What is the cloud? If you have trouble answering this question, you are not alone. In this course, you will explore how the cloud works, what drives its incredible growth, and how you can use cloud services. You will start by looking at the building blocks of the cloud, where it started, and how it transitioned. You will gain a clear understanding of IaaS (infrastructure), SaaS (software), and PaaS (platforms), and examine why each may be attractive to some businesses, but not to others. You will learn about the different kinds of clouds (public, private, and hybrid).
You will also look inside the engine rooms of the cloud: data centers. You will examine the concept of big data and how the cloud infrastructure enables data to zip across the globe at lightning speed. You will look at how Facebook and Twitter contribute to the cloud, and how apps go from idea to app store. You will gain an understanding of how mobile devices and major mobile ecosystems continue to shape the cloud. Whatever your technical background, by the end of this course, you will be thoroughly cloud-savvy.
In this first lesson, you will start with the basics. You will understand the building blocks of the cloud and gain a definition of the cloud that you will use as a foundation for the rest of this course. You will explore what the cloud means to you, its impact on your life, and why it will be helpful for you to understand how it works. Then you will learn the history of the cloud and how it was a natural evolution of networked computers and Internet connectivity. You will also look at why the cloud is so important, and the business challenges and opportunities the cloud addresses.
In this lesson, you will learn how to think about the cloud from a simple and a complex perspective. You will examine different types of clouds: public, private, and hybrid. And you will get a glimpse inside the big business technology world. Then you will learn what virtualization is and why it is so fundamental in how the cloud operates. You will examine scale and how it relates to virtualization. Then you will see how endpoints make all the connections work.
This lesson will introduce you to services. Specifically, you will look at three categories of cloud services: infrastructure, platforms, and software. You will examine how these three categories compare and individuals and business can take advantage of them. Then you will learn all about data centers—how they operate, what they look like, where they are located, and what makes them tick. You will learn what makes one data center more efficient than another, and you will gain perspective on what it costs to make them operate.
This lesson will help you understand how to think about data in terms of its importance in the cloud. You will examine how all the data in the cloud moves across continents, across the ocean, and over airwaves. You will also gain a clear definition of big data as well as examples of where big data may be headed. Then you will examine how a well-established cloud provider organizes and presents its offerings. You will go through each group of the cloud provider’s offered services and map them into categories.
In this lesson, you will learn where websites fit into the cloud and what other elements, offerings, or activities are driving popularity of the cloud and its varied services. You will discover what it means to be a big provider, and examine the largest service providers in the cloud today. Then you will learn about the cloud app. You will also learn about the different types of devices, how they are categorized, and how they align to the types of cloud apps that are available. You will discover ecosystems, and why they define how cloud apps are created, distributed, and sold.
Finally, you will look at how social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter work in the cloud, and how users and organizations can create apps that connect with their huge base of users. You will learn how social media sites let software developers interact with their sites, create apps and games that operate within and outside their sites, and why they do this. You will learn about social media tools on Facebook and Twitter, including why the hashtag (#) was created, how it is used, and how to use these sites yourself. Then you will learn how to view the cloud from two primary perspectives—consumer and business—and discover the primary benefits that have propelled cloud adoption from participants of both perspectives. You will end by looking into the future of what the cloud may hold and what the future might mean for you.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
When can I get started?
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
How does it work?
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
How long do I have to complete each lesson?
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
What if I need an extension?
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.