Cloud computing has become a mainstream technology that supports the operations of various businesses around the globe. The latest State of the Cloud Report shows that 94% of organizations are using at least one type of cloud computing service. However, another report from McKinsey found that companies are only running 20% of their workloads on the cloud.
New cloud solutions are developed almost every day, propelled by the continuous innovations of prominent tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. But despite the cloud's growing market, many businesses are still oblivious of the different cloud services and deployment models available. If you're looking to harness the power of the cloud for your business, here's a guide on the various cloud computing services to help you decide.
Cloud computing service models
You can choose from three cloud computing service models, depending on your business's needs.
1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
IaaS is a cloud service model that offers you on-demand access to computing resources such as computers, servers, storage, and networking. You can run your own software, applications, and platforms using your cloud provider's infrastructure. This service model is ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that need state-of-art hardware resources but don't have the staff to manage and maintain it. Also, IaaS can be easily scaled to meet the current needs of your business.
2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
PaaS provides you access to hardware and software tools, and is mostly used for developing, managing, and hosting your applications. Your cloud provider manages all the underlying operating systems, security, infrastructure, and backups, allowing you to focus on application development. Examples of PaaS include Windows Azure, Google App Engine, and OpenShift.
3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
SaaS gives you access to a variety of software products to enhance the productivity of your employees. Instead of installing the software on your computers, you can access these applications using a web interface or an application programming interface. Since the software is hosted by your cloud provider, you don't have to worry about managing and updating any of the hosted software you're using.
Cloud deployment models
After you've chosen the cloud service or services for your business, you have to decide which cloud deployment model to use.
1. Public cloud
The public cloud is a deployment model that offers a wide range of free or paid computing services over the public internet. For companies that want to save money, a public cloud is an ideal option because it eliminates the need to buy and manage on-premises equipment. Everything is managed and maintained by the cloud provider. What's more, a public cloud can be deployed faster than an on-premises infrastructure.
2. Private cloud
Unlike a public cloud, a private cloud offers computing services over the internet or a private network to select users. This means that the general public or unauthorized users are prohibited from accessing a private cloud. It also comes with all the benefits of a public cloud plus a higher level of privacy and security to keep sensitive data safe. However, keep in mind that if you choose a private cloud, you need your own IT staff to manage and maintain it.
3. Hybrid cloud
A hybrid cloud combines the features of a public and a private cloud. Data and applications can be shared between the two, and when your processing and computing needs fluctuate, you have the option of moving your on-premises infrastructure to the public cloud. This means you can use the public cloud for everyday tasks while keeping your vital data and applications secure in the private cloud.
With several cloud service models and deployment models to choose from, take the time to think about what setup is ideal for your business before talking to a cloud provider. If you're not sure where to start, Complete Document Solutions can help. Our IT experts will provide you with the information you need about the best cloud solution for your business. If you want to learn more about the cloud, download our free eBook “Demystifying the Cloud” today.