What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing, is essentially a means by which organisations can access computer services or data, even though that data is not stored within that organisation but elsewhere. The service is typically provided on a pay-for-use basis.

Key benefits

  • Scalable infrastructure – Scale up or down quickly and easily to meet demand.
  • Pay-for-use – Pay for what you use when you use IT.
  • Self Service – Self-service access that enables you to provision computing power, storage, networks and software in a simple and flexible way.

Cloud computing services

Software as a service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a cloud model in which providers deliver apps over the Internet and host users’ hardware and software on their infrastructure, whilst eliminating the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware, software, provisioning and hosting.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a service (laaS) provides companies with computing resources including virtualisation, servers, networking, storage, and data centre space on a pay-as-you-go basis. This pay-as-you-go model eliminates the capital expense of deploying in-house hardware and software.

Cloud computing deployment models

Public cloud

A form of cloud computing in which a company relies on a third-party cloud service provider for services such as servers, data storage and applications, which are delivered to the company through the Internet. With public cloud services, users don’t need to purchase hardware, software or infrastructure, it is owned and managed by providers.

Private cloud

A private cloud is a model of cloud computing that involves a distinct and secure cloud based environment in which only the specified client can operate.

A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of public cloud, but removes a number of objections including control over enterprise and customer data, worries about security, and issues connected to regulatory compliance.

The private cloud (the pool of resource) is only accessible by a single organisation providing that organisation with greater control and privacy.

Hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud is a composition of a private cloud combined with the use of public cloud services where one or several touch points exist between the environments. Although the elements of the hybrid cloud are bound together, they remain unique entities, which allows hybrid clouds to offer the benefits of multiple deployment models at once.

A hybrid clouds offers a cloud-computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and has other resources provided externally. For example, an organization might elect to use a public cloud service for its archived data but keep the maintenance of its operational customer data in-house.

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