What is Cloud Computing?

One of the most popular terms around, you cannot go on the internet or watch television without hearing a reference to the Cloud. So what is cloud computing?

Cloud computing, rather than deploying local or personal hardware and software, is a type of computing that relies on sharing a pool of physical and/or virtual resources. In layman’s terms, it describes scenarios in which a person stores and accesses data and programs over the internet or ‘as a service,’ rather than through their computer’s hard drive. It enables companies to consume compute resources as a utility, rather than having to build and maintain computing infrastructures in-house. With an online connection, cloud can be done anywhere, anytime.

There are numerous benefits and advantages to cloud computing:

  • Scalability: With scalability, cloud computing allows the system to adapt and scale to changes in workload, ensuring the level of resource available is as closely matched to current demand as possible. The end user usually pays only for the resource they use and avoid costs on any unused capacity.
  • Economies of Scale: With hundreds to thousands of customer’s data combined in the cloud, cloud computing providers achieve higher economies of scale which means lower pay as you go prices.
  • No Guessing Capacity: In the past, you would have to guess the amount of capacity you needed prior to deploying an application, leaving you with too little or too many resources. Insert cloud computing and you can access as much or as little as needed.
  • Increased Speed and Agility: Cloud computing puts the resources at your fingertips, limiting the cost and time it takes to experiment and develop.
  • Focus on Customers: Cloud computing lets you focus on projects that differentiate your business, rather than focusing on running and maintaining a data center.

Cloud computing services come in three options to suit your business needs:

  1. Public Cloud: A public cloud is a cloud in which service and infrastructure are hosted by a third-party provider via a public network such as the internet. The public cloud offers great economies of scale and redundancy as customers oftentimes only pay for the CPU cycles, storage or bandwidth they consume. Learn more about the Public Cloud.
  2. Private Cloud: A private cloud uses pooled services and infrastructures that are stored and maintained on a private network, only accessible for to the client. These services are delivered from a business’ data center and offers versatility and convenience, with a strong focus on management, control and security. Learn more about Private Cloud.
  3. Hybrid Cloud: A hybrid cloud combines both public and private cloud elements. Using the hybrid cloud, companies maximize their efficiencies by running mission-critical workloads or sensitive applications on the private cloud while utilizing the public cloud for non-sensitive operations. This version of the cloud promises an ideal computing setup, creating a unified, automated, scalable environment, without paying more than is necessary. Learn more about Hybrid Cloud.

In addition to the types of deployment, there are 3 versions of cloud computing (referred to below as a pyramid), that describe the service. One is Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS), which traditionally sits at the base of a cloud computing pyramid that is also comprised of Platform as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software as-a-Service (SaaS). The amount of customer control over the virtualized IT resources decreases, as the customer ascends the pyramid.

  1. Infrastructure as-a -Service – IaaS refers to a form of cloud computing that delivers virtualizes computing resources across the internet. An IaaS platform offers highly scalable resources, including virtualized server space, storage space, network connections and IP addresses, usually hosted by a third-party provider. Learn more about IaaS.
  2. Platform as-a-Service – PaaS is a platform in which providers host development tools on their infrastructures, where developers can build applications over the internet. The PaaS platform also includes general software development and configuration, and can be custom-made to meet individual needs. Learn more about PaaS.
  3. Software as-a-Service – SaaS is a software delivery model, in which software applications are hosted and made available to customers over the internet. Applications are hosted in the cloud and are available from any location using a computer or mobile device. Learn more about SaaS.

To learn more about as-a-Service offerings, visit KeyCloud’s Cloud Services