Selecting the right cloud solution requires thorough analysis regarding the level of security, control, customization and support your business requires. The cloud offers on-demand scalability and server provisioning with utility-based pricing, giving you a flexible, cost-effective way to expand your infrastructure.
Cloud delivery models
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.
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. Today, SaaS is a common delivery model for most business applications, including accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and many more.
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 build, test and design applications at a low coat instead of managing the infrastructure.
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. This is a cost-effective delivery model, where the service provider is responsible for owning, hosting, running and maintaining the equipment. Organizations typically pay only for what they use. IaaS is available as private, public or hybrid cloud hosting.
Additional cloud computing models may include more specialized elements, such as a Compliance Cloud, which 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
Hybrid cloud is typically considered a combination of private and public clouds, but can also include connectivity and management across physical (e.g., dedicated physical servers) and cloud infrastructure.