Tuesday, January 25

Computing in the Cloud – Understanding the Key Terms

Computing in the Cloud – Understanding the Key Terms

When looking at cloud computing there are many industry terms being used which can be difficult to understand. Within this article the key industry terms are explored in relation to cloud computing and the terms are defined both in the respect of what the terms mean in general but also by what they mean to businesses.

Cloud Computing and the Cloud

The term ‘cloud computing’ is very broad and this term is  accountant in woodbridge often heard along with the phrase ‘the Cloud’. In simple terms ‘the Cloud’ means the Internet and ‘cloud computing’ is about accessing a business’s data, applications and software over the Internet. Therefore, all the IT services that a business requires can be accessible from a hosted service and businesses will no longer have to worry about having to invest in expensive infrastructure and IT systems etc. as they can access the Cloud environment for all these services. The Cloud environment is available 24/7 and can be accessed on-demand and when required through a business’s chosen cloud computing provider. It is also the responsibility of the provider to fully maintain and manage the Cloud environment.

The hosted services that are provided by a cloud computing provider are often categorised by the different service layers which can be offered. These service layers are:

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) means that only software is delivered over the Cloud. Businesses can access this software at less cost than paying for licensed applications because the fee of using the service is usually on a monthly on-demand basis. SaaS is also referred to as “on-demand software” and it should be remembered that both the software and data will be hosted and delivered over the Cloud environment.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) means that the platform that is required to run applications is provided over the Cloud. This therefore means that businesses no longer have to buy expensive IT hardware, install the hardware and ensure that the hardware is maintained and updated. This type of service will also include the updating of software as well as operating systems.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) means that the whole computer infrastructure is provided and delivered by the cloud computing provider. This includes servers, data centres, network equipment as well as other IT hardware and software. This type of service is like a utility that a business can tap into and businesses only pay for what they consume.

Within these definitions it is noticeable that there is an overlap between the definitions especially between PaaS and IaaS.

As well as these three different service levels of cloud computing there are also three different forms of cloud computing that focus on the security requirements of the Cloud. The different security options offered in the Cloud include:

Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud

A public cloud is where a service provider makes applications and data available to the general public over the Internet. This type of cloud is often offered on a free basis and offers many advantages such as they are inexpensive to use. However, if the service experiences any downtime the user is unaware of when the service will be back up and running again.

A private cloud is where that the services and infrastructure that is offered is on a private network and behind a firewall. This means that the private cloud is therefore more secure than the public cloud but will mean that users will pay for this privilege. A private cloud offers the best type of security and is ideal for businesses who want to ensure the safety and privacy of their data.

A hybrid cloud as the term suggests is a mix of a business employing a cloud provider to externally manage some services and managing the other services internally. The hybrid cloud is popular as many businesses will have spent large sums of money on their IT infrastructure and will not wish to decommission them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *