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Cloud computing is the delivery of IT resources over the Internet (or, in ‘the cloud’).
A company can essentially rent computing infrastructure, frameworks or software from a cloud service provider. Meaning that you don’t need to build, own or maintain it yourself.
Cloud computing services tend to be offered on an as-needed basis, with pay-as-you-go pricing models.
There are different types of cloud computing services, which are split into three categories:
Each model offers a different level of access, and therefore, control.
Companies of all different sizes and types use cloud computing for software development, data backup, email, applications, disaster recovery, and more. Many SMEs will use more than one type of cloud service and most large companies will use a mixture of all three.
Let’s take a closer look into SaaS, PaaS and IaaS cloud computing services…
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. But what does that mean exactly?
Well, it’s a cloud-based software which is hosted by another company (the cloud service provider). It’s delivered to the user via ‘the cloud’, usually on a subscription basis. It’s managed fully by the cloud service provider, so the software is ready to use by the company or end user.
SaaS is the most commonly used of all three cloud computing services. It allows businesses to deliver products to end users, over the Internet. These products can be website applications or downloadable software that is installed on the user’s PC or mobile device.
Some SaaS solutions include Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, Salesforce and Google Workspace.
Benefits of SaaS include:
PaaS stands for Platform as a Service and is usually used by developers. This type of cloud computing service involves the provision of a ready-to-use secure framework for developers to build, run, maintain and manage their own applications.
So, rather than delivering software in the cloud, PaaS provides the platform for businesses to create their own application or software.
The most common example of PaaS cloud computing is Google App Engine, which is used by developers to build web applications in data centres that are managed by Google.
Other examples include Windows Azure and OpenShift.
Benefits of PaaS include:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the most flexible cloud computing service, in terms of company control over IT resources. The cloud service provider gives you access to networks, data storage and operating systems.
So, the company won’t need to purchase hardware or host and manage servers onsite. By using IaaS, you can access and manage your data infrastructure in the cloud, usually through an API. You have full control over the platform and the application(s) that you run on it.
Microsoft Azure is a good example of IaaS cloud computing. It allows businesses to manage applications through Microsoft data centres.
More examples of IaaS include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace and Google Compute Engine (GCE).
IaaS cloud computing come with several benefits:
In case you’re still wondering what the difference is between the three types of cloud computing services, here’s a quick summary:
With IaaS, the cloud service provider manages the infrastructure, whilst the user manages the platform and software/ applications that are running on that platform.
With PaaS, the service provider manages the infrastructure and the platform, so the user only manages the software.
With SaaS, the service provider manages the infrastructure, the platform and the software, and the user doesn’t need to manage anything.
As a cloud service provider, we understand the differing needs of our clients. Some companies prefer to have more control over their IT resources, some would rather outsource that responsibility. We work with SaaS, PaaS and IaaS models, so we can discuss your needs and advise you on the best cloud computing option for you. Get in touch with us for a chat!