Whether you operate a small business or a big organization, you will always need a place to store your data. You can invest in databases, software, and hardware to ensure all your data is well-kept. However, setting up your IT infrastructure is costly, prompting most businesses and companies to look for alternatives.
Here is where cloud computing comes in. Cloud services allow companies to outsource their servers, databases, software, and analytics. The companies then access these cloud services via the internet, saving costs. There are four different types of cloud computing, each with its features and applications.
Let’s look at these cloud services and matters relating to cloud computing to give you the full picture.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a technology that allows users to access computing resources over the internet. The computer services outsourced include databases, storage, servers, software, analytics, and networking.
Cloud computing offers flexibility and economies of scale, with users only paying for the services they use. Generally, cloud computing significantly reduces a firm’s operating costs, thus ensuring that it runs its resources more efficiently.
What are the Different Types of Cloud Computing Services?
Which cloud service will serve your business best? Understanding the different types of cloud services is crucial before choosing the ideal one for your business. These cloud services replace physical on-site infrastructure with cloud computing infrastructure.
Let us examine the four types of cloud services.
SaaS is a cloud service in which the user gets a software application. The service provider is the one in charge of managing the application. Users can access SaaS apps as either a mobile application or a web application through an internet browser.
The user controls all software updates, bug fixes, and other maintenance procedures, with access through an API or dashboard. Since SaaS apps have web applications, users can access them from any computer without installing them.
SaaS is easy to use whether you are tech-savvy or not. The setup process also takes a short time. The model is also less costly and easy to run regardless of the size of the organization using it. The downside of SaaS is that it heavily relies on the internet, forcing the user to invest in a reliable internet source. Additionally, the service needs proper data protection protocols, making it quite risky for its users.
In PaaS, the service provider manages the application platform’s software and hardware. On the other hand, the user ensures the app runs well while providing the data the app needs to run. PaaS offers developers and programmers a shared platform while eliminating the need to own their infrastructure.
PaaS enables users to save significantly on the cost of software licensing and web development tools. However, PaaS also has its downsides. Firstly, users may encounter runtime problems with the applications. Some programming languages may also be incompatible with the cloud service, making it a problem if you are accustomed to these languages. PaaS lacks customization options for legacy systems, prompting users to spend more on fixing the issue.
FaaS is a serverless cloud service that focuses on providing specific functionalities. The model doesn’t require the user to manage the servers and infrastructure. The provider manages all maintenance and management, with the user only using the infrastructure for specific functions.
This event-based service enables users to efficiently run containers and application codes responding to requests and events. Since you only pay for your use, the model saves on costs. Users also get to enjoy automatic function scaling both up and down.
With IaaS, the cloud service provider manages the whole infrastructure for you using the internet. This infrastructure includes servers, virtualization, data stored, and the network. You can access this infrastructure using an API/dashboard at a price.
The cloud service provider will ensure they run smoothly in case of hardware issues, repairs, and outages. The user is only in charge of managing whatever will be stored in the cloud service. Most cloud storage providers use this model.
Since IaaS significantly reduces the user’s input in managing the infrastructure, users need to exercise due diligence before picking a specific service since the security and workability of your infrastructure greatly depend on the service provider. Users should also only adopt this model when dealing with extensive data since it comes at a higher cost than other cloud services.
Deployment Methods in Cloud Computing
There are four main categories of cloud computing services with four subtypes. The four primary subdivisions of cloud computing are public, private, multi-cloud, and hybrid.
They might be almost similar, but they are not the same and can’t be used to address the same issue. Knowing the difference helps you understand each cloud service’s effects on your company.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
In public cloud computing, the IT infrastructure used in building the cloud computing environment is not the end user. Some prominent companies, such as Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud, are renowned for being public cloud providers.
Traditionally, public cloud services have operated off-site, but today’s public cloud providers are beginning to bring cloud services to clients’ on-site data centers. The disparities in ownership and geography are, therefore, no longer critical. Once the environments are divided and distributed among many tenants, all clouds become public clouds. Since some cloud service providers offer their services for free, pricing models are no longer a requirement.
The private cloud environment is dedicated to a single user or group of users. It runs through the user’s firewall. All clouds become private when the IT infrastructure is dedicated to one client with remote access.
Private cloud computing does not need to be powered by on-site IT equipment. It can be located in the company’s data centers. Outsourcing the service by paying third parties to provide the service by hosting the cloud is an option. A private cloud uses a private network to maintain the infrastructure and services.
Multi clouds share some similarities with the Hybrid cloud. However, some distinct features set it apart from the latter. Multi-cloud uses a mix-and-match arrangement of cloud services customized to specific requirements from different providers. It’s a hybrid cloud technology that uses multiple public cloud infrastructures.
Multi-cloud has its advantages. Relying on one cloud service alone can be a challenge, especially when you experience cloud data center outages. Such inconveniences cause a stoppage of work operations, especially when essential apps are involved. Using multiple cloud services guarantees continuous operations and low risks of downtime.
Hybrid clouds allow sharing of data and applications by combining private and public clouds. This cloud uses state-of-the-art technology to enable data movement between public and private clouds, giving your business flexibility. It optimizes your security and infrastructure in the long run.
Hybrid clouds vary depending on features. The common thing about them is that data moves from secure private clouds to less secure public cloud networks in a computing environment. The data and compliance are usually put at risk.
To deal with this issue, regulations such as GDPR are implemented to ensure that people are more conscious and abide by the law. Businesses should take extra measures to ensure they have frequent backups of crucial data.
Uses of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has grown popular and is currently employed in many ways. Let us look at some of the uses of cloud computing.
- Cloud computing enables users to create cloud-based applications by taking advantage of several technologies and approaches. With cloud computing, you can use containers, microservices architecture, Kubernetes, and DevOps.
- By transferring data to the cloud, users can store, back up, and recover their data, all at an affordable cost. The data being on the internet means it can be readily accessed from any device.
- Cloud computing lets users stream videos and audio easily through Spotify and YouTube.
- Cloud computing is used to deliver software on demand. SaaS enables users to access any software upon request.
- Cloud computing makes it easy to test and build applications thanks to its extensive library of cloud infrastructure that can readily be scaled up and down.
- When data is stored in the cloud, users across different departments can access and analyze it.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing revolutionized how businesses view IT resources. With new information coming to light, companies have incorporated cloud computing in different departments. But why is this the case? Let’s take a look at the reasons organizations are adopting cloud computing.
The majority of cloud computing services operate on self-service or demand of data. You can get different information instantly at the press of a button. Communication is vital in running a business, and having instant access gives you an edge. The speed at which you get computing resources in minutes gives you flexibility and reduces pressure on capacity planning.
Cloud computing reduces the costs and expenses related to the buying and maintenance of hardware. The funds that would have been used to cover these capital expenditures can be directed elsewhere in the business. Choosing the cloud relieves the workforce needed to manage IT infrastructure.
Most cloud providers use high-end encryption to secure your data. They have the necessary measures to protect your apps and infrastructure from potential threats. You have an easier time carrying out your business operations without the threat of being hacked or having data breaches.
Cloud computing is reliable because data can be backed up on several redundant sites. There is less risk of losing business data with multiple backups provided by the companies. This ensures continuity in operations with data always available.
Cloud computing services run on a global network with secure data centers. The hardware is regularly updated to the latest available versions for efficient functioning. You get the best performance with reduced network latency, especially for large corporations.
In-house data centers frequently require a lot of installations, hardware configuration, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management tasks. Most of these tasks are no longer required thanks to cloud computing, freeing up IT teams’ time to focus on achieving more important business objectives.
Challenges Associated with Cloud Computing
Despite its many benefits, cloud computing has a long list of challenges. Let us examine some of them.
Since data is stored and processed by a third-party vendor, security risks exist. Data stored online is vulnerable to hackers trying to access it without authorization. We don’t mean that cloud services are entirely insecure — some providers have notable security protocols that ensure their user’s data is always safe.
Lack of Expertise
Before a firm can use cloud services, it must ensure its staff is well-equipped with the skills to run and manage cloud computing tools and services. Cloud tools and services are also constantly improved, creating the need to adjust accordingly as a company.
Relies on Internet Connectivity
Cloud services entirely depend on high-speed internet to work. The cost of fast internet might be expensive for small businesses, thus creating a problem.
Impact on Business Performance
When a business uses cloud services, its performance greatly depends on the vendor since they handle all business data. This dependence means that the choice of service determines how your business will perform, and if you go for a bad one, your performance will be negatively impacted.
Hybrid Cloud is a Complex
Cloud computing is highly complex, especially in the case of a hybrid cloud. Since the deployment method entails a mix of several cloud service providers, private and public clouds, it is complex to integrate into your business setting.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Type of Cloud Service
Once you know the types of cloud services, you should pick one. Some key factors should be considered before settling for a particular cloud service. Let’s take a look at these factors below.
The ease of deployment and maintenance is very crucial. The provider must give you easy ways to deploy and maintain the service. Automatic updates save time and allow the organization to build a connection quickly.
The cloud service provider must be able to give you technical support in case you run into issues. They should be able to track data and make changes and necessary updates to ensure smooth running. Running round the clock without any latency and notifications Incase of any changes ensures no downtime.
A comprehensive security infrastructure is standard for every cloud service. Policies and measures should be implemented to restrict data access and possible hacking of the systems. Application and hardware changes should be authorized. This is mainly done through user authentication.
Cost of Service
The cloud service option you go for is affected by your budget. Some companies charge a hefty price for their services. Expensive billing only sometimes guarantees excellent performance. Be sure to monitor the service you’re using to avoid unexpected billings.
Compliance with Statutory Requirements
Go for a service provider that guarantees integrity in customer data. The provider should be able to ensure compliance with all legal requirements. This is validated by a third-party audit, which also guarantees your safety.
Incorporating cloud computing in your business is a very bold step towards success. When properly used, cloud services save time and costs making your business succeed even more. Regarding personal use, cloud services also ensure you can readily access your data from any device regardless of your location.
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