Introduction to Cloud

In this free course you will learn about the core concepts of cloud computing, the different components of cloud architecture, and some real-world applications of cloud computing.

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This course introduces you to the core concepts of cloud computing. You will gain the foundational knowledge required for understanding cloud computing from both business and practitioner perspectives.

You will learn about the definition and essential characteristics of cloud computing, its history, emerging trends, and the business case for cloud computing. You also learn about the various cloud service models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and deployment models (Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud) and the key components of a cloud architecture (Virtualization, VMs, Storage, Networking, Containers, Serverless).


After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define cloud computing and explain its essential characteristics, history, & emerging trends
  • Articulate the business case for cloud computing
  • Describe the service & deployment models of cloud computing
  • Explain the various components of a cloud architecture


Module 1: Overview of Cloud Computing

  • Definition and essential characteristics
  • A brief history and evolution of Cloud
  • Key cloud service providers and their services

Module 2: Cloud Adoption and Emerging Technologies

  • Business case for Cloud Computing
  • Emerging technologies supported by Cloud: AI, IoT, Blockchain, Analytics

Module 3: Cloud Computing Service and Deployment Models

  • Service Models: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS
  • Deployment Models: Public, Private, Hybrid

Module 4: Components of Cloud Computing

  • Cloud Infrastructure Overview
  • Virtualization, VMs, Bare Metal
  • Secure Cloud Networks
  • Containers

Module 5: Cloud Storage

  • Direct Attached
  • File Storage
  • Block Storage
  • Object Storage
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

Module 6: Cloud Native and Emergent Cloud Trends

  • Hybrid Multicloud
  • Serverless
  • Microservices
  • Cloud Native
  • Application Modernization

General Information

  • This course is free.
  • It is self-paced.
  • It can be taken at any time.

Recommended skills prior to taking this course

  • Basic Computer Literacy

Course Staff

Rav Ahuja

Rav Ahuja

Rav Ahuja is a Program Director for IBM Skills Network and leads the work on strategy, programs, and partnerships. He works at IBM Canada Lab in Toronto and is also a co-founder of, an initiative offering free courses for democratizing in-demand technology skills. He presents at events worldwide and has authored numerous papers, articles, books and courses on subjects in AI, Data Science, Data Engineering, and Cloud Computing. Rav holds B. Eng. from McGill University and MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.

Other Contributors

The following individuals also contributed content for this course:

  • James Belton
  • Ahmad Zamer
  • Mary Ann Johnson


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