Cloud computing is a concept that is rapidly taking the web by storm. It is a way for companies to offer services that are usually only available with a significant investment of time and money.
For example, when running your web server, all of your web pages and data reside on your own computer, and the cost to operate is usually prohibitive. In cloud computing, companies rent services from a network-connected computer that can operate on several different physical servers. The server will usually host one or more web servers to which the client company or customer’s application can connect.
As part of this shift to the cloud, organizations are increasingly adopting software-as-a-service solutions to provide a cloud-based version of their application and data. This software-as-a-service solution offers many benefits, including cost efficiency, agility, and a wide deployment model.
The agility is provided by leveraging the elasticity of the cloud, where services can be added or removed as needed. The comprehensive deployment model may come from offering a service that is accessible over a wide area network (e.g., the Internet).
The Three Service Models of Cloud Computing
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly select networking components (e.g., firewalls).
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the configuration settings for the application.
The Benefits of using Cloud Computing
When you host your own web server, you would have to manage the server, hardware, and software needed. With cloud computing, all of these problems are eliminated. You pay for only what you need, and you can scale your web page hosting service as your needs and your budget grow. This concept allows the host to pay for the resources that are actually used. The web hosting company also provides you with all the necessary equipment, support, as well as maintenance on the hardware and software that you need for your website hosting service.
Cloud computing improves collaboration by eliminating the need to physically access data. As the number of applications that use cloud computing continues to grow, the amount of data that these applications generate will continue to increase as well.
Cloud computing may include the provision of a software application over a network, such as the Internet. The cloud computing model includes various advantages, such as on-demand self-service, rapid resource provisioning, resource pooling, paid services, multi-tenancy, and data isolation.
Cloud computing environments may include various systems, networks, and components associated with one or more users and the management and coordination of information associated with those users. Such information may include documents, emails, attachments, presentations, calendar entries, and similar information.
The management and coordination of information are often performed following information standards or protocols, such as a document management protocol. For example, an information standard or protocol may define one or more data fields, such as subject matter, authors, recipient(s), and the like.
Reduced Business Costs
Cost savings may result from accessing the cloud service provider’s infrastructure rather than owning, maintaining, and running the resources required to run a data centre. Cloud computing enables businesses to downsize their own data centres.
By utilising a cloud service, you may reduce the number of servers you purchase, the amount of software you instal, and the number of employees required to maintain and administer all of this infrastructure. Businesses that leverage cloud computing may drastically lower the cost of IT operations without sacrificing functionality.
Business Performance Goes Up
With cloud computing, business operations are handled by the service provider’s infrastructure, which results in lower costs and a better, more responsive service. With these improvements, you benefit from an expanded range of services and increased flexibility, as the service provider takes care of most administrative tasks. These benefits are achieved in two ways:
Business processes can be distributed to multiple servers in the cloud, resulting in lower costs instead of maintaining a separate server for each business process.
Scalability of cloud services refers to the ability of a system to handle increased demand without negatively impacting performance. To achieve scalability, cloud providers must carefully design their systems to handle sudden increases in traffic or data. This can be a challenge, but if done correctly, can result in a highly scalable system that can meet the needs of even the most demanding users.