Cloud Services Explained: A Beginner’s Tutorial

In “Cloud Services Explained: A Beginner’s Tutorial,” the tutorial aims to provide a high-level understanding of cloud services for beginners. It defines cloud services as any service accessible to users through the internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers and introduces major cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud. The article explains the drawbacks of maintaining one’s own IT infrastructure and highlights the benefits of using cloud services, such as cost-effectiveness, scalability, and reliability.

The tutorial further compares cloud services to buying electricity from a power company, illustrating the convenience, adaptability, and cost-saving advantages of using cloud service platforms like AWS. It emphasizes the significance of cloud services in meeting computing needs without the burden of maintaining physical equipment. Additionally, the article mentions the role of network architects in designing and optimizing resources from AWS and how Lucidchart assists in diagramming network infrastructure. Overall, this tutorial aims to provide a comprehensive overview of cloud computing and its relevance to Lucidchart.

What are Cloud Services?

Definition of cloud services

Cloud services refer to any service that is provided to users over the internet by a cloud computing provider’s servers. These services are typically used by individuals or businesses to fulfill their computing needs. Cloud service providers have vast warehouses across the globe, equipped with servers, storage, and databases, which can be utilized by users to access on-demand IT infrastructure.

Cloud service providers

Some of the most well-known cloud service providers include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud. These companies offer a range of services to meet the diverse needs of their users.

Traditional IT Infrastructure vs Cloud Services

Buying and maintaining own equipment

In the traditional IT infrastructure model, businesses used to purchase and maintain their own equipment and infrastructure to fulfill their IT needs. This involved setting up servers, switches, cables, and other hardware components on-site, which required a significant investment of time, money, and effort from the IT department.

Challenges of traditional IT infrastructure

Maintaining a traditional IT infrastructure can be costly and time-consuming. Hardware components become outdated quickly, requiring regular upgrades and replacements. Additionally, businesses may face challenges in scaling resources to meet increasing demand, especially during peak periods or unexpected surges in web traffic. These issues can result in unreliable IT infrastructure that may fail to meet the needs of the business.

Cloud Services Explained: A Beginners Tutorial

Benefits of Cloud Services


One of the major advantages of cloud services is their cost-effectiveness. Instead of investing in expensive hardware and maintaining it, businesses can pay for the resources they use on a pay-as-you-go basis. This eliminates the need for large upfront investments and allows businesses to scale their resources up or down based on their needs. Cloud service providers also handle the maintenance and updates of the infrastructure, reducing the burden on businesses.


Cloud services offer exceptional scalability, allowing businesses to quickly and easily adjust their resources based on demand. With traditional IT infrastructure, scaling up requires additional hardware purchases, installation, and configuration, which can be time-consuming and expensive. In contrast, cloud services allow businesses to instantly access additional resources as needed, ensuring that they can handle any sudden or unexpected increases in workload.


Cloud service providers maintain redundant infrastructure across multiple locations, ensuring high availability and reliability of services. In the event of hardware failure or outages, the workload is automatically shifted to other parts of the infrastructure, minimizing downtime. Additionally, cloud services often include features such as data backup and disaster recovery, providing an extra layer of protection for businesses’ valuable data.

Examples of Cloud Service Providers

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform offered by Microsoft. It provides a wide range of services, including virtual machines, storage, databases, and AI services. Azure is known for its strong integration with other Microsoft products, making it an attractive option for businesses already utilizing Microsoft technologies.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS is a comprehensive cloud computing platform offered by Amazon. It offers a vast array of services, ranging from computing power to storage to machine learning capabilities. AWS has a large customer base and is known for its scalability and reliability. It provides businesses with flexible and cost-effective solutions to meet their IT infrastructure needs.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud is a suite of cloud computing services offered by Google. It provides high-performance computing, storage, and networking options, as well as advanced data analytics and AI capabilities. Google Cloud is known for its strong focus on data security and offers a range of tools and services to help businesses protect their data.

IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud is a cloud computing platform offered by IBM. It provides a wide range of services, including AI, analytics, blockchain, and IoT. IBM Cloud is designed to support enterprise-level workloads, with a focus on security, scalability, and flexibility. It offers businesses the ability to deploy and manage applications across multiple cloud environments.

Cloud Services Explained: A Beginners Tutorial

Cloud Services vs. In-house IT

Cost Comparison

When comparing the cost of cloud services to in-house IT infrastructure, cloud services often prove to be more cost-effective. With cloud services, businesses only pay for the resources they use, eliminating the need for large upfront investments in hardware. Additionally, businesses can avoid costs associated with maintenance, upgrades, and replacements of hardware components. Cloud services also allow for greater scalability, ensuring that businesses are not overpaying for under-utilized resources.

Flexibility and agility

Cloud services provide businesses with a high level of flexibility and agility compared to in-house IT infrastructure. Businesses can quickly scale their resources up or down based on demand, ensuring they have the right amount of computing power at all times. Cloud services also offer the ability to easily deploy and test new applications, allowing for faster innovation and time to market. This level of flexibility and agility is difficult to achieve with traditional IT infrastructure.

Understanding Cloud Service Platforms

Cloud services explained with an analogy to electricity generation

To better understand cloud services, it can be helpful to draw an analogy to electricity generation. Imagine you have just built a new house and need electricity. You can either generate your own electricity, which would require a significant investment in infrastructure like windmills or solar panels, or you can buy electricity from a power company. Generating your own electricity may seem like a feasible option, but it comes with challenges such as weather dependency and the risk of overbuilding. On the other hand, buying electricity from a power company provides convenience, reliability, and adaptability, as you can easily scale your electricity usage based on your needs. Similarly, cloud service platforms, like AWS, function as power companies for IT infrastructure, allowing businesses to access resources on-demand without the need to build and maintain their own infrastructure.

How cloud service platforms work

Cloud service platforms operate by providing access to a vast network of servers, storage, and other computing resources hosted in data centers around the world. Users can utilize these resources to build and run applications, store and analyze data, and perform various other computing tasks. Cloud service providers handle the maintenance, security, and availability of the infrastructure, allowing businesses to focus on their core activities. Users can access the cloud services through web-based interfaces, enabling remote access to resources and facilitating collaboration among teams. Additionally, cloud service providers often offer a range of tools and services to help users manage and optimize their usage of cloud resources.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular cloud service platforms. It offers a wide range of services, including computing power, storage, databases, and AI capabilities. AWS provides scalability, reliability, and high-performance computing options, making it a suitable choice for businesses of all sizes.


Microsoft Azure is another widely used cloud service platform. It provides a comprehensive suite of services, including virtual machines, storage, databases, and AI capabilities. Azure integrates well with other Microsoft products, making it a convenient choice for businesses already utilizing Microsoft technologies.

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform is a robust cloud service platform offered by Google. It offers a wide range of services, including computing, storage, networking, and advanced analytics. Google Cloud Platform emphasizes data security and provides businesses with tools and services to protect their valuable information.

The Role of Cloud Service Providers

Ownership and maintenance of infrastructure

Cloud service providers, such as AWS, take ownership of the infrastructure and hardware required to provide cloud services. They maintain and upgrade the hardware to ensure high availability and reliability. This relieves businesses of the burden of managing and maintaining their own infrastructure, allowing them to focus on their core activities.

Customers’ access and usage

Customers access cloud services provided by cloud service providers through web-based interfaces or APIs. They can provision and use the resources they need to run their applications and perform various computing tasks. Customers have the flexibility to scale their resources up or down based on their needs, ensuring optimal resource utilization and cost-effectiveness.

Cloud Services Explained: A Beginners Tutorial

Specialists and Network Architects

How Specialists Optimize Cloud Resources

Many businesses employ specialists, such as network architects, to optimize their usage of cloud resources. These specialists analyze the needs of the business, including security requirements, web traffic patterns, data storage, and automation. They configure cloud resources to ensure that the company is effectively utilizing its cloud computing investment, optimizing costs, and meeting its performance and security objectives.

Use of tools like Lucidchart for infrastructure design

Network architects utilize tools like Lucidchart to design and visualize their network infrastructure. Lucidchart helps network architects effectively plan and design their cloud infrastructure. It allows them to import their existing infrastructure and diagram how it is configured in a clear and visually appealing manner. This enables better communication and understanding of the network infrastructure within the organization.


Cloud services have revolutionized the way businesses fulfill their IT infrastructure needs. By leveraging the resources and expertise of cloud service providers, businesses can access cost-effective, scalable, and reliable IT infrastructure on demand. Popular cloud service platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud offer a wide range of services to meet the diverse needs of businesses. Specialists, such as network architects, play a crucial role in optimizing the usage of cloud resources, ensuring that businesses can effectively utilize the benefits of cloud computing.

Tools like Lucidchart aid in the design and visualization of network infrastructure, facilitating better communication and understanding within organizations. Overall, cloud services have become an essential component in modern IT infrastructure, enabling businesses to focus on their core activities and drive innovation.

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