In the past, businesses and institutions could purchase and maintain their computer services and resources. The IT department would be responsible for buying, maintaining, and managing the company’s computers, storage, and networks, which required a lot of space. The systems would also get outdated progressively while better ones emerged at lower prices. As on-premises infrastructure continued to become unsustainable, cloud computing was born.
Read on to learn more about cloud computing and how it works.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing refers to accessing computing resources like servers, databases, storage, intelligence, networking, and analytics over the internet. Cloud computing comes in three key forms: public, private, and hybrid. Public cloud computing refers to web-based computing services that companies like Google and Amazon provide, while private cloud services are accessed using a secure internet connection. Hybrid cloud computing combines public and private cloud computing to give you the best of both worlds and offers more tailored IT solutions.
A distinctive characteristic of cloud computing is that it is provided and managed by someone else. Therefore, you are not responsible for computer resources such as licenses and software upgrades. You can only access cloud computing services on a subscription basis where you pay for the services whenever you need them, just like you would other utilities. The pay-as-you-go method eliminates the need for acquiring your own computer resources, especially when you have unpredictable needs.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing services come in three main types, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. While they all have their unique differences based on what they offer, the three service models can also interact and form one comprehensive cloud computing model.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is the most common cloud computing model. It offers the fundamental cloud computing infrastructure, including storage drives, servers, processing, networks, and operating systems. Businesses can, therefore, scale their services as they deem fit, depending on their needs. It also makes it unnecessary to have hardware in the office. IaaS is available in private, public, or hybrid infrastructure and is ideal for small businesses that need to find cost-effective solutions.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Unlike IaaS, PaaS offers both fundamental hardware as well as a software framework. However, it supports the fast and seamless development of applications so that companies can run them on their own. It is ideal for companies where developers work on multiple projects at once and is also scalable. For example, you can develop an eCommerce platform that runs entirely on the provider’s servers.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
Here, the consumer uses web applications that already run on the provider’s cloud. You can access the applications through a browser or program interface. However, the consumer does not control the underlying infrastructure or applications except for specific application settings. SaaS is ideal for applications that require a lot of mobile or web access and is great for CRM. A great example of SaaS is Google Documents. – Read more