Cloud computing, in simple terms, allows you to rent instead of buy your IT infrastructure. Rather than investing heavily in databases, software, and hardware, companies opt to access their computing power via the internet, or the cloud which uses a PAYG payment method. These cloud services now include but are not limited to, servers, databases, networking, software, analytics, and business intelligence.
Cloud computing provides the speed, scalability, and flexibility that enables businesses to develop, innovate, and support business IT solutions.
We’ve previously discussed three things you might not know about cloud computing but today we’ll be getting into the finer details of what cloud computing really is.
The Basics of Cloud Computing
When a company chooses to migrate to the cloud, it means that its IT infrastructure is stored offsite, at a data centre that is maintained by the cloud computing provider. An industry-leading cloud provider has the responsibility for managing the customer’s IT infrastructure, integrating applications, and developing new capabilities and functionality to keep pace with market demands.
For clients, cloud computing offers more agility, scale, and flexibility. Instead of spending money and resources on legacy IT systems, clients are able to focus on more strategic tasks. Without making a large upfront investment, they can quickly access the computing resources they need – and pay for what they use.
The Benefits of Cloud Computing
There are several trends pushing businesses toward the cloud. For most organisations, the current way of doing business might not deliver the agility to grow, or may not provide the platform or flexibility to compete. The explosion of data created by an increasing number of digital businesses is pushing the cost and complexity of data centre storage to new levels – demanding new skills and analytics tools from IT.
Modern cloud solutions help companies meet the challenges of the digital age. Instead of managing their IT, organisations have the ability to respond quickly to a more fast-paced and complex business landscape.
Cloud computing provides a superior alternative to traditional information technology, including in the following areas:
- Cost – helps to eliminate capital expenses
- Speed – instantly provision space for development and testing
- Global-scale – scale elastically
- Productivity – increased collaboration, predictable performance, and customer isolation
- Performance – better price/performance for cloud-native workloads
- Reliability – fault-tolerant, scalable, distributed systems across all services
- Disaster recovery – everything is backed up in the cloud so there’s no need to worry about lost files in the event of hardware or software malfunction
- Centralised data management – All of your files are stored in the same location, making it more efficient to complete work
Types of Cloud Computing
There are three types of clouds: public, private, and hybrid. Each type requires a different level of management from the customer and providers a different level of security.
In a public cloud, the entire commuting infrastructure is located on the premises of the cloud provider, and the provider delivers services to the customer over the internet. Customers do not have to maintain their own IT and can quickly add more users or computing power as needed. In this model, multiple tenants share the cloud provider’s IT infrastructure.
A private cloud is used exclusively by one organisation. It could be hosted at the organisation’s location or at the cloud provider’s data centre. A private cloud provides a higher level of security and control.
As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private clouds. Generally, hybrid cloud customers host their business-critical applications on their own servers for more security and control and store their secondary applications at the cloud providers location.
Cloud Computing Services
There are three main types of cloud services, software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to cloud, it’s more about finding the right solution to support your business requirements.
SaaS is a software delivery model in which the cloud provider hosts the customer’s applications at the cloud provider’s location. The customer accesses those applications over the internet. Rather than paying for and maintaining their own computing infrastructure, SaaS customers take advantage of subscriptions to the service on a pay-as-you-go-basis.
Many businesses find SaaS to be the ideal solution because it enables them to get up and running more quickly with the most innovative technology available. Automatic updates reduce the burden on in-house resources. Customers can scale services to support fluctuating workloads, adding more services or features as they grow.
PaaS gives customers the advantage of accessing the development tools they need to build and manage mobile and web applications without investing in – or maintaining – the underlying infrastructure. The provider hosts the infrastructure and middleware components, and the customer accesses those services via the web browser.
To aid productivity, PaaS solutions need to have ready-to-use programming components that allow developers to build new capabilities into their applications, including innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain & the Internet of Things (IoT).
IaaS enables customers to access infrastructure services on an on-demand basis via the internet. The key advantage is that the cloud provider hosts the infrastructure components that provide compute, storage, and network capacity so that subscribers can run their workloads in the cloud. The cloud subscribed is usually responsible for installing, configuring, security and maintaining any software on the cloud-native solutions, such as database, middleware and application software.
Cloud computing has never been more important with the increase of home-working. And there are so many benefits of migrating to the cloud, like cost, speed and scalability, giving your business the ability to grow and also providing flexibility.
If you’re considering making the move to cloud-based solutions for your IT infrastructure, why not contact our team who would be more than happy to help.