What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, VoIP, databases, networking, software, analytics, and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”). Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you’re billed for water or electricity at home.
Types of Cloud Services
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) – The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis. Platform as a service (PaaS) – Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) refers to cloud computing services that 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. Software as a service (SaaS) – Software-as-a-service (SaaS) 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. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.
Uses for Cloud Computing
- Create new apps and services
- Store, back up, and recover data
- Hosted email services
- Document editing software
- Host websites and blogs
- Stream audio and video
- Deliver software on demand
- Analyze data for patterns and make predictions
How does Cloud Computing help organizations?
Cost- Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software, setting up and running on-site datacenters—the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, and the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It adds up fast. Speed- Most cloud computing services are provided self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with a few clicks of a mouse, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning. Scalability- Cloud computing service benefits include the ability to “scale elastically”. That means, delivering the right amount of IT resources (for example: more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth) right when it’s needed, and from the right geographic location. Productivity- On-site datacenters typically require a lot of “racking and stacking”—hardware set up, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks and the associated extra expenses. Performance- The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacenters, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale. Reliability- Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and less expensive, because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
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