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Cloud Computing Services Overview

Introduction

Lot of online businesses depends on the cloud services to facilitate their clients.  Clients request are related to collecting, storing and processing large amount of data before presenting to the end user.


When we talk about cloud services, three service models comes to mind

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

  2. Platform as a Service (SaaS)

  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)


In this article we are going to discuss SaaS, PaaS and IaaS in detail to understand and compare these models.


What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a modern way to access data and information online rather than from a hard drive. The cloud server is fast, secure, affordable, and more efficient than traditional storage systems.


These days, everyone utilizes cloud computing in various sectors. It is especially a savior for growing and established businesses because it gives them the freedom to scale anytime


Using cloud, companies are not dependent on hardware anymore and can access data virtually anywhere. Companies no longer have to invest in heavy hardware thanks to cloud computing.


Now let's dive into details on different service models in cloud computing.


Software as a Service (SaaS )

SaaS or software as a service, refers to cloud-based software that is hosted online by a company, is available for purchase on a subscription basis, and is delivered to buyers via the internet.


SaaS products are among the most popular cloud computing services used by companies to build and grow businesses. SaaS is highly scalable and easy to use and manage because it doesn’t always require download and installation on individual devices for entire company use. This is particularly helpful for global teams that don't work in close proximity


Delivery method

SaaS companies deliver products over the web to end users. These tools can either be used as a web app (such as Google Docs) or downloaded and installed on the device (such as Adobe Creative Cloud). With a SaaS app, there’s no need for a specialist to come in and manually install it on each laptop using a purchased license


Pros

The biggest advantage of using SaaS products is how easy they are to set up and start using. Because SaaS products are cloud-based, all you need to do to start accessing applications is to simply log in


Cons

Downside of SaaS model is, When you use a SaaS product, you have no control over the cloud-based infrastructure it runs on. So, if the software provider experiences an outage, so do you. This can lead to widespread website outages and issues that can impact your SaaS-dependent business processes


Examples

Dropbox: Dropbox is a file-sharing SaaS tool that allows multiple users within a group or organization to upload and download different files


DocuSign: DocuSign is a SaaS product that businesses use to send contracts and other documents that require signatures.


JIRA: JIRA is a project management software that's delivered by Atlassian and can be purchased on a subscription basis by customers


Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A PaaS or platform as a service, provides developers with a framework they can use to build custom applications. PaaS doesn’t deliver software over the internet, but rather a platform that developers can use to create online software and apps.


PaaS products let developers build custom applications online without having to deal with data serving, storage, and management.

 

You can think of PaaS as a scaled-down version of IaaS. It still provides customers with servers and data centers to store their information (in this instance, an app), but its customer is a developer creating an app that will then be delivered over the internet to consumers. SaaS applications are developed on PaaS platforms


Delivery method

PaaS provides a secure platform for developers can create software and apps for consumer use. Developers access PaaS tools over the web. For instance,  the Heroku dashboard, prompted me to create an app.


Pros

Developers use PaaS because it’s cost-effective and allows for easy collaboration for an entire team. Consider building an app on your local drive, then trying to deploy it online — that’s difficult or might take too many steps.

With a PaaS, developers build their app right on the platform, then deploy it immediately.


Cons

The most significant disadvantage of PaaS is that you can only control what’s built on the platform. If there’s an outage or issue with the hardware or operating system, the software will go out with it


Examples

Red Hat OpenShift: Red Hat OpenShift is an on-premises containerization PaaS software.

Heroku: Developers can use this PaaS tool to build, manage, and grow consumer-facing apps.


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS or infrastructure as a service, is a cloud-based service that allows resources to be delivered to organizations virtually (or through the cloud). IaaS tools help organizations build and manage servers, networks, operating systems, and data storage without needing to buy hardware


IaaS customers can control their data infrastructure without physically managing it on-site. Instead, they store data on the servers of IaaS providers, and use a dashboard or API (application programming interface) to access and manage their resources.


IaaS helps companies build and manage data as they grow, paying for storage and server space as needed without hosting and managing servers on-site. IaaS products do make up the foundations of building new technologies delivered over the cloud. IaaS providers manage their customers’ data on physical servers across the world.


Delivery method

IaaS products deliver storage systems, networks, and servers virtually to enterprise businesses. Organizations can access and manage their data through a dashboard and connect it to the IaaS provider’s API.


Pros

IaaS cloud infrastructure offers companies and administrators the greatest level of control and power over software and hardware


Cons

The main drawback of an IaaS tool is that you're still responsible for being “technologically” secure


Examples

Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS is overseen by Amazon and is used for on-demand cloud computing and purchased on a recurring subscription basis. AWS helps companies store data and deliver content — in fact, it's helping you read this blog post right now


Microsoft Azure: Microsoft Azure is a cloud-computing IaaS product that allows for building, testing, and managing applications through a network of Microsoft data centers.


Google Cloud: Google Cloud is an IaaS platform that businesses can use to natively run Windows, Oracle, and SAP. Additionally, a business can manage its enterprise database and use AI solutions to increase operational efficiency within the firm.


Comparison Summary

Every type of cloud-computing is different and has pros and cons that vary from the rest. Understanding the structure of each one will help you determine the right approach for your business



Conclusion

Cloud-based software services are convenient and easy to use for most businesses, allowing them to virtually manage their technical infrastructure, apps, and access a wide array of tools without needing to buy and maintain a physical server. These services can boost productivity and efficiency of company.

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