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Key Concepts of Cloud Computing

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the process of delivering on-demand IT services and infrastructure via the internet. These virtual services can include data analytics, databases, applications, networking, servers, and storage. This method of service delivery is booming in popularity because it provides ease of scalability, lower costs, and greater flexibility to end users.

Because most cloud models allow you to pay only for the resources you use, it’s a cost-effective way to incorporate IT into a business without large upfront expenses.

Top Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cost savings: As mentioned above, most users cite cost reductions as a top benefit of cloud computing. The cloud eliminates or reduces the need to invest in expensive on-premises hardware.

Flexibility: Cloud computing also offers greater flexibility versus traditional on-premises IT infrastructure. The cloud model allows businesses to provision new resources as they need them and adjust resources on the fly.

Scalability: Cloud computing is highly scalable, allowing organizations to scale their usage up or down as their needs change.

Agility: Cloud computing leads to greater agility as enterprises become more responsive to changes in market conditions and can quickly roll out new applications and services.

Improved security: Most cloud providers offer a more secure environment than the average SME can create and maintain on their own. With dedicated and experienced security professionals on staff, your average cloud service provider will have strict, robust cybersecurity policies and tools in place.

Easy collaboration: Cloud computing caught the public eye by improving productivity and collaboration among users. Remote work, document sharing, and file syncing are all facilitated by the cloud.

Disaster recovery: Many modern Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) systems are powered by the cloud. Streaming backup data to offsite cloud data centers is not only more cost-effective, but also safer when it comes to disaster response planning.

Environmental benefits: As enterprises shift from in-house hardware to cloud-based services, their carbon footprints can drop considerably.

Cloud Computing Services

Cloud computing services can be broken down into many categories. Three of the most popular high-level service types are:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This model allows users to rent IT infrastructure rather than investing in servers and other hardware for their office. IaaS includes the essentials of networking and IT infrastructure such as storage, networking, and servers.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS allows users to develop, run, and manage applications on a cloud-based platform. PaaS providers deliver everything that is needed to build and run an application, such as a web server, database, and dev tools.

Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS is the model for delivering a cloud-based software application. SaaS applications are usually accessed through a web browser, and customers do not need to install or manage the software on their own systems. Popular SaaS applications include Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, most email systems, and Hubspot.

Cloud computing services are deployed in three different ways (or combinations thereof):

Public cloud: The public cloud delivers services over the public Internet. Generally speaking, widely-used consumer SaaS products are accessed through public cloud. Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers, such as AWS, Azure, and Technolify.

Private cloud: The private cloud delivers services over a private network that is owned and operated by an enterprise. These can be either on-premises or off-premises. Some cloud service providers can help MSPs and enterprises set up their own private cloud within a remote data center.

Hybrid cloud: The hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that works over a combination of public and private networks. Hybrid clouds use varying mixtures of on-premises and third-party resources.

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