What is the Cloud pt. II

In today’s tech world, ‘the cloud’ or ‘cloud computing’ is an important concept which has become a necessity for businesses looking to stay competitive and propel growth. To help your business prosper, let’s take a deep dive into cloud computing, and learn about how to leverage it for your organization.

Welcome to the second article of our 5-part series about the cloud and how it impacts your business

  1. What is the Cloud pt. I

  2. What is the Cloud pt. II

  3. Why should your business use the cloud (June 13)

  4. How is cloud utilized by businesses (June 17)

  5. Cloud pros and cons (June 20)

What is the Cloud II?

In our previous article, what is the cloud pt. I, you would have learned that using cloud enables”the ability to store and access data from virtually anywhere at any time over the internet without the use of a hard-drive”. It was declared that the key value of the cloud is it allows consumers to save money, save time, and save space. In that article, we covered the basic characteristics of the Cloud, and how it is split into two entities: cloud storage and cloud computing. Building on last weeks article, we get into the specific components of cloud:

  1. History of the Cloud 

  2. Cloud Deployment Models

  3. Cloud Service Models

History of the Cloud

The same as with many major inventions, an enormous number of small steps led up to what we now call ‘cloud computing’. Not everyone agrees about who contributed what when, however, there are a few significant milestones which cloud historians agree on (mostly).

Cloud Service Models

As you may have noticed, cloud computing is full of acronyms: SaaS, PaaS, etc. Let’s take a look at some of these acronyms by talking about the three major types of cloud computing services: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

IaaS lets you use resources as needed and pay only for what you use. As a result, it is the most basic service and is quite easy to scale up and down. IaaS manages your IT infrastructure. Onto that, you layer (and manage) your operating system(s) and business software such as your CRM, Mortgage or Insurance programs. Examples of IaaS resources which you can rent on demand include storage, servers, networks, and virtual machines (VMs).

Platform as a service (PaaS)

This is the next step up in terms of less management by your in-house IT team. PaaS allows customers to develop, run and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure from ground-to-bottom. You only have to manage your applications and data, PaaS does the rest. This option is great for enterprises which regularly design and code web or mobile apps.

Software as a service (SaaS)

SaaS manages it all. The examples really give the best definition—apps such as Zoho One, Microsoft Office 365, Amazon Web Services (AWS),  DocuSign, Slack, and Dropbox…just to name a few of the most popular ones. Your business installs the app or platform and uses it. Maintenance and updates are taken care of by the developer.

Cloud Deployment Models

Just as there are several types of cloud computing services, there are several types of clouds: public, private, and hybrid.

Public clouds

When people think of ‘the cloud’, they are mostly like thinking of a public cloud. Service providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and Google all offer public clouds. Evidently, the large corporations who manage the public clouds have a wealth of computing resources enabling them to power the millions of users using their services daily. 

In public clouds, although the services are located on the provider’s premises, the cloud is owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. You use, rent, and pay for these resources much as you do for utilities (water, electricity, gas). This comes with substantial advantages for your business in the form of lower prices, location independence, and minimal operations. The trade off, is the lack of control, specifically regarding the law and location of your data which could be stored in another country with different jurisdictions. Overall, the public cloud is the most common deployment model as splitting the network between many people creates economies of scale and resulting cost synergies.

Private clouds

Your enterprise is the only user. Your cloud may be on-site or via a third-party, service provider.

For those dealing with extra-sensitive data, private clouds — or a private internal network — offer a higher level of control and security than public clouds. This helps to insure that the information of your insurance or mortgage clients stays private. Greater control allows the private cloud to deliver a higher level of security and privacy by customizing which users can access the cloud and where the data is stored. The flip side is that your company’s IT department is held responsible for the cost and accountability of managing the private cloud. For larger organizations, private cloud may be desired, but the increased complexities of managing your own system may be adverse.

Hybrid cloud

Just like hybrid vehicles combine gas and electric engine options, hybrid clouds combine the two other cloud options. Having both public and private cloud resources allows your company to be flexible, suiting the type of cloud to the business function. For example, your customer’s mortgage or insurance data storage might be better housed in the private cloud given the higher level of security. Same, too, with your CRM software to keep your leads to yourself. However, certain applications such as Sales Automation software could be more suited to the public cloud which provides more scalability.

Overall, hybrid clouds help to optimize a business’ infrastructure and offer a greater level of compliance. Their complexity, however, can lead to maintenance and integration challenges.

To give you an idea of who is using what…

  • on average, a business will use a public cloud for 38% of its workload and a private cloud for 41%
  • public clouds are preferred by small to medium businesses (43%) as opposed to the private cloud which is more costly (35%)
  • spending on the public cloud is increasing three times faster than usage of the private cloud
2019-06-12T12:23:40-04:00