Cloud computing has made an impact on how we use the internet in terms of business and personal use. It has done so by providing small users the same technology typically available only to large-scale enterprises. The cloud does this through three kinds of services:
IaaS – Infrastructure-as-a-Service
Perhaps the service that sees the most wide-spread application, IaaS provides ready-to-use infrastructure. Cloud service providers function as a host, providing computing power, applications, operating systems, middleware, storage, and more.
By leveraging on IaaS, you can avoid having to pay up front for your own infrastructure. You also save on the labor for installing and maintaining your data center. And if you need additional storage space or computing capacity due to spikes in demand, you can scale up your service usage. It can also automate certain tasks for you, such as provisioning additional resources and other administrative tasks. You only pay for what you use, typically on a monthly or yearly subscription.
PaaS – Platform-as-a-Service
Suppose you want to build applications but don’t have your own environment. You can take the time and manpower to install the hardware, the operating system, the databases, and development tools. Or you can let the cloud provide you the environment you require, and all you need to do is log in.
The second major service provided by the cloud, PAAS provides you with the hardware and software you need for application development. You only need to log in through a web browser to enter your environment, and pay on a per-use or a monthly basis.
SaaS – Software-as-a-Service
Finally, cloud service providers also let you use pre-installed and pre-configured software in the cloud. You no longer have to purchase the software and the computer to run it, nor do you need to continually update it with patches. After the requisite usage fee, you simply log in and start using the application. Given its nature, SAAS can also facilitate administration and collaboration between workers in different geographic locations.
One well-known example is cloud e-mail, such as Yahoo and Gmail. Instead of purchasing e- mail software, you simply create an account and log in for free. Another example is cloud gaming. Instead of buying the game software (and the corresponding computing power needed to run it), you can log on to the cloud and play the pre-installed game.
The cloud has a great deal to offer for personal and business users. To get a deeper understanding of full extent of cloud services, consult PolarSeven for a strategy session.