Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Who Uses Cloud Computing?
Organizations of every type, size, and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer-facing web applications. For example, healthcare companies are using the cloud to develop more personalized treatments for patients. Financial services companies are using the cloud to power real-time fraud detection and prevention. And video game makers are using the cloud to deliver online games to millions of players around the world.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
The wide adoption of cloud computing has his reasons. For example where you had to buy or rent local server stations and place them inside your facility and also maintining them before, you can now rent them online. That transitions fixed costs to variable ones and frees your space. Overall you can summerize the benefits of cloud computing by the following subjects:
- Agility: Cloud-Computing makes it easy to quickly launch and determinate resources. Which leads to deployment in just minutes. The flexibility helps to test some ideas or experiment around with different technologies and architectures.
- Elasticity: No more unused resources, as customers just pay what they use. Support for automatically up- and down scaling resources helps to always have the right amount of computing resources ready.
- Cost Savings: In the past it was necessary to sign long term contracts to rent racs of server stations which had to be payed if used or not. Cloud-Computing transitions the before fixed costs to variable costs.
- Global Deployment: All of the top cloud-computing providers like AWS, Azure and GCP have their data centers spread out over the whole globe. This makes it easy to launch and deploy global infrastructure as well as services in just minutes.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing providers offering their services according to different models. The three standard models are IaaS, PaaS and Saas.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Examples include MS Azure, AWS (Amazon Web Services), and Cisco Metapod. Without getting too technical, IaaS providers offer cloud-based computing resources at scale – servers, data storage, networking, virtualization, disaster/data recovery, etc.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Examples include Google App Engine and IBM Cloud Foundry. Simply put, PaaS providers allow organizations to develop custom technical solutions via the cloud. Organizations use PaaS to develop web applications – minus the infrastructure requirements traditionally required during a development lifecycle.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Examples include industry giants such as Dropbox, Google Apps, Slack, or Gmail – any type of software that can be used through the internet.