With so many types of cloud, it is difficult to choose a cloud computing option. Understand the differences and identify which one best meets your need!
The emergence of new demands from companies and the popularity of cloud computing have given rise to different models and strategies for deploying services. For each need, different levels of management, flexibility, and control are available to the contractor. Better understand the different types of cloud computing.
Types of Cloud Computing
For you to make the right decision when hiring a cloud computing service, it is important to understand the differences between three concepts: infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service. Only then will you be able to identify which solution best meets your needs.
Infrastructure as a Service: What is IaaS?
Infrastructure as a service (also called Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS) provides the basic IT components for Internet access and typically provides access (virtual or dedicated hardware) to network and computer resources and space for Data storage.
Infrastructure as a Service provides the highest level of flexibility and management control over your IT resources. Maintenance is smooth because it closely resembles today’s IT resources. In other words, many professionals already work in a similar way in IT departments around the world.
In the infrastructure as a service model (Infrastructure as a service, or simply IaaS), a third party provides hardware, software, servers, storage, and other infrastructure components for your company.
The company hired to provide the IaaS may also be responsible for the applications and tasks related to maintenance, backup, and redundancy, among others.
One of the great benefits of hiring IaaS cloud computing is its high scalability and the possibility of on-demand adjustments. If your application may experience temporary access overloads, for example, an IaaS platform is highly recommended.
Typically, IaaS services are pay-as-you-go (hourly, weekly, or monthly). Other providers charge for the space used. In any case, this type of contract allows your company to save money, as it does not have to spend on expensive and unnecessary infrastructure or equipment. Among the companies offering cloud computing are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace Open Cloud, and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
Platform as a Service: What is PaaS
Platform as a service (or PaaS, for “Platform as a service”) is a cloud computing model that delivers applications on the internet. In this model, most used by developers, a cloud computing company offers both the hardware and the software. In this way, the developer is free from having to assemble the hardware and configure the software in-house to create or run a new application.
As you can see, the purpose of the PaaS model is not to replace the entire IT infrastructure of the company. What companies do is leave specific services in the hands of a PaaS provider. For example, an environment for Java development. For many companies, an application with specific hardware/software requirements will be cheaper if hosted outside. If that’s your case, PaaS is the solution.
Some companies that offer PaaS platforms are Appear IQ, Mendix, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Beanstalk, Google App Engine, and Heroku.
Software as a Service: What is SaaS?
Finally, we have software as a service (Software as a Service, or SaaS). This cloud model, as the name says, is one in which a third-party company provides and hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the internet.
The SaaS model frees companies from the process of installing and running applications on their own servers. Instead of purchasing more hardware to serve an application, you can hire a SaaS service and pay only for hosting. Eliminates hardware acquisition and maintenance costs and reduces upgrade issues.
Despite the name “ different ”, we see a lot of SaaS offering out there. Do you know the paid webmail service, with premium features? It’s SaaS. Do you know that 100% online CRM you saw the banner around? It’s SaaS. Those online photo editors that charge a monthly fee? They are SaaS!
There are applications delivered as a service for different purposes. Email, sales management, customer relationships, financial management, human resources, collaboration, and much more. Among the biggest SaaS providers are Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Intuit, Google, and Microsoft.
And that's not all…
In addition to the three main models, the increasing focus on meeting specific demands is generating some types of cloud computing services with a well-defined focus. See two examples:
– Database as a Service (DaaS): As the name implies, DaaS defines the provision of services for storing and accessing large volumes of data.
– Testing as a Service (TaaS): For developers, this type of service provides an environment created so that the customer can test their applications on a server specially for this purpose.
With the development of cloud computing, different ways have emerged to take advantage of all the computing power it offers. Each type is concerned with meeting a very specific set of needs. Thus, we have Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). It is up to the contractor to clearly define their requirements and objectives, and thus identify the type of cloud that best suits their needs.