Have you ever thought about renting out anything instead of owning them? Well, Cloud computing works in similar lines with respect to IT world.
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and compute power provided by cloud providers. This involves huge data centers available to many users over the internet. It allows companies to avoid or minimize up-front IT infrastructure costs.
Earlier, almost all the businesses used to have their servers set up on-premises. This means company servers might be sitting in a room a few meters away from an employee’s desk. The company had to source, maintain and manage IT infrastructure all by themselves which involved time, expertise and huge amount of money. Failure of any server, maintaining backups, energy costs of the infrastructure had to be owned solely by the company. Good news is – Every cloud has a Silver lining!
Cloud computing does all the undifferentiated heavy lifting and allows you to focus on the bit that makes you different from your competitors. So, you do not bother racking servers in a server room nor plugging network cables in. Now companies are empowered to invest their time on developing reliable and scalable products.
Businesses can choose to run their applications on public, private or hybrid clouds – depending on their requirements.
Public Cloud: Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider. In this case all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider and these services are accessed and managed by companies using web browser.
Private Cloud: A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization. It offers a more controlled environment in which access to IT resources is more centralized within the business. This model can be physically located on the company’s on-site Datacenter. Although private cloud hosting can be expensive, for larger businesses it can offer a higher level of security and more autonomy to customize the storage, networking and compute components to suit their IT requirements.
Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility and helps optimize your existing infrastructure, security, and compliance.
Main Cloud service providers are Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and IBM Cloud.
There is no ‘one-size-fits all’ approach. Cloud providers offer different types of IT services. Cloud computing technology often falls into 3 main categories,
IAAS – Infrastructure as a Service
PAAS – Platform as a Service
SAAS – Software as a Service
IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service)
This is the most basic service model of cloud computing as it offers the fundamental infrastructure of virtual servers, network, operating systems and data storage drives. It allows flexibility, reliability and scalability that many businesses seek with the cloud and removes the need for hardware in the office.
IaaS is a fully outsourced pay-as-you-go service and is available as a public, private or hybrid infrastructure.
Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. This means you don’t need to manage any of the IT that supports the software – Everything will be taken care of. Just start using the software!
Example: Gmail, Hotmail, Office 365
Let’s understand better using this diagram and an analogy of a transportation mode.
In On-Premises model, company manages all the work. This is similar to buying your own car. You are responsible for any maintenance and driving around. Upgrading means buying a new car.
In IAAS, Cloud provider is responsible for Virtualization, Servers, Storage and Networking. Company manages Application, Data, Middleware and Operating system. In other words, you can say IAAS is like a virtual data center.
This is similar to leasing a car – You choose the car, drive it around. If you like to upgrade, lease a different car.
In PAAS, Cloud provider is responsible for Runtime, Middleware, Operating System, Virtualization, Servers, Storage and Networking. Company manages Application and Data only.
This is similar to booking a Taxi. You set a destination and don’t drive the car. But you are relaxing in the back seat and get off when you reach your destination.
In SAAS, Cloud provider is responsible for everything. This is similar to a Bus – Destination and routes are assigned. You choose a bus depending upon your destination.
Hope you enjoyed reading!