Cloud computing is a transformative technology that hasn’t just changed the businesses and organisations that use it, but the world in which we live. Without the cloud, the benefits of big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, automation and so many more things that we have come to rely on simply wouldn’t be there. That’s not because these technologies necessarily need the cloud, but that, without it, many organisations simply wouldn’t have had the computing and financial resources to achieve the advancements they have. Cloud, essentially, puts the computing resources that were once the preserve of big business into the hands of any organisation and does so affordably.
For those about to take the leap, it is important to have an overview of what cloud computing is. Today, there are various deployment strategies and cloud service models available, each suited to different types of need. Here, we’ll look at these to give you a better understanding.
Public cloud is a service provided by a cloud vendor in which its infrastructure is shared by its customers. Generally, these are comprised of a number of large datacentres that have vast amounts of storage space and computing resources, giving virtually unlimited opportunity for easy, on-demand scalability. The public cloud is ideal for a wide range of computing uses and gives customers the benefit of a pay as you go charging model that provides financial flexibility.
The public cloud relieves businesses of the need to purchase hardware and pay for the costs of running an in-house datacentre while providing managed services and expert technical support that reduces the burden on IT staff. It is even possible to create bespoke managed services to suit the needs of individual customers.
The difference between a private and public cloud is that, in a private cloud, the infrastructure is not shared among different customers but utilised by a single organisation. Private clouds can be created either in a vendor’s datacentre or on-site and, just like the public cloud, can be accessed by users from anywhere with an internet connection.
The key reason for using public cloud is that its single-tenancy use provides additional compliance for data protection. Another advantage is that it offers greater control over the infrastructure, providing organisations with the ability to move data and apps where and when they want. It also makes it easier to limit access to valuable assets.
However, private clouds are more expensive to operate than the public cloud and do not provide the same opportunities for scalability.
A hybrid cloud is a mix and match solution that combines different infrastructures and applications in a single system. It can include elements of both public and private clouds as well as non-cloud-based resources, like dedicated servers, deploying each for their most appropriate use.
The main benefit of the hybrid cloud is that it offers both the security and control of the private cloud and the scalability of the public cloud. Data is stored securely in the private cloud and only moved to the public cloud environment when being processed. This helps maintain compliance while keeping the costs of data analytics at a minimum.
As cloud vending services have evolved, some providers offer different services to others. As a result, many organisations have begun to adopt a multi-cloud approach, using a variety of different cloud providers, each for a particular type of service, accessing them via a single, software-defined network.
The benefit of using a multi-cloud model is it provides organisations with the versatility to use the specialised services of different providers. The need for this can come from the requirements of different parts of the organisation, the finance department, for example, may want different cloud computing tools than those needed by operations in the factory.
Cloud service models
Aside from the different types of cloud deployment strategies discussed above, there are also a variety of cloud service models that organisations will need to consider. Here is an overview.
Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides organisations with a virtualised computing infrastructure that can be scaled up or down on-demand. The vendor manages the physical hardware at the datacentre while the virtual servers can be fully provisioned, customised and managed by the customer via the internet. This includes the freedom to install, configure and manage the operating system, applications and tools they need.
Platform as a Service
A more advanced and specialised service than IaaS, Platform as a Service, PaaS, provides both the infrastructure and the OS, development tools and management systems needed to build applications. As a result, customers are provided with the platform they require to create, test, deploy and manage their apps.
Aside from providing the tools and resources at less expense, they enable dev-op teams to work remotely over the internet. Additionally, PaaS can speed up development by providing pre-coded apps built into the platform.
Software as a Service
Software as a Service, SaaS, has become increasingly popular with organisations as they are provided with the software solution without having to worry about how the application is run or managed. Examples of SaaS include Microsoft 365, Slack and Zoom. As a result of the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the number and quality of remote working SaaS platforms that provide business with internet-based software.
Cloud provides organisations with a flexible and versatile range of IT solutions at affordable prices providing access to the advanced tools that are key elements of digital transformation. Hopefully, this post will have given you an overview of the different types of cloud deployment strategies and service models available.
If you are considering adopting cloud, check out our Enterprise Cloud Server page.