Written by Sanjutha Ravindrakumaran | Solution Specialist at Tech One Global
Can you guess the five-letter magic word that business entities wonder about? It’s nothing but the“cloud” – the solution that moves enterprise and SMB forward to enhance their business solutions.
How do you define the cloud? According to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as the cloud is,
“A model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
Cloud computing assures many benefits to end users and business entities. There are three main business benefits, namely:
- Self-service provisioning. End users can spin around computing resources for almost any type of workload on-demand.
- Elasticity. Companies can scale up as computing needs increase; scale down as demands decrease.
- Pay per use. Computing resources are measured at a granular level, allowing users to pay only for the resources and workloads they use.
There are two things you should focus on when deciding to bundle with cloud computing: What’s moving into cloud? And what’s adopting into cloud?
As mentioned before, enterprise organizations move into the cloud; while small-to-medium-enterprises (SMBs) adopts the cloud.
Moving into the cloud is all about moving the virtual machine (VM) or deployed solution, then hosting it into the cloud – it is that simple. If the cloud infrastructure is not successful at first, they can move the solution into another cloud provider, into another environment and so on.
Types of cloud computing services
Cloud computing services can be:
- Public cloud is open to all, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. Public cloud briefed as a third-party provider that delivers solution over the internet. Public cloud is also set up on pay-as-you-go model – pay for what you use. However, as the name implies, it bears the most concern for information security because it is hosted in off-premises cloud providers. Sensitive and mission-centric data may not be suitable for the public cloud wilderness.
Some of the public cloud providers are Azure, AWS, IBM Soft Layer, and Google Compute Engine.
- Private cloud is having your infrastructure in your own data center. It also requires hardware set up and management by your company. Private cloud provides you the control to manage all your data and security. This can be protected behind a strong firewall.
- Community cloud is referred as an infrastructure where two or more organizations accessing and managing resources. This lies between private and public; security is more tight than public, though. The permitted organizations have access accordingly.
- Hybrid cloud is not a mixed/combined solution of cloud and on premise models. This is the wrong idea that people are having on what hybrid cloud service is. It’s actually any combination of the three cloud computing services above. Either combined solution of private and public, private and community, community and public can be referred as hybrid cloud solution. The goal of hybrid cloud is to mainly benefit ROI by simply using the public cloud infrastructure at the same time manage it over a mission centric data.
Main Cloud Models
There are three main cloud models available. These are:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a service)
- SaaS (Software as a service)
- PaaS (Platform as a service)
IaaS. It’s simply a delivery of equipment as servers, virtual machines, and networking components over a network. IaaS provides virtual servers and APIs and lets users to migrate workloads to virtual machines. Users are allowed to have access on storage capacity to start/access or stop to configure the VM and storage as desired. IaaS provides small, medium, large to customized deployment for different workloads.
PaaS. PaaS refers to the delivery of hardware and operating systems. In PaaS model, solution providers host development tools on their infrastructure. Users access these tools using different APIs over the internet. It’s used for software development and open for providers to host developed solution on the infrastructure. Common example for PaaS are Google App Engine, Amazon Beanstalk, and Salesforce.com.
SaaS. Saas is simply a web-hosted application. Examples of this are emails, security, audit logs, CRM, and other services. It can be as well be put as a distribution model that delivers software applications over the internet. Users can access SaaS applications over the internet via computers or mobile devices. Microsoft O365 is a very good example of SaaS for productivity software and email services.
Also, we can understand the cloud model in reference to NIST as,
We hope we cleared many misconceptions about the cloud – its services and models. Cloud is everywhere and continues to grow as more organizations enjoy the benefits from the cloud in terms of ROI, and effective cloud KPI and measures. When will you ‘step into the cloud?’