The “Cloud” is a term referring to the Internet. So Cloud computing is, in essence, Internet computing. We’re not talking about going online and surfing the Web. Instead, Cloud computing means using the same or similar apps that you already use to run your business today, but using them on the Web rather than running programs on your computer. These apps are referred to as Cloud-based apps.
Traditionally, your computer programs would run on hardware that you would need to purchase, install and maintain in your office. However, with Cloud computing, the apps come from a server on the Web. This concept, commonly referred to as multi-tenancy, means that there’s never any expensive hardware or software to buy, install, or maintain – eliminating the high cost of an IT infrastructure. Everything you and your business do is handled on the Internet using Cloud-based apps and all your files are saved on the “Cloud.”.
Why Use Cloud-Based Apps?
Cloud computing gives you the IT technology you need to run your small business like an enterprise, without spending enterprise money. All of the Cloud-based apps that you need to manage your small business – calendars, tasks, and other essential business activities – can be accessed using only a Web browser and an Internet connection. In a world of laptops, tablets, and smart phones, computer software is a thing of the past. With Cloud computing, you can take your business to the next level – without having to pay the excessive costs of maintaining an IT infrastructure.
Cloud Computing Benefits and Advantages
In a fast-paced, continuously growing world, keeping your business on top is a priority. The advantages of Cloud computing will put you ahead in your industry. For those who already have an IT infrastructure, changing your software or programs might seem too difficult; however, Cloud computing implementation is fast and simple. Some added benefits to Cloud computing include:.
- Cost reduction by gaining a world-class IT infrastructure without the hardware.
- Secure access to critical information 24/7 using only a Web browser.
- The ability to stay mobile and keep informed even when you’re out of the office, as long as you have an Internet connection.
Give your team the tools they need to get work done efficiently. Sharing files and information is made simple with the Cloud. Stop depending on your computer hardware for storage and information.
Cloud Computing Service Levels
Let’s start at the highest level: software applications that are just readily available online fall into the “Software-as-a-Service” category, also known as “SaaS”. The easiest example to understand is e-mail.
If you have an Internet company, you’ll need a desktop or mobile application to access that e-mail, else host it by yourself servers. Not just would you have to run an inbound mail server using methods such as IMAP (or POP for older systems), however you would also need to run an SMTP or outgoing mail server. Then you ‘d need to configure your desktop or mobile email application to connect to those servers, add suitable levels of security, quota management, etc
For personal e-mail, people generally choose from a variety of free web-based email servers such as Google’s Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or Microsoft’s Hotmail, as opposed to establishing all of the above with their carrier. Not only is it “complimentary” (supported with marketing), however users are freed from any additional server maintenance. Another example of SaaS from Google includes their Apps product: workplace productivity software hosted and run by Google online.
Due to the fact that these applications run (and keep their data online), users not have to stress over handling, saving, and backing up their files. Naturally, now it ends up being Google’s obligation to ensure that your data is safe and safe and secure. Other examples of SaaS consist of Salesforce, IBM’s NetSuite, and online games.
The simplest means to consider SaaS resembles this: it’s software, but do you download and install it on your computer system, or do you access it using a web browser or mobile app? If the latter, you’ve most likely got a SaaS cloud application on your hands. Keep in mind that you don’t have control of these applications, short of user-specific application settings. You can not repair bugs in the code or make changes to it. This is the responsibility of the vendor. To some, this lack of control is undesirable.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have “Infrastructure-as-a-Service,” or “IaaS,” where you contract out the hardware. In such cases, it’s not simply the computing power that you rent; it also includes power, cooling, and networking. In addition, it’s more than likely that you’ll need storage also. Generally IaaS is this combination of compute and cloud storage.
When you opt to run your applications at this cloud service level, you’re liable for everything on the stack that is needed to operate above it. By this, we indicate needs such as the os followed by added (yet optional services) like data source servers, web servers, load-balancing, monitoring, reporting, logging, middleware, etc. Additionally, you’re responsible for all hardware and software upgrades, patches, security fixes, and licensing, any of which can influence your application’s software stack in a major method.
In the middle, we have “Platform-as-a-Service,” or “PaaS.” At this service level, the supplier takes care of the underlying infrastructure for you, offering you only a platform with which to (develop and) host your application(s). While this service level is the least recognized or talked about, some feel that this is the most powerful of the three. Gone are the hardware issues of IaaS, yet with PaaS, you manage the application– it’s your code– unlike as the SaaS degree where you’re reliant on the cloud software supplier. The only thing you need to stress over is your application itself.
Systems like Google App Engine, Salesforce’s Heroku and force.com, Microsoft Azure, and VMwares Cloud Foundry, all fall under the PaaS umbrella. Not just do these systems provision the hardware for you, but normally, you don’t have to fret about those other required infrastructure elements such as software upgrades, patches, and licensing. Remarkably, when you use PaaS platforms, the sorts of apps you produce with them are SaaS applications.
Users of these apps don’t regulate the code and have actually just outsourced them to the designer, a PaaS user. You can even generalize this by saying that a PaaS user is a SaaS designer, and to extend this example further, an IaaS user can very well be a PaaS or SaaS developer. A lot of will not go through the difficulty of producing a PaaS platform but will personalize this code as part of their SaaS app. And if they reuse their code that interacts with IaaS hardware for other apps, then they’ve in truth, developed a thin (and personal) PaaS layer for themselves.
However how did these layers and cloud computing in general all begin?
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