Cloud computing enables companies to consume compute resources as a utility — just like electricity — rather than having to build and maintain computing infrastructures in-house.
Cloud computing promises several attractive benefits for businesses and end users. Three of the main benefits of cloud computing include:
- Self-service provisioning: End users can spin up computing resources for almost any type of workload on-demand.
• Elasticity: Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and then scale down again as demands decrease.
• Pay per use: Computing resources are measured at a granular level, allowing users to pay only for the resources and workloads they use.
Cloud computing services can be private, public or hybrid.
Private cloud services are delivered from a business’ data center to internal users. This model offers versatility and convenience, while preserving management, control and security. Internal customers may or may not be billed for services through IT chargeback.
In the public cloud model, a third-party provider delivers the cloud service over the Internet. Public cloud services are sold on-demand, typically by the minute or the hour. Customers only pay for the CPU cycles, storage or bandwidth they consume. Leading public cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM/SoftLayer and Google Compute Engine.
Cloud computing is providing developers and IT departments with the ability to focus on what matters most and avoid undifferentiated work like procurement, maintenance, and capacity planning. As cloud computing has grown in popularity, several different models and deployment strategies have emerged to help meet specific needs of different users. Each type of cloud service, and deployment method, provides you with different levels of control, flexibility, and management. Understanding the differences between Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service, as well as what deployment strategies you can use, can help you decide what set of services is right for your needs.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
Infrastructure as a Service, sometimes abbreviated as IaaS, contains the basic building blocks for cloud IT and typically provide access to networking features, computers (virtual or on dedicated hardware), and data storage space. Infrastructure as a Service provides you with the highest level of flexibility and management control over your IT resources and is most similar to existing IT resources that many IT departments and developers are familiar with today.
Platform as a Service (PaaS):
Platforms as a service remove the need for organizations to manage the underlying infrastructure (usually hardware and operating systems) and allow you to focus on the deployment and management of your applications. This helps you be more efficient as you don’t need to worry about resource procurement, capacity planning, software maintenance, patching, or any of the other undifferentiated heavy lifting involved in running your application.