Cloud Computing In A Nutshell – What You Need To Know
What is Cloud Computing?
If you have the patience to read on below then you find out that Cloud Computing isn’t that mysterious after all. There is no cloud, ether or magical hocus pocus out there. It’s cables, wires, servers, disk space, software and applications. That’s it. ‘The Cloud’ is made of up three components: IAAS, PAAS and SAAS. Want to know more……?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is the hardware side of the cloud. It is the servers, storage disks, memory, hard drives, cables, fibre optics and data centres. The nuts and bolts, if you like. And not a hint of water vapour.
The IAAS part is familiar to most of us. It’s been around for decades and the more customers you have the more ‘kit’ you need. All large hosting companies manage these resources very carefully.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This is the “middle layer” of Cloud Computing and includes operating systems and programming languages that allow software and programs to run. It is no different with your laptop, desktop or tablet. If you don’t have an operating system then you won’t be able to load on any programs or applications. Mac OS, Windows 8 are all operating systems many of us are familiar with.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is what the user sees as ‘usable’ software. Basically the applications and programs on the front end. As an end user you may be familiar with and use Flickr, Google Drive, Drop Box, Apple iCloud or Microsoft Sky Drive. These are all SaaS. So you may have been using ‘The Cloud’ for longer than you think.
There is no doubt that there has been a lot of marketing hype based around Cloud Computing but accessing applications and software over the Internet is nothing new. As a business owner you want to know that your software, applications and data are ‘on demand’, safe, secure and reliable.
Many small companies will have a server on the business premises that acts as a micro cloud solution already. Users are simply tapping into the server resources. With true Cloud based computing you are accessing everything over the Internet on an as needed basis. No need for hardware upgrades, security patches, software installation and backup. It is all done for you so your PC, laptop or tablet becomes a dummy terminal.
Companies likes Amazon offer complete Cloud solutions (Amazon AWS) which are elastic in nature. They expand and contract to the needs of your company thus providing a safe, secure and affordable business solution.