Cloud computing has become a staple for most businesses. It allows them a way to collaborate with others, get their work done, and ensure the data is safe and secure the whole time. Cloud computing will typically come with three main types of cloud services available. Depending on the users’ needs, any service can be used on its own or combined with someone else. The three main types of cloud services that you can use include the following:
Software as a Service
This type of cloud service goes by several different names including on-demand software and SaaS. Users will hire the software at regular intervals when needed, rather than purchasing the full license of the software. This also allows them to utilize the software through their chosen internet browser, instead of having to download the cloud right onto their system.
This kind of software allows the company to grow quickly, no matter what industry they are in. for example, one industry that seems to thrive with this kind of system is customer relationship management.
When you choose this service model, all the applications that are offered in the cloud will be given as a service anytime it is requested. It is a single time of the service running on a remote computer “in the cloud”. It will not be owned or operated by the individual company itself. The business will rely on a third-party to handle the operations and security.
These services are easy to hook up with. For example, Google Docs is a simple and well-known option available through SaaS. You will rely on Google to maintain this service and to hold all of the documents, pictures, and files that you add to the drive. You will not need to host this on your computer and can simply get onto a web browser to do your work and store it when done.
Some examples of SaaS that you may be familiar with include:
- Google Docs
Platform as a Service
The second option we can choose when picking a cloud-based service is known as Platform as a Service or PaaS. This will provide a computer platform to any user who wishes to work on cloud computing. It can also be a good link between the other services you receive in SaaS and IaaS.
When we look towards a normal computer, we will see that it requires a computer platform, one that has the framework for all necessary software and the hardware in place. This platform will form the necessary collaboration of the software and hardware. For example, the coding language of the computer needs to work with the operating system and everything has to work with the hardware to turn the computer on. This is how the computer works.
Now, we come into some situations with cloud computing that a real computer is not present. In this case, the platform will be any service that will provide the user with everything they need to compose that computing platform. This leads us to some of the facilities that the PaaS provides, including hosting, implementing, testing and application developing, and even designing the application.
This is just the start though. Providers who offer PaaS will often include more features that help a developer design, test, implement, manage, and then run these applications as well. All of these can be set up to be used by either an individual who wants to experiment and try something new or businesses that need it to better provide for their customers. All these features make the PaaS an attractive choice to use.
Keep in mind with this one that PaaS and the model it brings is another level above the SaaS that we talked about above. It will provide all the hardware, network, and even the operating system that a customer needs. The customer can step in and design their own software and applications thanks to this system, which is not possible with SaaS.
Some examples of PaaS that you may be familiar with would include:
- App Engine
Infrastructure as a Service
And the third type of cloud service we can focus on is known as IaaS. This is similar to the other two options we discussed above, but IaaS focuses more on providing a virtualized platform for the customer to work with. The process of hardware virtualization shows the users the abstract parts of the process, rather than any of the physical functions. When this happens, we get a “hypervisor” or a “virtual machine monitor”. This basically means that we get an interface as a service showing up here.
Several infrastructures are found when we use this service. For example, a customer may be able to work with data center space, network devices, servers, and software. The cost will depend on how much activity the customer uses with the service. This means if they use the service often, they will need to pay more. If they barely use the service, their cost will reflect this.
Many companies like this option because it makes storage and application development easier. They can choose the number of services they want to use, depending on their type of business, and the costs are often more affordable for their needs compared to using the other cloud-based services and maintaining the platform on their end. AWS is a good example of Infrastructure as a service.
A few examples you may be familiar with concerning IaaS include:
- Go Grid
No matter what type of business you run, it is likely you will need to rely on cloud computing at some point. Whether you use it often or only occasionally, many options will ensure you get things done. All three of these cloud services provide protection, options, and everything you need to be successful, it often depends on what you hope to get out of the service. Research each of these and consider your own projects to make it easier to choose the right one.