Learn about the different types of cloud services, the advantages they offer, key considerations for adoption, and explore the future of cloud technology that will shape your business for success. Embrace the power of cloud computing and revolutionize your operations today.
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of IT resources over the internet. Using a network of distributed datacentres, cloud providers provide businesses with cloud applications and platforms, as well as the underlying resources for hosting various workloads.
For the last 20 years, cloud computing has become increasingly commonplace, and one of the most valuable technologies in the world of business. We discussed this with TechQuarters, a company that has been providing IT support services in London – including cloud support and consultation – for over 10 years. TechQuarters believe that cloud computing is the future of business IT; they went into depth about its importance for businesses, the different ways it can be deployed, and what the future holds for it.
Types of Cloud Computing Services
There are a number of different types of cloud computing deployment. How it is deployed to the end-user depends on what need it is fulfilling – and it is very versatile in that respect. Below are the most common cloud computing services:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
The cloud, in simplest terms, computational resources and storage that can be accessed remotely – when businesses pay to access the underlying compute resources and storage, it is known as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). With IaaS, organisations populate the environment they pay for with everything – applications, platforms and systems, network resources, data, etc.
The shared responsibility model of the cloud dictates that, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, users are responsible for everything that resides within the cloud environment. The cloud provider is responsible for the underlying hardware and technology that keeps the cloud running.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) refers to any platform that is build on top of the underlying infrastructure of the cloud environment. As an IT support company that has been leveraging the cloud for years, TechQuarters confirmed that PaaS is ideal for businesses looking to host data and applications, as well as build their own applications, whilst minimizing the admin responsibilities. This is because in the shared responsibility model, the cloud provider maintains the infrastructure that the platform is built on, and the platform itself. The end-user is only responsible for the data and applications that they host within the platform. This means there is less admin associated with PaaS.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
There are many examples of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – such as Microsoft 365, Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.
Cloud providers build applications within their own cloud platforms, and then deploy them via the web, or desktop clients, so that they are available to end-users. SaaS is an end-user product, as the cloud provider is responsible for managing the infrastructure, platform, and the app (AKA, the end-product), whereas the end-user is only responsible for any data that they host in the app.
- Other Cloud-based Services
There are several other cloud-based services which are growing in popularity – though still less utilized than the above services.
For example, Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), is similar to Platform-as-a-Service, except it is designed for serverless development and microservices. Similarly, Containerization is a technology that enables developers to build fully cloud-native applications, by packaging all the components of a software into an independent instance.
Advantages of Cloud Computing for Businesses
The cloud is very versatile and can be leveraged in many different ways. This means it has extensive value for businesses. We asked TechQuarters what some of the key benefits are – this is what they said:
- Scalability and Flexibility – The underlying infrastructure of cloud services always outstrips demand, meaning end-users can easily scale their usage up in any way they need. Furthermore, all the major public cloud platforms (such as Microsoft Azure or AWS) include resource allocation that helps users optimize their environment.
- Accessibility and Collaboration – Being able to access resources – from the base infrastructure to customer-facing software – remotely means businesses can improve the accessibility of their tools. Collaboration at a distance is easy with the cloud, and businesses can theoretically reach audiences and talent anywhere around the world.
- Security and Data Protection – Not only does the cloud have many security advantages compared with single-location, on-premise storage and infrastructure, but the underlying infrastructure of public cloud services benefits from billions of dollars’ worth of security investment by the service provider.