As more and more people and businesses shift towards cloud services, you might be wondering what exactly is the cloud and why should I be on it? In this post, I want to help demystify the term by listing some of the key benefits you or your business may gain from using a cloud service and explaining some of the different types of cloud terms you may have heard of (IAAS, PAAS, public, private, hybrid).
Cloud computing is most basically, the process of storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet rather than from your computer's hard drive.
Despite the many myths of cloud computing, it is not a complicated or foreign concept. You might even be using cloud computing without realizing it. If you use any type of online service to receive emails, store files, or host web conference meetings, it’s very likely these services are using cloud computing.
Cloud computing can be found all over IT solutions such as storage services, networking, software, analytics, and many more. The possibilities are endless due to the flexibility, scalability and high availability of internet-based computing.
Businesses of all sizes are currently using cloud computing to accomplish different objectives, here are some of the most common cloud applications:
Evolving from the traditional way businesses utilize information technology, clunky hardware and complex IT departments, cloud computing is causing a shift towards managed services to increasing productivity for a fraction of the cost. With IT resources that are more reliable for businesses of all sizes, these are some key business benefits:
The cloud is designed to offer you a variety of services to choose from. These are built on top of one another and are called computing stacks:
With IaaS, you rent computing resources, storage, network, operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-per-use basis. This is the most basic category of cloud services, offering you three main benefits:
PaaS provides developers a cloud-based environment/sandbox to develop, test, deliver and manage software applications. It enhances the development of new apps without worrying about the cost and management of underlying hardware, software, and hosting.
SaaS allows companies to deliver software-based applications over the Internet, typically on demand and on a subscription basis. In a SaaS model, the cloud provider hosts and manage the underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, upgrades, and security patching.
Businesses can choose from a variety of cloud deployments that best suits their specific needs. There are three ways to deploy a cloud computing solutions: public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.
Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud services provider. Using the Internet, they deliver computing resources like hardware and software to be used by multiple companies. With public cloud users don’t need to purchase hardware/software or support and manage their infrastructure, this makes public cloud the most affordable model.
When choosing a private cloud, your organization gets a full stack of resources for your exclusive use. These can be managed and physically located on-premise or at your cloud provider’s datacenter. Some of the key characteristics of a private cloud include:
A hybrid cloud uses a combination of both private and public clouds. By bounding these two, data and applications can be shared between them increasing efficiency and availability. Hybrid clouds allow companies to keep critical applications and sensitive data in a private cloud while taking advantage of public cloud resources like SaaS, for the latest applications and IaaS, for elastic virtual resources.
I hope this post helped you gain some insight into the modern business benefits of cloud computing. All this information may have been overwhelming, so if you still have questions about what solutions can help optimize your IT needs, leave us a message.