While cloud computing may mean different things to different people — with some thinking it's about storing and backing up data on remote servers and others holding the view that it's where you access programs and apps from — in reality, it's a broad term encompassing many technologies, services and functions.
So the cloud is lots of things, but it's also not so different to the IT systems and networks that companies and organisations set up in-house and all the various and differing technology that goes along with it.
The major difference is the giant datacenters with large amounts of servers (that are collectively called "the cloud") that are typically spread around countries and the entire world are able to offer economies of scale and scalability with processing power, server space, security and everything else because of their size and that you only need an internet connection to get to your files, data, apps and programs.
So the costs are far lower than an in-house setup and the benefits, including flexibility, are far greater. Here's a brief rundown of the various types of cloud computing in use today.
Cloud Service Models
The public cloud defines hardware and software services and solutions that are offered by large tech firms running their own datacentres and third-party program and app developers. It includes what's meant by "moving to the cloud", as companies and organisations no longer use internal IT systems but shift everything to remote servers, including their data and programs. These services are typically provided on an on-demand basis, allowing for ease of use and quick scalability as companies grow and require more processing power and storage space.
Private cloud computing is essentially the same as a public cloud, only it's not available to everyone and only people within a certain organisation will be able to use it. A private cloud offers the benefits of higher security, customisation and greater control over the network, but it doesn't necessarily deliver the same cost advantages, because the company using it is responsible for running and maintaining the hardware and software and all the latest in firewall technology and other security measures to repel cyber-attacks.
This cloud computing solution combines the public and private cloud and can extend to apps hosted and running on many different clouds of the same type (multicloud) as well as in-house systems. It's designed to make it all seamless so you can access your data and programs from a single point and there's no disruption. It's especially beneficial for companies dealing with large volumes of data across various networks and ensuring it's all done securely and in accordance with data privacy legislation.
Cloud Computing IaaS, PaaS and SaaS
If you're wondering what the difference between cloud computing vs cloud hosting is, the latter includes using programs and apps that are based in the cloud, as well as, possibly, websites too. As for the technology that runs the clouds of various types, generally, it's broken down into three kinds:
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) — this is the remote hardware, such as servers and the software on them, that users access via the internet.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — this includes the vast range of services available in the cloud, including storing your data on servers.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) — third-party apps and programs that are offered via the internet and can be either free or fee-based.
Companies use IaaS, PaaS and SaaS in cloud computing depending on their needs, as they may just want to store and back up their data in the cloud or they might be intending to transition all their digital operations to the datacentres of a particular cloud provider.
And the difference between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS in cloud computing will result in varying levels of costs, flexibility and scalability but, overall, they provide a dynamic digital option to firms wishing to become sleeker, more efficient and more profitable.
Find out which type of cloud computing is best suited to your company by contacting cloud specialists ITRM today and getting a free consultation.