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Cloud Computing Fundamentals

Cloud Computing Fundamentals

The rapidly growing cloud landscape includes a myriad of terms, definitions and implementations. We’ve outlined a few basics below to help navigate.

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Cloud computing, whether supporting a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), or other variant, incorporates numerous hardware, software, middleware, security, monitoring and other capabilities to ensure application and information processing performance and reliability.

Benefits to organizations

  • Flexibility. Allows rapid implementation timelines
  • Cost Reduction. Reduces capital expenditures and associated overhead
  • Scalability. On-demand scalability/provisioning with utility-based pricing

Types of Cloud Computing Solutions

Cloud computing comes in many different flavors depending on the intended usage. For instance, a manufacturing organization may use Infrastructure-as-a-Service to test a new product or code. Or a software company may deploy a software application in a Platform-as-a-Service cloud environment.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS refers to the actual delivery model of applications across the Internet to end-users. A SaaS provider’s backend platform is usually associated with a simplified, dedicated environment.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS provides the underlying hardware and software infrastructure configured and ready to go for application deployment. A PaaS service typically includes a development tool so application developers can focus on design rather than management of the underlying infrastructure.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS supplies the entire underlying hardware and software infrastructure, excluding the operating system. IaaS typically relates to usage of physical server and storage capacity provided through virtual machines. Customers of IaaS are essentially renting space to load their preferred operating environment and applications.

Other Models

Additional cloud computing models may include more special purpose or community aspects. This may include a Compliance Cloud, a cloud environment that supports certain compliance requirements for specific industries or market segments (e.g., HIPAA compliance for healthcare), or mandated geographical boundaries such as municipal, state or federal legal compliance requirements, and foreign government regulations.

Private, Public and Hybrid Computing

Now that you have the cloud models down, it is important to understand the distinctions between private, public and hybrid cloud environments. Hybrid cloud is typically considered a combination of private and public clouds. But hybridization can also include connectivity and management across physical (e.g., dedicated physical servers) and cloud infrastructure.

Learn more about how cloud can address your IT needs and requirements and improve the end-user experience at the same time. Read our Cloud Computing ebook.