double benefits, good security for critical functions and also makes it cost effective.
  • Community Cloud : In community cloud, services are mutually shared between organizations who have the same requirements and are of the same community. The security is on the level of private clouds, thus making it secure to communicate. Also since many organizations can be a part of it, the cost is also shared across the community group.

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