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Types Of Cloud Computing Services

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Types Of Cloud Computing Services

Having an MBA degree or running your own business makes you a business whiz. It, however, does not make you an IT genius. Not all of us are well acquainted with all the technology, especially Information Technology, that goes into running a successful commercial enterprise. Nevertheless, almost all of us are aware of or have heard about the “Cloud” and “Cloud Computing Services.” Now is the time to learn what they actually mean.

What Is The Cloud?

In its simplest form, the Cloud is a virtual space over the internet where you store and process data and applications. “The cloud” implies the servers which one can access over the internet. It also includes the software and the various databases that run on these servers.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Essentially speaking, Cloud computing is the providing of on-demand IT resources through the internet. The companies that provide these services are called CSPs or Cloud Service Providers. The CSPs charge or bill their clients, who can be individual users or organizations, based on the Cloud space and resources they use.

What Are Cloud Computing Services?

Cloud computing services include servers, databases, storage, networking, software, AI, and analytics. The aim of these services is to make the process of innovation swift, provide flexibility of resources, and deliver economies of scale.

Be it a public enterprise or a private institution, every organization is leveraging the Cloud space to further its own goals. It has, therefore, become necessary to understand the various types of Cloud Computing Services.

Types Of Cloud Computing Services

1. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – Infrastructure as a Service is the most common and widely used cloud computing service. Herein, a company or an enterprise leases the servers and storage space from a cloud provider. Using this infrastructure, they construct their applications. In more simple terms, think of the Cloud as a large piece of land. You hire a portion of it to build your structure using your own equipment and raw materials. Similarly, IaaS gives you the hardware resources or virtual machines to build your company apps. You get access to computing resources like processing power, storage capacity, and networking.

Examples of IaaS include MS Azure, AWS (Amazon Web Services), and GCE (Google compute Engine).

Some prime benefits of IaaS are:

  • The service provider extends the hardware setup and support. This saves both time and money for the client.
  • There are no delays or resource wastage as they are available on demand.
  • The pricing model is utility-based, so you only pay for what you use.

2. PaaS (Platform as a Service) – An advanced version of the IaaS is the PaaS. In addition to offering the IT infrastructure, PaaS goes a step ahead and extends the computing platform along with the solution stack as a service. Essentially, it provides a framework to the developers that can be utilized for building applications. So there is no need to worry about the storage space or data serving and its overall management. Embracing PaaS will give you a way to make custom applications with ease and comfort. PaaS is about renting the equipment to build your house and not actually renting the house.

Typically an offering of Platform as a Service will consist of OS, hosting solutions, storage, network access, software tools for design and development, database management system, server software, etc. Some examples of PaaS are OpenShift, MS Azure, and Google App Engine.

Key benefits of PaaS are:

  • You needn’t be an expert to make apps on PaaS. Using the single click functionality, anybody with reasonable knowledge can do it.
  • The pain of upgrading and updating the infrastructure belongs to the PaaS service provider.
  • Application builders can be in different geographical locations and still work together to build the application.
  • Renting the virtual IT infrastructure does away with the need for investing in the actual physical infrastructure and expertise.

3. SaaS (Software as a Service) – Bringing together the functionalities of the IaaS and the PaaS is the SaaS. In a nutshell, SaaS offers application-level cloud computing services like CRM and business analytics. There is no need for SaaS users to install the application. Instead, it is already hosted on the Cloud. The user simply needs to access it. SaaS is like renting a home where the maintenance is taken care of by the landlord, and the tenant uses it.

Some examples of SaaS are BigCommerce, MailChimp, Dropbox, and Hubspot.

The main advantages of using SaaS are:

  • There is no setup or hardware cost for the user as these things are looked after by the service provider. All the client has to do is subscribe and start leveraging the power of SaaS.
  • One need not hire an expert to download the software on different systems.
  • The user pays for the service they wish to use, gaining complete flexibility.
  • All software updates happen automatically without any additional charge.
  • SaaS applications can be accessed through any device that has internet access.

4. FaaS (Function as a Service) – It is also known as serverless computing. It breaks down the Cloud applications into small parts that run only when required. So the developers can build the application and deploy, say, an action or a business logic piece without having to maintain or manage the server. Consider it like renting the toilet when you wish to do the job, kitchen when you want to cook, living room when you want to chill, etc.

Prime examples of FaaS are AWS Lambda, IBM Cloud Functions, open-source Microsoft Azure Functions, etc. Its advantages include:

  • There is no wastage of money on resources that lay unutilized. You only get billed for what and how much you use.
  • There is no wastage of resources on server logistics, and the developers can focus on each logic of the application.
  • Scalability and fault tolerance are built within FaaS.

Food For Thought

There is nothing to lose but only gains to welcome from embracing cloud computing services. Cost savings, scalability, and agility are just some of the benefits. Every business has the freedom to choose a service depending on their business requirements. The only requirement is first to understand your needs and choose accordingly. There is something for everyone and every budget.