According to Digital Journal, an estimated 90 percent of enterprises will use cloud services by 2021. The move to a cloud-based business environment offers numerous benefits to organizations, including the ability to access important company data from any internet-enabled device. Cloud computing can save businesses money, improve efficiency, enhance data security, promote better disaster recovery and enable easily scalable measures — all at a reasonable price. It is a practical option for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. To better understand cloud computing, it is important to become familiar with its three main types of cloud computing.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing services, such as databases, storage, servers, networking, software, analytics and intelligence. These services are delivered over the internet or “cloud” which allows for nearly instantaneous access to critical business data and resources.
Instead of owning their own data center or computing infrastructure, businesses can rent access to storage, applications and other services from a cloud service provider. When businesses switch to the cloud, they can eliminate high upfront costs and technical challenges associated with owning and managing their own IT infrastructure. With cloud computing, they pay only for the services they use, when they use them.
Cloud computing can either be private or public. Private cloud services deliver services to a limited number of people. In comparison, public cloud services provide services over the internet for a fee. There is also a hybrid of these two options which combine elements of both private and public services.
The Three Types of Cloud Computing
There are three main types of cloud computing: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). There are some distinct differences between these three models and what they can offer a business in terms of storage and resources. The three types of cloud computing can also interact with one another to create a comprehensive cloud computing model.
Software-as-a-Service is one of the most popular forms of cloud computing. This method of software delivery allows data to be easily accessed from any device with an internet connection and web browser. SaaS is a complete software solution that companies can buy from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.
With Software-as-a-Service, a business rents the use of an app for their organization and its users are able to connect to it over the internet. The service provider is responsible for managing the software and hardware, as well as for keeping the app secure and up-to-date. With SaaS, businesses are able to get their business up and running quickly and at a minimal cost.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is another form of cloud computing that delivers fundamental network, storage and computer resources over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. In an IaaS model, the cloud provider hosts the components of the infrastructure that are traditionally present in an on-premises data center, such as storage, servers and networking hardware.
IaaS providers may also provide other key services, such as log access, detailed billing, security, monitoring, backup, recovery, replication and load balancing and clustering. Services and resources are accessed through a wide area network (WAN), such as the internet.
Platform-as-a-Service differs from SaaS and IaaS as businesses rent everything that they need from a cloud provider to build an application, such as infrastructure, development tools and operating systems. PaaS aims to simplify the web application development process by allowing the cloud provider to handle all the backend management.
Businesses can access PaaS over any internet connection, which makes it possible to build entire applications in a web browser. The development environment is not locally hosted which means that developers can work on the application remotely from any location. Although developers have less control over the development environment, they can enjoy significantly less overhead.
Who Should Consider Cloud Computing?
There is a common misconception that cloud computing technology is used primarily by larger or established businesses. In reality, businesses of all sizes and in all industries can benefit from moving to the cloud. Cloud computing is a great option for any business that wants to save money, enhance its performance, promote scalability, improve collaboration and keep business data secure. Businesses that are considering moving to the cloud should consider their expected future costs of hardware infrastructure, storage capacity needs, security expectations and anticipated level of support.
Consider Cloud Computing Services with SeaGlass
Choosing the best model of cloud computing for an organization should be based on benefits, usability, cost efficiency, unique needs and the size of the business. As cloud computing can be a complex topic to navigate, consider speaking with an experienced cloud computing expert to learn more about these models. For more information, reach out to SeaGlass Technology for cloud computing services.