Cloud computing, to brief, is the delivery of computing service like server, storage and more over the internet. A number of entrepreneurs we spoke with have already moved their business to the Cloud. Very often we’ve seen businesses stumbling upon the choice of correct Cloud hosting service and its type.
This blog will only scratch the surface, so to speak, but will prove sufficient enough for you to decipher the correct Cloud type for your business.
Clouds can be classified either on the basis of location or the services it offers
On the basis of location, Cloud assumes the following types:
- Public Cloud
Such Clouds, as the name suggests, have multiple tenants or customers- all sharing the same virtualized server space. Public Clouds are generally free- but upto a limit- and beyond that, metered to allow the public to pay only for what they use. It is a popular choice for hosting everyday apps, and storing photos, videos, and other files.
Public Cloud offers off-load management, so the hardware and all the other aspects of a server is solely and entirely managed by the provider. It reduces undue burden from users to whom giving up on control (of Cloud) is not an issue.
- Private Cloud
Private Cloud, as the name suggests, has only one tenant that solely rents/owns the entire facility at his disposal. Most commonly deployed by a single organization, it offers the goodness of public Cloud glued with the freedom of resource-control. It is an effective way to virtualize a large pool of IT equipment of an organization without allowing a third party to have undue control on the organization’s way of managing and running its business.
A private Cloud is maintained in house, within the organization’s premises. This practice seems to stand against the philosophy of Cloud- to reduce infrastructure complexity and capital expenditure. One of the main reasons why companies are still migrating to private Clouds to run their applications is that it provides unique and competitive advantages like R&D, better management, and security.
- Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid Clouds are so-called because they fasten public and private Clouds for their business. The use of such Clouds has gained momentum since its inception as it helps overcome the disadvantages of Public Cloud- no control, and less security- while cutting down the cost of investing solely in Private Clouds for very general operations.
Companies use both the public and private components of a Cloud; the more important and sensitive operations are compassed on private Cloud. In case of huge traffic or low server storage, some operations can be moved to the public Cloud. The proportions in which the two Clouds are intermingled varies as per the organization’s needs.
- Community Cloud
It is a multi-tenant Cloud shared by many organizations at once. It can be managed internally or by the third party.
Community Clouds are often designed for businesses & organizations working on a joint project, or application. Or working on a development that requires a common computing facility that can facilitate easy data sharing between the organizations.
Based on the services offered by the Cloud provider, Cloud server hosting is again split into the following types. The below mentioned classifications are sometimes also called Cloud computing stack, as they form a pyramid, building one on the top of the other.
- SaaS- Software as a Service
Software as a service is accessible by web browser or lightweight apps, and allows a single instance of software to run for multiple users. Such services are generally platform independent and only needs a working internet connection.
Common examples include: Gmail, HR & Helpdesk solutions.
The advantage of opting for SaaS is that it is universally accessible and allows easy collaboration. Multi-tenancy is an added advantage as the same service can accommodate multiple users. However, there are limitations pertaining to the portability. Moreover, these services are only as good as your internet connection. Poor performance of the internet can outweigh the performance of the service- however seamless it might be.
- PaaS- Platform as a Service
PaaS is a domain for developers. Amazon web services, windows azure are one on its key examples.
PaaS is aimed at providing development environment and comprises: (i) language execution environment, (ii) Operating System, and (iii) a web server. It capsules all the environments necessary for the developers and enables them to run the program without troubling themselves with the underlying infrastructure.
The service provider gives control of the application resources to the users and the primary infrastructure resources are completely managed by the service provider.
The downside of such service is that it binds developers to use the provider’s language and tools.
- IaaS – Infrastructure as a service
IaaS offers Computing architecture & the infrastructure in a virtual environment. The resource managed by the provider in IaaS includes data storage, virtualization, server & networking. The remaining resource viz. apps, data, runtime & middleware is handled by the user. IaaS reduces the infrastructure complexity of an organization as it aims at renting the entire real estate, with the hardware, to the use of the organization.
The chief examples of Infrastructure as a service include Gogrid and dedicated server hosting.
A lot of ambiguity surrounds the deployment of Cloud computing for an enterprise. The effect of Cloud is already tangible and so profound is its use for a business that it has already made its way to our list of business essentials. Cloud is a big subject in itself, hence, with this article we have aimed at keeping the information as grounded, and concise, as possible.