There are many different explanations of what cloud computing is. The simplest explanation of cloud computing is that Cloud Computing is the process of grouping together IT resources in order to deliver business applications and IT infrastructure over the internet as a service. Cloud computing allows businesses to instantly alter their technology needs to meet new business demands.
Why a cloud?
For many years IT professionals used a cloud to represent the internet in technical documentation and diagrams. From that “in the cloud” became a highly used term in IT and when more and more services were moved to the internet cloud computing was a natural description of the type of technology.
Cloud Computing Types
There are 3 main types of cloud computing platforms:
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is the process of delivering entire IT infrastructures over the internet. Generally this is accomplished by using a public cloud computing platform or by implementing your own private cloud. Each approach as some unique features and benefits but they also share some common ones like: rapid deployment, scalability, increased control over IT resources, lower maintenance costs and redundancy.
Public Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service Platforms
- Amazon Web Services
- Verizon Terremark
Private Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service Platforms
- VMware vCloud
- Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center
- Citrix CloudStack
Platform-as-a-Service is a type of cloud computing that provides a computing platform and solution stack as a service. This means that custom web applications can be developed for your business and deployed to a Platform-as-a-Service provider for rapid deployment, instant expansion and increased security.
- Amazon Web Services Elastic Beanstalk
- Microsoft Azure
- Engine Yard
Software-as-a-Service is a type of cloud computing in which applications are delivered entirely over the internet to your browser. All of the overhead and technical infrastructure that is required to maintain applications is offloaded to a SaaS provider and you simply pay monthly for the software. There are many types of software applications that are delivered using the SaaS model, some of the most common are CRM, Accounting, and ERP applications.