We have been hearing about the word “cloud” for some time now. In fact, many of us may not understand it very well.
Let’s try to understand the meaning of “cloud” first and then we will move on to its benefits:
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a model designed to offer shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. This model has the potential to reduce costs, improve management, boost performance and responsiveness, promote new ways of working (such as cloud-based app development), and increase security. Although it still requires you to purchase or lease hardware (and pay for such services as storage and bandwidth), those expenses are usually far lower than they would be if you had to buy the software, hardware, and technical support you need on your own.
Cloud computing models can be categorized into five different types:
1) Software as a Service (SAAS)
2) Platform as a Service (PaaS)
3) Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
4) Desktop as a service (DaaS).
5) Private cloud.
Usually, this is referred to as an IT infrastructure that is only used by one organization/ company/ entity or person. This is usually hosted at premise all by itself or sometimes it could be hosted in some other shared data center.
Now let us go through each of these points & understand them below:
1. Software as a Service (SAAS)
This is the most popular & widely used type of cloud computing. Strictly speaking, SAAS providers rent out software to you rather than let you install it on your own servers, but they lease access to their infrastructure as well so that you can take advantage of all of an application’s features. You usually do not need technical expertise to use this type of software because companies like Google, Apple, and Salesforce have created interfaces that are easy to use by any level of user.
You pay for what you need: If your employees only occasionally use a particular app — or if they just need an account on someone else’s system — then there may be no reason for them to carry around heavy laptops with all kinds of software on them. Instead, they can log on to websites as needed and do their work from any Internet-connected computer.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
In some cases, you might want access to an even more specialized type of cloud computing: PaaS allows users to design and then host applications that run on the same systems used by the provider’s other customers. This saves companies time and money because they don’t have to maintain separate servers for themselves; instead, they pay only for what they use on the provider’s shared system.
These providers typically allow you to create your own virtual private servers with specific configurations so that you can ensure your apps will be compatible with certain browsers, computer systems, and devices. The vast majority of PaaS services use open source software stacks that include a variety of Web programming languages as well as databases, application servers, and other tools.
3. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
In the simplest terms, IaaS lets you buy a computer “building blocks” from third-party vendors who will ship them to you along with detailed instructions on how to build your own online system for housing data files and running apps. In many cases, you can start small — paying only for what you currently need — and then expand later if necessary without causing major disruptions in your workflow.
Many IaaS providers allow their customers to set up virtual networks that connect to other customers’ systems, a capability that can be extremely useful if you’re running applications for collaboration. Some providers even allow their clients to create full-fledged virtual organizations where multiple groups can share data independently of one another. This type of cloud computing model is regarded as the most demanding from a technical standpoint because it requires you to have a dedicated team of technology professionals on hand at all times.
4. Desktop as a service (DaaS)
Although DaaS has been around for several years now, it remains fairly rare and only tends to appeal to large enterprises or other kinds of companies that need access to powerful software tools — such as desktop publishing programs — on a regular basis but do not want to go through the hassle of maintaining their own data center.
5. Backend as a service (BaaS)
Backend cloud computing services allow developers to create applications without building complex infrastructure components themselves; rather than coding for specific platforms, backend providers handle all the heavy lifting.
As you can see there are many different types of cloud computing services. As new trends and technologies emerge, we will continue to update this article with the latest information. For now, though, it should be enough for anyone looking into cloud computing to have a basic understanding of what exactly it is and how they can benefit from using it.