Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user.
Organizations from across all industries and sizes have been using the cloud to access IT systems and software resources. In fact, according to statistics, the global cloud computing market is anticipated to reach $623.3 billion by 2023. With the implementation of cloud computing services, businesses can access databases, analytics, and software with ease and flexibility. It also allows for quick innovation and maximized capabilities.
What is the Cloud and Cloud Computing?
The cloud refers to software tools and services that operate with the use of the Internet or web browser. This is in contrast to legacy systems that only run locally on a computer. Therefore, cloud computing is when services, such as data storage, networking, and servers, are delivered through the Internet. With cloud computing, users can store files on a remote database, rather than on a hard drive or storage tool. To access the database, the person only needs a device that is connected to the web.
Different Types of Clouds
There are 4 main types of clouds that an organization can utilize.
Companies, such as Amazon and Google, are known for their public clouds. This type of cloud is known for providing large storage space. Business teams will typically use a public cloud for collaborative projects or software development. Many platforms will also let users pay for more capacity whenever they need it, allowing for scalability.
Private CloudSimilar to public cloud storage, private clouds allow users to access, use, and cache data in the cloud remotely. However, private cloud infrastructure is usually protected behind a firewall, which is a security system that tracks and controls network traffic. This means only authorized people can use these computing resources. Companies that have strict regulatory standards will prefer private clouds to protect their information and data.
Hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds. They are engineered to allow people to use and store data on both platforms seamlessly.
A community cloud is a private cloud that works similarly to a public cloud. They are collaborative and enable various authorized organizations to share and work on the same applications. Generally, businesses that are from the same industry but share common concerns over security or compliance will use community clouds. For example, healthcare providers and government agencies often implement community clouds in their operations.
Types of Cloud Computing Services
Cloud providers will typically offer various computing services.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is a service model that builds the foundation for a business’s cloud technology. Infrastructure as a Service is considered the most flexible and all-inclusive cloud application because it provides a multitude of resources. This includes on-demand networking, data storage, and processing power. Iaas also does not require hardware investments since these resources are provided by the platform. People that want a cost-efficient and scalable cloud solution will often turn to IaaS.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as Service is considered to be the advanced version of Infrastructure as a Service. PaaS provides an IT structure, computing platform, and solution stack. It also helps non-expert users with creating custom apps on the web without any concern for data storage and management. Additionally, PaaS offers hosting solutions, network access, and server software.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
The computing service, SaaS, consolidates the different services that IaaS and PaaS provide. Software as a Service caters to diverse business functions, such as business analytics, automation, and customer management. SaaS also offers browser-based software apps that are user-friendly, reducing the need for IT specialists, laborious set-up, and maintenance. This is the most common cloud computing service, in which people often use SaaS apps, like Gmail and Slack.
Function as a Service (FaaS)
Function as a Service is a relatively new form of cloud computing. The platform allows software developers to create apps without the need for a server. This helps increase efficiency and gives specialists the ability to focus on developing applications. Some examples of FaaS solutions include Google Cloud Function and Microsoft Azure Functions.
In Conclusion – Cloud Computing
- The cloud refers to software systems and services that can run on the Internet or a web browser, such as Google Chrome and Safari.
- Cloud computing is the provision of on-demand computer system services, such as data storage, networking, intelligence, and analytics.
- Many companies are implementing cloud applications into their operations, in which the global cloud computing market is anticipated to reach $623.3 billion by 2023.
- The 4 types of cloud are public, private, hybrid, and community.
- The 4 core forms of cloud computing are Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, and Function as a Service.