There are three types of cloud computing service models that build on each other:
1) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Customer rents networking space, storage and processing power.
2) Platform as a Service (PaaS): Customer develops its own applications using cloud provider’s operating system and platform.
3) Software as a Service (SaaS): Customer uses the cloud provider’s applications/software via the network.
For example, a payroll processing company may run their management software on PaaS so they can share the resources of infrastructure with the platform already built in the cloud. An example of applications that run on SaaS are Gmail, GoToMeeting or WebEx.
These cloud computing tiers exist in different settings and different environments.
- Private cloud
- Public cloud
- Community cloud
- Hybrid cloud
Private cloud is an environment for one organization to provide IT services for its internal users. Public cloud is a multi-tenant environment where you can get server space hosted by an outside provider. It’s appealing because the provider is responsible for management and maintenance of the data center – a great option for small businesses that lack internal resources. Unlike Public cloud, Community cloud is where infrastructure is shared between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns or objectives. The combination of any of the cloud environments is called Hybrid cloud.
In each cloud model and environment, there are pros and cons, costs and security concerns. As with all new technology, new challenges arise, however, I’m confident they will improve as the technology evolves. Even if you are not interested in cloud computing and doing business in the cloud, we should all be aware of what is trending in online technology. It’s important to keep up with the way the world is moving, particularly when it comes to business.