Defining a Cloud - Learn Online

Defining a Cloud

Lesson Details:
June 29, 2020

I: Introduction

In this article, I will discuss the use of cloud computing to facilitate machine learning.

II: Body

Cloud computing is a method of deploying and executing software over a network. This software may be a web application or a mobile application. Cloud computing has several advantages for machine learning.

A: Defining a cloud

Before we discuss the benefits of cloud computing for machine learning, we must first define a cloud. Amazon defines a cloud as “a distributed system where dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet.” In other words, a cloud is a lot of servers that are connected to the internet. These servers can be used to run applications or store data (like websites). These servers can also be used to run applications that facilitate machine learning. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has several services that can be used to do things like analyze images. The following image shows an example of an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), which is used to run an AWS instance (like an Amazon EC2 instance).

B: Benefits of Cloud Computing for Machine Learning

The use of cloud computing to facilitate machine learning comes with several significant advantages.

1. Providing access to resources without having to buy them

The biggest advantage provided by cloud computing is that it allows users to purchase resources only when they need them. This is called “Pay as you go” or “pay-as-you-use” billing. When compared with the traditional approach, where resources are bought in advance, pay-as-you-use billing reduces the cost of infrastructure. This is because hardware infrastructure is depreciated over time. This is true even if it sits idle most of the time. By only buying resources when they are needed, companies avoid depreciation costs. Additionally, companies can allocate resources more efficiently since they can buy more resources than they need at any given time.

2. Reducing hardware costs

Along with reducing depreciation costs, pay-as-you-use billing also reduces upfront capital expenditure costs. As mentioned earlier, these costs include hardware costs as well as licensing costs for software applications on the hardware. Pay-as-you-use billing reduces these costs by allowing customers to not purchase hardware until it is needed. This means customers only have to pay for what they need at the moment they need it. With this method, customers are no longer forced to make large upfront purchases or leases of hardware infrastructure for periods of time that may exceed their actual needs. This results in more efficient usage of hardware resources and helps companies reduce their capital expenditures.

3. Allowing resource allocation on demand

Another advantage of using cloud computing is that it allows companies to allocate resources more efficiently on demand. Companies can increase or decrease the amount of resources being used depending on their current need at any given time. With this method, companies don’t have to buy excessive amounts of hardware infrastructure even if they may need more resources in the future. This helps organizations reduce their total costs for infrastructure.

3. Securing data

Security is one of biggest concerns of companies today, especially with so many incidents occurring involving data breaches. Cloud computing providers typically provide end-to-end encryption for all data stored on their servers. The customer can also configure encryption keys for its data using API calls. These API calls are end-to-end encrypted using key management services provided by the cloud provider. These API calls are authenticated by API keys which are also encrypted using API keys provided by API key management services provided by the cloud provider. API keys are typically rotated every few months for security purposes before expiring. API keys are also limited in number, so API key management services are essential in maintaining security of API keys for API calls used for data encryption purposes. API keys are also used for authentication purposes when making API calls to manage encryption keys for data stored on server storage devices provided by cloud providers.


Cloud computing provides significant benefits to facilitate machine learning. It allows companies to avoid depreciation costs since they only have to buy resources when they need them, instead of buying them in bulk up front even if they don’t need them immediately. It also helps minimize capital expenditures by allowing companies to only purchase resources when they are needed instead of buying them up front regardless of whether they are needed or not. Finally, cloud computing provides better security by allowing companies to encrypt their data using API calls that are authenticated using API keys that are securely managed using API key management services provided by cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

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