Understanding Cloud Computing
Cloud computing services are used today for anything from Netflix streaming services to backing up the videos and photos on your mobile devices. The agility of the cloud is a major factor in the pressure organizations feel to use it.
Cloud computer services are used for basic storage, networking, or processing, and even for things like artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Even the famous Jeopardy! Watson is now found on the cloud helping process hundreds of terabytes of data into a form that can be used by scientists and doctors.
The cloud can be broken down into three cloud-computing models:
1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – This kind of cloud-computing model is beneficial for organizations that are looking to build applications from scratch. It offers the foundational parts of computing for rent.
This includes servers, both physical and virtual. It also offers data storage and networking. The benefit is the organization with the technical know-how can control almost every element of the application they're building.
The agility leaves room for innovation, cuts on-going maintenance costs, and cuts time in shipping your application or services. A drawback is that it isn't as secure as other options.
2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – PaaS is an upgrade to the IaaS. It includes the basics such as virtual servers, networking, and processing powers. Besides, it includes the operating systems, middleware, development tools, and other software and tools that developers can use to build applications on and/or with.
3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The model of cloud-computing most people are used to. In this model, the software, hardware, and operating systems aren't seen by the user. They're "hidden". This is what a consumer sees when using a website or application. Known as delivering applications-as-a-service.
SaaS is by far the most commonly used model and accounts for 60% of cloud spending. The expenditure is mostly for customer relationship management (CRM) applications and enterprise management (ERM) applications. The SaaS cloud-computing model is used for CRM applications such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce.
The benefits of cloud computing provided by these models are based on the fact that an organization can run without having to build or manage its own computing infrastructure. The organization can pay only for what they use and ship applications faster. They can test faster and don't have to wait for the traditional IT red tape and procurement.
This agility makes it well worth adopting this new service, but the question remains: How do you get a handle on the cloud computing cost?