Cloud Computing – Overview and Benefits
If you are working in an IT sector or is running a business enterprise, you must be familiar with the term "cloud computing". Cloud computing refers to cost-effective sharing of multiple resources and solutions across different regions and time zones.
Cloud computing is highly scalable to benefit any business or service model. With cloud computing's massively scalable layers such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), an organization can easily manage a gamut of enterprise-level services from a remote location. Thus it is highly cost-effective in the sense you don't have to purchase expensive multiple servers to manage your office work. A single, integrated cloud server or virtual server can be stretched and scaled up or down to manage large volumes of work daily.
A vendor hosts a cloud server on a cloud platform. Clients who wish to use a cloud server rent virtual space rather than renting or buying physical servers.
Benefits of cloud servers:
- Easy to set up and manage
- Cost-effective since the servers are hosted on the cloud
- Highly scalable and flexible
Software as a Service (SaaS)
A vendor hosts the software application on the cloud for multiple organizations to use the same to process their work and save files without the need to purchase, install or download any software. The SaaS concept revolves around the availability of software applications over a network typically the Internet.
Benefits of SaaS model:
- Easy, hassle-free administration
- Automatic updates
- High compatibility since all users will have the same version of software to use
- Easy collaboration
- Global accessibility
Platform as a Service or PaaS provides an enterprise with a cloud-based platform to run and manage multiple business applications without the need to buy or install costly software and hardware infrastructure within the office premises. PaaS solutions can be used via the Internet and they offer greater simplicity, scalability, and reliability.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allows an organization to use a sharable and highly scalable hardware, servers, storage, and networking elements hosted on the cloud without the need to purchase or install physical servers or storage components. Thus, a user doesn't have to manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure since it is managed by the vendor himself.
Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud
The private cloud operating system is used by a single organization whereas a public cloud system can be used by thousands of organizations at the same time to manage their business solutions, easily and quickly. Example of private cloud server provider – IBM. Examples of public cloud servers providers - Google, Amazon, Microsoft.
Benefits or Advantages of Cloud Computing:
1. It offers complete control over diverse applications and solutions from a single, integrated platform
2. Offers tremendous scalability; can be stretched to any extent for the benefit of your business
3. The software updates happen automatically; you don't need to periodically manage servers or update the security application for the smooth running of the system
4. It allows increased collaboration since the workers sitting in different branch offices can work in sync and share data and documents in real-time
5. Individuals can work from any place in the world and at any time; all they need is an uninterrupted Internet connection
6. Lowers cost to a great extent since you don't have to purchase, install, download or manage one or multiple servers or infrastructure within your company premises. Cloud computing also reduces training costs since the workers don't need to be given special training to use new software or hardware components on a periodic basis
7. Data and documents stored in the cloud can be accessed from any region of the world securely eliminating chances of data loss or theft. In addition, the safety of your company data is ensured through emergency recovery and centralization of data
8. It is environment-friendly since unlike physical servers, virtual servers minimize carbon footprint. Besides, using virtual servers result in saving of energy by at least 30% and they also contribute to a greener industry.