The Best Types Of Cloud Computing Models: Saas, Paas, And Iaas
The term cloud computing is interesting, it is really popular, yet hard to understand for the average person.
If you don’t know the meaning of cloud computing I’ll explain it in simple terms.
What Is Cloud Computing in Simple Terms?
Back in the days, if you want to create a web application and display it on the web, you would need to buy a hardware server.
A server is crucial for running your web pages so that when someone access your site from their computer using a browser, a request can be sent to your server and return the web page back to the user’s browser.
However, buying these servers were costly and ineffective.
Because if for example, you only need one and half servers to provide the computing power, you would still need to purchase two servers.
These were extremely expensive for most people who now have access to affordable computing power through cloud services.
Cloud computing removes the need to buy physical servers by providing these services over the web.
Now, what exactly is cloud computing?.
Cloud computing is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications.
Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation. Users can easily access their personal files on any computer.
This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.
In simple terms, cloud computing consists of shared computing resources that are virtualized and accessed as a service through an API.
The cloud enables users in an organization to run applications by deploying them to a virtual datacenter. The physical resources may reside in a number of locations inside and outside of an organization on local hardware.
Cloud computing resources are offered as a service on an as needed basis and delivered by IP-based connectivity, providing highly scalable, reliable on-demand services with agile management capabilities.
How Do Companies Make Money With Cloud Computing?
They make money by charging users for accessing it on the internet for computing power and data storage on their servers.
This is a significant innovation because it is exponentially cheaper and more efficient for anyone to run a web application.
Thus, barriers to entry in the internet space have substantially diminished.
The three best types of cloud computing models:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) are just fancy classification terms that describe how low-level these services are.
In other words how much granular control you have over your server and data storage systems and applications.
IaaS is the delivery of services such as hardware, software, storage, networking, data center, and various utility software elements on request.
Both public and private versions of IaaS exist.
In the public IaaS, the user needs a simple sign-up mechanism to acquire resources. When users no longer need the resources, they simply de-provision them.
In private IaaS, the IT organization creates an infrastructure designed to provide
resources on demand to internal users and sometimes partners.
IaaS is the fundamental element used by other cloud models. Some customers bring their own tools and software to create applications.
IaaS can serve two purposes:
- It can be a highly practical solution for companies that want access to resources in an on-demand manner.
- It can also be used effectively to augment data center services, either to increase capacity when needed to replace aging hardware with cloud-based services such as advanced analytics.
IaaS allows businesses to freely experiment with new innovative software approaches without impacting the budget.
IaaS provides compute power and storage services on demand. Instead of buying and installing the required resources in their traditional data center, companies rent these required resources as needed. This rental model can be implemented behind a company’s firewall.
A PaaS, like heroku or google app engine, allows you to develop your own web application and deploy it to their servers but already has the specific server and data storage settings implemented for you.
This is a nice option for those who want to quickly deploy to the web and have little to no experience in systems administration.
PaaS is a mechanism for combining IaaS with an abstracted set of middleware services, software development, and also deployment tools that allows organizations to have a consistent way to create and deploy applications on a cloud environment.
A PaaS environment supports coordination between the developer and the operations organization, typically called DevOps.
It offers a consistent set of programming and middleware services that ensures developers have a well-tested and well-integrated way to create applications in a cloud environment. A PaaS requires an infrastructure service.
A primary benefit of a PaaS environment is that developers don’t have to be concerned with some of the lower-level details of the environment. PaaS vendors create a managed environment that brings together a combination of components that would’ve been managed separately in a traditional development environment.
Services integrated in a PaaS environment include middleware, operating systems, and development and deployment services to support software development and delivery.
Some enterprises also become PaaS providers to their own internal developers. These organizations follow a similar process of applying best practices to standardize the services developers require to develop and deploy applications.
The goal of the PaaS provider is to create an abstracted and repeatable process for the creation and deployment of high-quality applications. These applications are designed to be implemented in public or private cloud environments.
The benefits to using PaaS include the following:
- Improving the development life cycle: Effectively managing the application development life cycle can be challenging. For example, teams may be in different locations, with different objectives, and working on different platforms.
- Eliminating the installation and operational burden from an organization: Traditionally, when a new application server is introduced into an organization, IT must make sure that the middleware can access other services that are required to run that application.
- Implementing standardization: PaaS enables development professionals and IT operations professionals to use the same services on the same platform. This approach takes away much of the misunderstanding that happens when the two teams with different responsibilities aren’t in sync.
- Having ease of service provisioning: A PaaS provides easy provisioning of development services including build, test, and repository services to help get rid of gridlocks associated with non-standard environments. This in turn improves efficiency, reduces errors, and ensures consistency in the management of the development life cycle.
Lastly, SaaS is pretty much everything else.
Salesforce is an example of a SaaS for businesses, while web apps like Quora or Twitter could certainly be classified as SaaS for consumers.
SaaS is essentially access to a web application that allows you to carry out certain functions without having to code it up yourself.
I think this is where lots of the confusion surrounding whether cloud computing is truly innovative stems from.
Generally, one will not consider SaaS as an innovation in the last decade, it’s been around longer than that.
However, it’s not cloud computing as a broad term.
But rather specific subsections of cloud computing, particularly PaaS and IaaS, that have revolutionized the online business landscape in the past decade.
Cloud computing is in different forms:
- Public Clouds – The cloud infrastructure is available to the general public and it is the organization that sells and owns cloud services.
- Private Clouds – The cloud infrastructure operates solely for an organization. It is the organization or a third party that manages and may exist on premise or off premise
- Hybrid Clouds – The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized technology that enables data and application portability.
In general, the cloud, similar to it’s namesake of the cumulus type is fluid and can easily expand and contract.
This elasticity means that users can request additional resources on demand and just as easily release those resources when they’re no longer important.
This elasticity is one of the main reasons why individuals, businesses, and IT users are moving to the cloud.
In the traditional data center it has always been possible to add and release resources.
However, this process couldn’t be done in an automated manner.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has numerous benefits:
- Reduced Cost – Cloud technology is paid incrementally, saving organizations money.
- Increased Storage – Organizations can store more data than on private computer systems.
- Highly Automated – No longer do IT personnel need to worry about keeping software up to date.
- Flexibility – Cloud computing offers much more flexibility than past computing methods.
- More Mobility – Employees can access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desks.
- Allows IT to Shift Focus – No longer having to worry about constant server updates and other computing issues, government organizations will be free to concentrate on innovation.
Uses of Cloud Computing
Here are some of the uses of cloud computing.
1. Cloud Office Suites
Office suites are easily accessible through web browsers, you can use it regardless of the operating system. No need to install the packages on local devices, software versions are updated regularly by the service provider. Cloud office suite gives you the opportunity to share documents and files. The most popular office suites are Google Apps for work, Microsoft office 365 and Zoho docs.
2. Cloud Storage Services
Allows companies to avoid purchasing additional hardware for data storage, maintenance in order to prevent data loss, and regular activities in data backup. These cloud services enable data sharing between company’s employees as well as between company and it’s partners. Among the most popular cloud storage services are dropbox, google drive and onedrive.
3. Cloud Business Information Systems
Today business information systems are an extremely critical factor that provides the necessary information for decision-making. Companies implement different software applications from traditional programs to integrated software solutions like CRM, ERP, and BI. Information systems are expensive which is a large investment for companies and needs proper IT infrastructure. More vendors offer cloud based versions of business information systems. Cloud solutions allow transforming the big investment cost into operating expenses, which is suitable for small and medium-sized companies and start-ups.
Cloud technologies are important part of business because they have the potential for flexibility, speed and efficiency of all business processes and activities.
The transfer of business in clouds empowers companies to achieve significant economic benefits without having to invest in building their own IT infrastructure.
Cloud computing should not be regarded only as a means of achieving greater savings in terms of hardware and software.
They are a prerequisite for building a strategy for business development that transforms the overall activity of companies and will lead to effectiveness and flexibility.
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