What are Cloud Services?
A cloud service is any service made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider's servers as opposed to being provided from a company's own on-premises servers. Cloud services are designed to provide easy, scalable access to applications, resources and services, and are fully managed by a cloud services provider.
Cloud services provide many IT services traditionally hosted in-house, including provisioning an application/database server from the cloud, replacing in-house storage/backup with cloud storage and accessing software and applications directly from a web browser without prior installation.
Cloud services provide great flexibility in provisioning, duplicating and scaling resources to balance the requirements of users, hosted applications and solutions. Cloud services are built, operated and managed by a cloud service provider, which works to ensure end-to-end availability, reliability and security of the cloud.
There are three basic types of cloud services:
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is a method of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from any device with an Internet connection and web browser. In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases and code that constitute an application. This is a significant departure from the on-premise software delivery model. First, companies don’t have to invest in extensive hardware to host the software, and this in turn, allows buyers to outsource most of the IT responsibilities typically required to troubleshoot and maintain the software. The SaaS vendor takes care of it all.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS for short) is the backbone of cloud computing. Rather than purchasing an expensive datacenter, labor, real estate, and all of the utilities to maintain it, users rent space in a virtual data center from an IaaS provider. They have access to the virtual data center via the Internet, known as the cloud. This segment of cloud computing provides the raw materials for IT, and users only pay for the equipment they use, including (but not limited to) CPU cores, RAM, hard disk space, and data transfer.
When renting from a cloud IaaS provider, users are renting the hardware. In most cases, since the hardware functions as a backbone only, individuals must manage their platform and applications. This includes maintaining the software environment. The IaaS provider takes responsibility for the hardware and performs all the maintenance to ensure the servers run correctly. Because a variety of custom applications can be coded and run on IaaS, it becomes impossible for a team to manage and troubleshoot all of the software and hardware.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a type of cloud computing offering in which a service provider delivers a platform to clients, enabling them to develop, run, and manage business applications without the need to build and maintain the infrastructure such software development processes typically require.
As with other cloud services such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS), PaaS is offered via a cloud service provider’s hosted infrastructure. Users typically access PaaS offerings via a web browser.
PaaS can be delivered through public, private, or hybrid clouds. With a public cloud PaaS, the customer controls software deployment while the cloud provider delivers all the major IT components needed to host the applications, including servers, storage systems, networks, operating systems, and databases.
With a private cloud offering, PaaS is delivered as software or an appliance within a customer’s firewall, typically in its on-premises datacenter. Hybrid cloud PaaS offers a mix of the two types of cloud service.
Advantages of Cloud Computing :
• Less costs
• 24 X 7 availability
• Flexibility in capacity
• Overall functioning
• Automated updates on software
• Reduces carbon footprint
• Enhanced collaboration
• Control on the documents
• Easily manageable