In our daily life, cloud services are everywhere but not obvious. In many situations, we use products or services which use cloud computing but we just contribute them to the Internet. Email services provided by different company, translation services and Virtual Assistants are all the examples. We have the network, so the products can work well. (In fact, the networking is only the base or tool of one of the five characteristics of cloud, ubiquitous access. But outside the black box, it looks like the network finishes all the things.) While on the other hand, in terms of the business, many company claim that they use cloud computing to support their work to show that they are the high-tech company. The separation of daily experience and business claiming about the cloud computing may label the cloud as a high-tech matter, irrelevant to daily life and exacerbate the black box of cloud service and the cloud computing. What is the cloud or cloud computing? According to Rountree & Castrillo, “cloud is actually a service or group of services”. There are 3 basic cloud service models, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS which “can be viewed in terms of increased levels of abstraction”(Ruparelia, 2016). Take an example of Amazon translate.
Amazon translate is one of the service of the Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS can provide different service models for users based on user needs. For example, if an individual want to translate a text from English to Chinese, he can just use the console to translate, select the language and input the text, then an real-time translation results output. This is an SaaS example. But when comes to the business, it would be different. For example, the Hotels.com needs to translate customer reviews in 41 languages so that the users can understand the reviews and have more information about the hotels (Amazon Translate Customers, n.d.). In this case, Hotel.com should not only input the review data to the cloud but also manage its website and how to collect its data and show the results to the users, like write the CSS and HTML to create the Web page, a function of code to calls Amazon Translate to work and so on. This is an PaaS example. In fact, the Amazon Translate provide limited code language to use it, like the JAVA and python (in fact, translate a web page requires AWS SDK for java). And it specifies how to input data and how to upload data. So for the translate function, AWS only provide the PaaS or higher abstract level of cloud service model. But AWS itself provide the IaaS. As IaaS, It only provides computing infrastructure and some basic function like data storage, virtualization, networking and resources above vendors, Users can handle the data, middleware and the system.
As mentioned before, cloud is a group of services. For the translate itself, the input data will just calls the Amazon Translate model, then the encoder of the model reads the word of text one by one and construct a semantic representation. then the decoder use the representation to generate the translation also one word at a time (What Is Amazon Translate? – Amazon Translate, n.d.). While as a cloud services, we usually use many services of the cloud instead of one. AWS encapsulates many cells (services). Translate is one of them. Most of the time, we will use different cells to get the final output. For example, use Amazon Polly to read the Amazon Translate results. In this case, before we get the translate results, inside the cloud, the data will also input to the Amazon Polly model and return results to the users.
In my opinion, the cloud services is an AI version of professionals do professional things. like the video How AWS Is Changing Businesses Using Artificial Intelligence said “AI and machine learning is hard to implement alone and can be a complex undertaking”. Take Hotel.com as an example, it’s difficult for them to train a AI on its own to translate the reviews in different languages, let alone it needs 41 languages. But with AWS, all the Hotel.com need is pack the data and input it through the APIs provided by AWS.
In short, with the cloud services, companies do not have to store, manage and process all the data on the local server, but can use to outsource all these to the cloud platform, thereby saving costs and improving work efficiency. The transformation of this model is like changing from building a house to building blocks.
Amazon Translate Customers. (n.d.). Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved April 5, 2021, from https://aws.amazon.com/translate/customers/
edureka! (2018, July 13). Cloud Computing Service Models | IaaS PaaS SaaS Explained | Cloud Masters Program | Edureka. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7B4icXvs74
Rountree, D., & Castrillo, I. (2014). The basics of cloud computing: Understanding the fundamentals of cloud computing in theory and practice. Elsevier/Syngress.
Ruparelia, N. (2016). Cloud computing. The MIT Press.
What Is Amazon Translate? – Amazon Translate. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2021, from https://docs.aws.amazon.com/translate/latest/dg/what-is.html
What’s the difference between cloud services and cloud computing? Take AWS as an example, are the products provided by AWS cloud services? and are the services based on the cloud computing?