The recent pandemic has accelerated society’s transition to the cloud, but it’s important for businesses to understand the platform and how it can impact their business before making such a dramatic shift.
For most, effective cloud solutions can be a boon to their business operations by increasing efficiency, reducing cost, and scaling with them – but not every business needs every kind of cloud platform.
Here are the important cloud basics so you can decide if cloud computing is right for you.
Public or Hosted Cloud
Public clouds are owned by a third-party cloud service provider that delivers your computing servers and storage over the internet through a browser. All infrastructure, like the hardware and software, is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You can manage your account online.
If you’d rather have more control, a private cloud offers your organization access to a dedicated server and computing resources. You can choose to host your own private cloud on your on-site datacenter (called “on-site cloud computing”) or pay a third party to host it off-site. Because you own it, all the services and infrastructure can be managed on your own private network.
Hybrid clouds, like the name suggests, combine the best of both worlds with access to the public cloud as well as your (usually on-site) private cloud. Applications and data can be shared between the two, so you have more flexibility, implementation options, and customization for your needs. For these reasons, hybrid clouds are very popular right now!
While public, private, and hybrid clouds are the deployment method for your operations, you also have to decide how you’ll manage your business’s software and applications. This is where IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS can offer a business a variety of options. These are often called the “cloud computing stack” because they build on each other.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is the building block upon which software and other cloud services are built. In order to do anything on the cloud, you need infrastructure. With this service, you rent servers, storage, networks, and operating systems from a third-party provider. Unlike the rest of the cloud computing stack, IaaS is only compatible with public cloud hosting. Examples include Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is the service you need for creating and managing software applications. PaaS builds off the base that IaaS provides by adding software and web application abilities. With PaaS services, coding and deploying applications is quick and efficient. Some examples are Windows Azure, Apache Stratos, and OpenShift.
Another option for software and app management is serverless computing. This service builds on app functionality without requiring server or infrastructure management. These architectures are very scalable and event-driven, only using resources when the specific need occurs.
Software as a service (SaaS)
SaaS is a method for delivering applications over the internet, on-demand and directly to the consumer. SaaS cloud providers manage the applications and underlying infrastructure, including any required maintenance. Users can obtain the software directly online, usually via a subscription model. Examples include Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud.
We hope this basic information helps you understand the ways that the cloud structure can positively influence your business! Of course, you’ll want to discuss your cloud computing options with an expert in order to make the right decision.
Booker DiMaio offers CompleteCloud, a cloud-based IT service that handles all your infrastructure, internet, hardware and software, security, and 24/7 live IT support for a flat monthly fee. If you’re interested in this service, learn more here.