The age of cloud computing and the internet of things has already begun! In fact, more and more tech-driven companies are found evangelizing for the concept and tooting their horns across the globe. So basically if you think that cloud computing is just a small phase or a set and forget venture then you are totally mistaken. I will show you how!
1. What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is the name to reckon with a wide range of benefits in regards to business agility, versatility and cost-effectiveness. Gone are the days when businesses were compelled to store or access programs, apps directly on their hard drive. Today we have cloud technology.
The technology enables its users to work remotely using the internet from a network cloud. Of course, these provider’s data centres are commercially placed, often termed as public cloud. I am sure you must be acquainted with Amazon web services, Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Azure, this is what a public cloud is all about.
By now you must have figured out that the cloud universe is further bifurcated into two segments 1) public cloud and 2) private cloud.
Now imagine you are running a small business and aim to meet regulatory business requirements. During such cases, It is more advisable to seek the private cloud than the public one. Everything right from confidential documents, intellectual property, medical records, financial data, is well-taken care of.
In a nutshell, a public cloud is said when the services are delivered across the organisation using a third-party service provider whereas a private cloud is a dedicated and secured service exclusively to, and accessible only by, a single customer on consumer demand.
Now let us recall those earlier days when the term was coined, I am talking about the early 2000s. What was the scenario back then? Most of the small and mid-sized companies had the issue of buying new computing devices. As a result, computer bureaus started offering rent time on a mainframe. Which in return became a great success.
Slowly and steadily corporate data centres were established where businesses irrespective of their size could store their confidential data. Cloud computing today as a whole underpins an array of services such as Gmail, backing up your media data on the cloud, and so forth. With the rise of tech, it seems that the fundamentals of storing, networking and processing has changed to a great extent.
Further, I would like to discuss some of the most common yet crucial types of cloud computing services available around.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Cloud Computing Models As we are not very much clear with basic cloud concepts, its architecture and pros & cons, let’s check some cloud computing models and associated business values.
Cloud computing models can be mapped with layers of business value pyramid as shown below diagram:
2. What are Cloud Service Models?
By now I am pretty sure that you must be convinced of the fact that cloud computing must be a crucial aspect of your business growth strategy. Here’s how you can make the most of it and satisfy a unique set of your business requirements.
With the time passing by, meeting customers expectations such as offering fast, secured and reliable services have become pretty much daunting. There is an unprecedented burden on organizations to enhance their IT infrastructure which nobody talks about these days.
Fortunately, acquiring extra hardware is not the only option left. We have plenty of cloud-based service providers offering three unique service models.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service) are the three service models that come under cloud computing services. They are also referred to as cloud computing service models or cloud service models.
The three types of cloud models and their characteristics are briefly described below so that it can make your decision for choosing the right cloud service model according to your business requirements a bit easy task:
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
The infrastructure cloud provides cloud storage and computing resources as a service that enable developers and IT organizations to deliver business solutions. IaaS has evolved from the virtual private server (VPS) concept. An IaaS cloud providerIt provides complete flexibility to consumers in choosing desktops, servers or on-demand network access. Consumers can customize the entire infrastructure package by selecting CPU hours, data storage space, bandwidth etc. Rather than buying expensive servers and taking the headache of setting up the physical data centers and underlying infrastructure, IaaS cloud as the most flexible cloud computing model helps businesses in reducing IT CAPEX and OPEX by a big proportion. In simple words, IaaS allows remote management of data center infrastructures. IaaS contains sub-categories: Public, Private and Combination. The Public cloud consists of shared computing resources and networking resources, managed by a cloud service provider. By contrast, the private cloud provides secure user access to your cloud resources and is managed by the organization it serves. The hybrid cloud is maintained by both internal and external cloud providers. IaaS adds value to businesses through Business agility; Cost reduction; Reliability, Scalability; Privacy & governance; and single integrated user experience. Some of the most popular IaaS cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine.
Benefits of Choosing Infrastructure as a Service
- Enhanced performance and save upfront cost
- It comprises intensive information security measures like end-to-end encryption
- Provides scalability and flexibility like none other cloud services
- Keeps your data restored and up-to-date
Basic characteristics of IaaS:
- Computing resources distributed as a service
- Dynamic, on-demand scaling of computing resources
- Utility- based pricing model
- Concurrent users on a single piece of computing hardware
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The next level up in the cloud services pyramid is the Platform cloud. PaaS(Platform as a Service) delivers development/operating systemsenvironments as a service and provides flexible pricing options depending on various business requirements. It includes a set of development tools and cloud services designed to make coding and deploying and testing of the applications and the operating system quickly and efficiently. PaaS is similar to SaaS services except that, rather than being software delivered over the web, it is a cloud platform allowing computing power required for the development/deployment of that software, delivered over the web. Prime examples include Salesforce.com’s Force.com, Azure from Microsoft and Google App Engine.
Benefits of Paas
- Setting up and getting started becomes easy
- Sharing resources across multiple development teams become way easy
- Security and data protection
- In the end, you are bound to receive fruitful and efficient services
- A significant amount of cost is reduced
Basic characteristics of PaaS:
- Single environment to develop, test, deploy, host and maintain applications and IT infrastructure management.
- Web- based UI designing tools to create, modify, test and deploy different UI scenarios
- Multi-tenant architecture facilitating concurrent users
- Load balancing, sensitive data security and failover capabilities for application to be deployed
- OS and Cloud programming APIs to create new apps for the cloud or to cloudify the current apps
- Tools to handle billing and subscription
3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
The tp most layer of the cloud services pyramid is a functional layer or SaaS layer. This type of cloud delivers a single application through the browser to multiple users using a multitenant architecture. With SaaS platforms, a provider sells an application to customers on a license basis, in a “pay-as-you-go” cloud model allowing users to save on physical hardware. On the customer side, they do not have to do upfront investment in servers or software development; on the cloud provider side, with just one app to maintain, costs are low compared to conventional hosting. Salesforce.com(customer relationship management software), SRM, ERP as the most common examples of SaaS applications.
Benefits of Saas
- Easy to use
- Test the software functionality in advance
- The Pay-as-you-go model says it all, you have to pay only for what you are using
- Save a significant amount of money, time and resources
Characteristics of SaaS:
- Centralized web- based access to company and commercial software
- Entire business process shifting to cloud giving superior services to the client
- No hassle of software upgrades and patches as they are managed by the cloud vendor
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow integration with different applications
3. After Understanding the Cloud Service Models – Time to Choose the Right Service Provider?
So before we proceed further, let us get the basics right! Adopting cloud services is said an ideal decision only when: –
- You have launched new business models that might increase ROI
- You want to achieve the best possible outcomes in the least possible time
- Employee Remote working is the only option left
- You wish to create a scalable infrastructure
- You want to reduce IT costs
- You are willing to get the competitive edge
Now, it’s time to delve in further! As I mentioned above cloud computing providers mainly offer three different kinds of models – SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Making a choice about which cloud service model to opt for can be extremely hard to get through especially for beginners as each one is of a kind. Fret not, we can help you to get through without much hassle.
1. Are they well-versed with the current technologies?
Make sure to choose a cloud computing service provider who is well-versed with the current technical environment, workloads and management preferences. Simultaneously, you must also think about the architecture, is it possible to incorporate the same in your existing workflow?
2. Data Security
Ask your cloud service provider to give you access to their data and system security. Any activity taking place is auditable. You must always prefer to check their internal security audit reports. By going through this evidence of remedial actions, you can easily predict their security management policies. Lastly, you must always check whether they are adhered to the standards like the ISO 27000 series or not.
3. Reliability and Performance
I am pretty sure you must be wondering how reliability or performance can be measured? Though this one is quite tricky, you can at least check the performance of the service provider. I am not saying to go through their entire portfolio but at least you can check for the past 6-12 months. Downtime is invincible but the key here is to check how your cloud computing service provider deals with it. Are the monitoring and reporting tools sufficient enough? Moreover, do they have the potential to be integrated into your existing management and reporting systems?
4. In a nutshell,
After the COVID-19 massive hit! The remote work culture has risen to a great extent. As a result, businesses are seeking hard for streamlined collaboration and secured data storage facilities. With cloud computing services and cloud services models, they can work wonders and that too without any extra capital investment.
In addition, make sure to choose the right cloud provider who knows which cloud service model fits you best. Other than that, you must be capable enough to make a decision on the basis of –
- What does the enterprise need?
- Does it deliver accurate flexibility and scalability?
- Can the cloud service model easily collaborate with the existing process, products and services?
So that’s all for now! I am pretty sure you will somehow make way and stand imperative a few years down the line. Good luck!
Please continue reading more on cloud computing at www.tatvasoft.com
Vishal Shah has an extensive understanding of multiple application development frameworks and holds an upper hand with newer trends in order to strive and thrive in the dynamic market. He has nurtured his managerial growth in both technical and business aspects and gives his expertise through his blog posts.
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