Cloud ComputingMon, Jul 3, 2017
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services — servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”).
- Cost: Instead of having to invest heavily in data centers and servers before you know how you’re going to use them, you can pay only when you consume computing resources, and pay only for how much you consume.
- Speed: Most cloud computing services are provided self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.
- Global scale: The benefits of cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically. In cloud speak, that means delivering the right amount of IT resources—for example, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth—right when its needed and from the right geographic location.
- Productivity: On-site datacenters typically require a lot of “racking and stacking”—hardware set up, software patching and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.
- Performance: The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacenters, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
- Reliability: Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive, because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
As cloud computing has grown in popularity, several different models and deployment strategies have emerged to help meet specific needs of different users. Each type of cloud service and deployment method provides you with different levels of control, flexibility, and management. Most cloud computing services fall into three broad categories.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC.
These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack, because they build on top of one another.
- Public cloud: Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider, which deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet. AWS Web Services is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.
- On-premises (Private) cloud: A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organisation. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
- Hybrid cloud: Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more deployment options.