What is Cloud Computing and how does it work?
Everyone is talking about the “cloud” nowadays. But what is it? In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of on your computer's hard drive. Cloud computing is a huge shift from the old-fashioned way businesses were thinking about IT properties.
Cloud computing gives you access to servers, storage, databases, and a broad set of application services over the Internet. A cloud services provider such as Amazon Web Services owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you set up and use what you need via a web application.
You typically pay only for the cloud service you use which in turn helps you lower your operational costs, run your structure more proficiently, and scale as your business goes through change management. Not all clouds are the same and not one type of cloud computing is right for everyone. Research your business to understand which cloud computing model best fits your needs. Several different models have evolved to help offer the right solution for your requirements. There are three major ones that everyone should be aware of.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
There are hundreds of benefits of incorporating cloud computing into your organization. Businesses of all sizes, industries, and geographies are turning to cloud services. IT leaders at companies receive consistent demands from end users monthly to buy extra cloud applications that have file sharing and collaboration, communication, social media, and content sharing covering the list of the most-requested cloud services. With cloud computing, companies can shrink the size of their own data centers — or eradicate their data center footprint overall. Data and applications are available to employees no matter where they are in the world. This lets workers take their work anywhere via smart phones and tablets. Because companies don’t have to purchase equipment and build out and operate a data center, they don’t have to spend significant money on hardware, facilities, utilities and other aspects of operations. Finally, with fewer data centers worldwide and more efficient operations, we are collectively having less of a negative impact on the environment. This is great for the companies who support the social cause of going green.
Cloud Computing Models
There are three main models for cloud computing. Each model represents a different part of the cloud computing mass. Understanding the differences between Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service can help you decide what set of services is right for your needs.
SaaS: Software as a Service
Software as a Service, also known as cloud application services, represents the most commonly utilized option for businesses in the cloud market. SaaS utilizes the internet to deliver applications, which are managed by a third-party vendor, to its users. A majority of SaaS applications are run directly through the web browser, and do not require any downloads or installations on the client side.
PaaS: Platform as a Service
Cloud platform services, or Platform as a Service (PaaS), provide cloud components to certain software while being used mainly for applications. PaaS delivers a framework for developers that they can build upon and use to create customized applications. All servers, storage, and networking can be managed by the enterprise or a third-party provider while the developers can maintain management of the applications.
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
Cloud infrastructure services, known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are made of highly scalable and automated compute resources. IaaS is fully self-service for accessing and monitoring things like computer, storage, networking, and other infrastructure related services, and it allows businesses to purchase resources on-demand and as-needed instead of having to buy hardware outright.
Want to learn how to integrate cloud computing for your organization? Understand the key differences of these three cloud computing models and how they can benefit your specific company at our Intelligent Automation Week in Nashville, TN. Attend our Interactive Discussion Groups with topics like The AI and ML Cloud Connection, Cloud Service Options to Support Your IA Programs and Big Data, Cloud, IoT & It Infrastructures To Support Your Organization’s AI Initiatives!