By almost any measure, cloud computing continues to grow rapidly: in the number of cloud service providers; in the range of business that can be served, and in the variety of services and applications that are available. For these, and many more reasons, more and more businesses are finding that cloud computing delivers impressive ROI.
Cloud computing’s success is reflected in its wide-spread adoption among businesses across a wide-range of industries: the cloud market is set to be worth over $1 trillion in the coming decade.
The turnkey nature of cloud computing alone was found to have cut consulting costs by an average of 40% compared to on-premises deployments in one examination of over 70 studies comparing cloud and on-premise deployments.
But your business is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t suffice. In order to maximize the value your business stands to gain from cloud computing, you need to make informed choices that are appropriate for your business needs, your technology requirements, and your growth plans
Understanding the nuances, benefits, and potential drawbacks of various cloud computing services will help make finding the best configuration for your business far easier.
In this article, we’ll examine some cloud computing examples to help clear up any confusion and help you determine which model is the best fit for your business’s needs.
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Differentiating Between Types of Cloud Computing Services and Cloud Computing Deployment Models
An important distinction must be made between types of cloud service models and types of cloud deployment models.
The cloud deployment model defines where your cloud applications and platform will be ‘located’: in the cloud (using public or private resources), using on-premise hardware, or some combination of these resources.
These different deployment models are typically referred to as:
- Public cloud
- Private cloud
- On-premise cloud
- Hybrid cloud
Service models, on the other hand, can exist within any of the deployment models above. Service models describe exactly what cloud services your business will actually use. The types of cloud computing services include:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
Let’s explore service and deployment models in more depth to help you understand which choices might be most appropriate for your business needs.
The 6 Different Cloud Computing Types Compared
Public and Private Cloud
With a true cloud configuration (public or private), your business applications will be fully deployed and run entirely within the cloud. This model allows you to take full advantage of the hugely scalable and redundant computing power that the cloud offers.
Public clouds are the most common type of cloud computing deployment. The public cloud resources are owned and operated by third party service providers, delivered over the internet, and shared with other cloud tenants.
The largest (and most well-known) public cloud providers include:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud
- IBM Cloud
- Microsoft Azure
A private cloud, on the other hand, consists of computing resources owned by a single business. The resources can be housed at an on-site data center or hosted by a third-party service provider.
Private clouds can be managed by in-house IT departments, or, for businesses that lack the expertise or internal resources necessary to support a cloud infrastructure, by third party support partners .
Another cloud option are “managed private clouds”, which are clouds that are totally configured, deployed, and managed by third-party support partners.
A hybrid cloud combines elements of on-premise or private cloud infrastructure with the public cloud.
Hybrid clouds are often used to help meet certain regulatory requirements (like data privacy), or to take full advantage of existing in-house technology investments – or as part of a longer-term transition from on-prem infrastructure to fully cloud-based solutions.
In any case, whenever you use both on-premise hardware and cloud in concert with one another, you have a hybrid cloud environment.
The on-premise approach uses hardware at your company’s data center (or perhaps at a 3rd party data center) to deliver cloud services. There are a wide variety of ways that on-premises clouds can be configured and maintained, but, on the whole, this is a fairly unusual setup with limited applicability for most businesses.
Perhaps the most common use of an on-premise cloud, is as part of a hybrid cloud solution – where clients subscribing to other cloud services (public or private) may keep some specific infrastructure or data housed on-site for very particular reasons.
Cloud Computing Deployment Services
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS provides the end user with the infrastructure for a cloud environment that they can then use to power their cloud applications.
With an IaaS model, your entire infrastructure is provided by a third party, including:
- Access to virtual or dedicated computers
- Networking features
- Data storage
The IaaS model is prized by businesses looking to maintain maximum flexibility and management control over their cloud IT.
With the IaaS model, you are provided with access to virtually unlimited computing resources, but your internal IT team is still responsible for configuring those resources properly to meet your company’s business needs.
Your internal resources are able to interact with the cloud environment via an API or dashboard. You can manage all your operating systems, apps, middleware, etc., while the service provider will handle networking, hardware, hard drives, servers, etc.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a service takes things one step further by removing the need for organizations to manage things like operating systems and instead focus entirely on the deployment and management of business applications. PaaS is designed to provide developers with the framework, software and tools needed to build and manage software and applications – all available via the internet. Your provider will host and manage the hardware and software that are connected to the platform.
Many businesses prefer this set up as you don’t need to concern yourself with resource procurement and capacity planning, software maintenance, updating and patching, or any other infrastructure management.
This is ideal for developers and programmers that want to build using the cloud, but don’t want to dedicate time and resources to the cloud environment’s management.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS removes the entire burden of cloud management by delivering business applications directly to users. You need not concern yourself with infrastructure or application development – only with how you want to deploy said application.
SaaS is the ideal cloud model for businesses that would rather not get lost in the technical details of running a cloud application. The vendor (or a managed services provider) can offload your entire technology management burden so you only ever see the benefits and can ditch the hassle.
An easy SaaS cloud computing example to consider is your common web-based email platform: you don’t manage the underlying infrastructure or features of the email, or install the application on individual devices, but instead make use of the end-product (including global cloud storage and accessibility) from any web browser (with the proper access rights and credentials).
Cloud Computing Benefits
Modern businesses are fueled by technology. And cloud computing offers businesses unprecedented access to scalable computing resources to support accelerated growth.
The many benefits of cloud computing,include:
About 20% of organizations are apprehensive about initial implementation costs of cloud-based infrastructure. But the upfront costs are an investment that can yield an impressive ROI.
With a cloud environment, you’ll be able to securely access your company’s applications and data anywhere in the world, streamlining business processes and improving productivity .
In one survey, half of all IT leaders and CIOs surveyed realized cost savings from cloud-based applications.
You’ll also save money on hardware, software and maintenance, with no need to make large capital investments in infrastructure. And resources in the cloud are highly customizable and easily scalable, reducing wasted spending on unneeded or unused devices or services.
If you’re running a small or medium-sized business, you need to be nimble. You need ready access to advanced computing resources without the overhead of constant hardware/software refreshes and a dedicated IT department.
You need a computing environment that can help you stay up to date with technology and run your business efficiently with a fair and predictable cost model.
As described above, there are a wide variety of configurations and a number of managed services options that you can choose from so that your cloud environment is uniquely tailored to meet your evolving business needs.
As your business grows, it’s only natural that your information infrastructure needs to scale up to support it. One of the most compelling features of the cloud is the almost instant availability of additional resources – with no additional capital expenses.
The cloud is designed to provide nearly unlimited scaling to meet your business’s evolving needs – with resources that are highly redundant and reliable – and that require no physical maintenance.
Housing well managed resources in the cloud has great potential for improving overall business productivity.
By leveraging the cloud, your employees and customers can access applications and data from anywhere, making it easier to work whenever and whenever needed – and enabling team collaboration in new and creative ways.
Furthermore, cloud resources are more cost-effective and disaster resistant than on-prem resources – giving businesses of all sizes easy access to a widevariety of cutting edge technologies and services.
Business owners are naturally concerned about data security in the cloud – especially when they feel that business critical data is being managed by unfamiliar resources and no longer under their direct control.
These concerns, while worth considering, are largely unfounded – as the best cloud providers typically offer more stringent security measures than can be provided by a typical SMB in-house data center.
Your cloud provider and your managed services provider can implement a variety of cybersecurity protections to ensure that your data is protected from intrusion, including data encryption, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, security event management, security operations centers, and etc..
Considering that more than half of all security breaches featured active hacking and took months to discover, businesses need all the sophisticated cybersecurity help they can get – help that is much easier to access in a partnership with the best cloud providers and managed services partners (MSPs).
The cloud can also provide valuable extra security in disaster scenarios (whether natural or man-made). Leveraging cloud resources, it is much easier to implement physical and geographic redundancy – to ensure that data is difficult to lose and easy to recover – even under the most extreme circumstances.
Interested in learning more about the different types of cloud computing? Check out these blogs:
- 5 Benefits of Infrastructure Outsourcing
- Benefits of Remote Tech Support for Small Businesses
- How to Reduce Technology Costs with IT Cost Reduction
Get Support for All Types of Cloud Computing from a Proven IT Partner
As a top-tier managed services provider, ITSco can help your business get the most out of its cloud environment.
As your trusted technology partner, ITSco will help you reap the benefits of:
- Quality services tailored to match your business needs
- Fair and transparent pricing
- Comprehensive IT advice from expert engineers and C-level IT managers
- A highly-skilled network operations team who understands your business
- An ongoing commitment to security and vulnerability management
- A true partnership
To experience the best of what the cloud has to offer, get in touch with us by booking a free consultation today.
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