What is cloud computing?

Simply put, cloud computing uses the internet to deliver computing services such as storage, software, databases and analytics, amongst other things, via the cloud. Relying on internet-based services has become incredibly popular amongst companies, because it’s easier to manage and scale resources through the cloud.

A cloud server is hosted via a cloud computing platform, and the use of this platform allows these servers to be incredibly flexible when it comes to scaling resources. That is why cloud computing is such a popular choice.

Learn more here: What is cloud computing? and  What is a cloud server?

What are the types of cloud computing structures?

There are four main structures within cloud computing, and the one you decide to go with will depend on your resource requirements and your knowledge of cloud computing capabilities:

  • Public cloud
  • Private cloud
  • Hybrid cloud
  • Multiclouds

So, let’s get into each one.

What is a public cloud?

A public cloud, as the name suggests, is public and open to anyone. As with most types of cloud computing, the public cloud has its data managed remotely, and most that are open to the public are free to use.

The benefits of a public cloud: A public cloud will keep your costs low as you only pay for what you use, and you can leave most of the management to your cloud provider, making this option a great one for first timers.

What is a private cloud?

A private cloud is well, private, and only offers its cloud computing services to single users. When we talk about single users, this may be a single organisation or a business using their own private cloud – with all of the resources dedicated to them. A private cloud can be based on the user’s premises or sourced from a cloud provider’s data centre.

The benefits of a private cloud: The most obvious benefit of a private cloud is that all of the resources are dedicated to you. Not to mention that as you’re not sharing your cloud with anyone else, security is much higher, too.

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud combines aspects of both public and private clouds. For example, you may have the physical server on your premises but you store your resources in the cloud. You could say that using a hybrid cloud is the best of both worlds.

The benefits of a hybrid cloud: With a hybrid cloud, your business can adapt and change its cloud needs very easily. A mix of both public and private clouds can give your business a bit more flexibility.

What is a multicloud?

A multicloud is the use of multiple different cloud services from various cloud providers. This could be a private or public cloud. A multicloud can actually become a hybrid cloud when the different clouds are connected in some way, the integration of the different services, for example.

The benefits of a multicloud: Through the use of multiple different providers, the multicloud offers improved security and performance. There’s also the added benefit of being able to pick and choose cloud providers and their services based on what they have to offer you – meaning you get the cream of the crop in terms of cloud computing.

Which cloud is best for you?

The type of cloud you pick will really depend on your demand predictability. If you’re unsure what sort of resources you need, but you’re certain that you’ll have lots of users – a public cloud is your safest bet. If your business knows exactly what’s required and you’re happy taking a bit more control with your cloud computing, then a private cloud is great to use. Progressing onto a multicloud or a hybrid cloud is recommended after you have some more background knowledge about cloud services and what the different providers have to offer you.

The types of cloud computing models

Cloud computing services or models offer infrastructure, platforms, or software via the internet. There are three types of cloud computing models, and the one you or your business decides to use, depends on your requirements and the outcome you’re looking for.

The three types of cloud computing models:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)?

If you opt for IaaS, a cloud provider will manage the infrastructure for you. This means that the servers, hardware and data storage will all be controlled by your provider via the internet, but you will have control over your OS and your apps. The benefit of your provider taking care of most of the infrastructure is that if anything goes wrong, they’ll sort it out for you. Using IaaS is ideal for beginners and many businesses will opt for this type of cloud computing model before possibly moving onto another model if necessary.

The benefits of IaaS: The scalability of resources is very easy through the IaaS model, and users can increase or decrease whichever resources they need. This helps to keep costs low. Overall, IaaS is the cheapest option out of all of the cloud computing models.

Examples of IaaS include:

  • AWS EC2 Instance
  • Google Cloud VM Instance (Google Compute Engine)
  • Azure Virtual Machine

What is Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS)?

This type of cloud infrastructure has both its hardware and application-software components managed by a cloud provider, and you take care of the apps and their data. PaaS is regularly used by programmers and developers as it can form great test environments for developing new apps, software or services. These test environments means a user doesn’t need to control the whole infrastructure, which definitely makes the life of a developer or programmer easier.

The benefits of PaaS: As we explained above, PaaS is great for developers and programmers as it helps to create a controlled test environment that’s not connected to the wider infrastructure. This means that testing out new software is simpler to manage.

Examples of PaaS include:

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • Google App Engine
  • Microsoft Azure Web Apps
  • Google Cloud SQL

What is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?

SaaS is our last type of cloud computing model, and this is one you may have heard of before. As the name suggests, SaaS is closely linked to software and apps but instead of installing either of these you just access them via the internet. SaaS is fully managed by a cloud service provider, so as a user you’ll have a fully hands-off experience. Due to it being managed by a provider, any general maintenance or updates are taken care of, and you can just focus on using the SaaS. As anyone can access this cloud computing model online, there’s no need for each user to download the app to their computer.

The benefits of SaaS: A major advantage of SaaS is the hands-off approach, a user has no access to the main infrastructure and is not responsible for any changes or updates. As SaaS is also web-based, this means that it’s easy to use and lots of users can connect to it.

Examples of SaaS include:

  • Microsoft Office365
  • Google GSuite
  • Slack
  • DocuSign
  • MailChimp
  • Dropbox

If you want to learn more about cloud computing, we recommend checking out these two blog posts: ‘advantages of cloud computing’ and ‘what is cloud computing used for?

Why not get in touch with our sales team today to discuss your cloud computing options?