IT professionals love buzzwords, and the term “cloud” is one of them. With a wide range of cloud types and the notorious “as a service” phrase we see all the time, cloud computing still creates confusion for many business owners outside of the IT sector. Therefore, before you choose the cloud infrastructure for your business, let’s take a step back to see what cloud types there and which one is the right fit for your business.
Different Forms of Cloud Deployment
Cloud deployment incorporates installation and configuration operations you need to perform before you start using the cloud. Based on their deployment, there are three cloud types – public, private, and hybrid.
A public cloud infrastructure is owned by a cloud vendor and delivered over the internet on a pay-per-use basis. That means you will share hardware, storage, and network devices with other users. As such, public cloud platforms are not among the most reliable cloud options out there. For example, if a cloud vendor got hacked, your company’s data would also be exposed.
However, the public cloud still brings multiple benefits to the table, including cost-effectiveness and scalability. Above all, you will not need to worry about the maintenance – the vendor will handle it for you.
Private clouds belong to a single organization. Unlike the public cloud, the private cloud is not controlled by a third-party vendor, meaning no downtime and changes will disrupt your daily operations. That way, it provides greater control and flexibility, allowing you to customize your cloud architecture based on your company’s specific needs.
Authorized employees can access, use, and store data in the private cloud from any location. With the private cloud, it is easier for companies to restrict access to their sensitive data. As such, it is perfect for large companies and businesses in tightly regulated sectors, such as financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and government agencies. Sure, since your company owns the cloud, it is responsible for maintaining cloud software and infrastructure.
Hybrid clouds combine the features of public and private clouds. They are designed to help these cloud types to operate seamlessly, allowing data and applications to move uninterruptedly. A common type of the hybrid cloud infrastructure is cloud bursting that uses the private cloud as your company’s primary storage infrastructure. When your service demands grow, the public cloud steps in and lets you store your resources there. That way, your company will be able to handle greater traffic without needing to buy additional servers or upgrade plans.
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HCI – the Foundation for Cloud Adoption
HCI virtualizes the components of traditional hardware-defined systems. Usually running on commercial off-the-shelf servers, a hyper-converged infrastructure includes a hypervisor (virtualized computing), software-defined storage, and virtualized networking.
By using a hyper-converged infrastructure solution, you can build a cloud-like system on-premises that will give you greater control, enhance data security, and help you reduce costs. By adding a cloud management platform, your HCI can transform into a cloud computing platform. With HCI, you can combine the flexibility of public clouds and the control private clouds provide. That way, you will reduce the overall complexity of IT and run your tasks from an automated and agile cloud infrastructure.
Types of Cloud Services based on their Technology Models
Based on the technology models they use, there are three cloud types – IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. When analyzing IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, it is vital not to observe them as different cloud categories. They are all built on the same foundation. While some are designed specifically for specific tasks, others are broader and more versatile.
Infrastructure as a Service represents a fully virtualized computing system that is delivered over the internet. It allows you to migrate all IT elements to the cloud, including networking, servers, storage, and virtualization. With IaaS, you will have full control of your applications, data, and infrastructure. Its main advantage is its versatility, as it can meet your business’ different needs.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is narrower than IaaS. It is designed for developers, providing them with the framework they need to develop, test, deploy, manage, and update their products. Therefore, developers do not need to invest in expensive hardware and software when starting out. Instead, they can develop the products using the code that already exists. While the PaaS vendor manages the operating system, runtime, middleware, virtualization, servers, storage, and networking, you will need to handle applications and data.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the standard form of cloud computing. It is a fully-developed piece of software that is delivered over the internet. Some SaaS vendors even eliminate the need for downloads and installations, allowing you to use the platform directly from the browser. The best thing is that you do not need to think about maintenance. The SaaS provider manages applications, middleware, data, O/S, virtualization, servers, storage, and networking.
By migrating to the cloud, you will automate many business processes, enhance workplace productivity, boost employee mobility, and reduce costs. Of course, keep in mind that there are no uniform cloud solutions. By understanding the different types of cloud computing, you will easily find the one that meets your business needs. We hope these insights will help.