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Increased popularity of cloud computing and allied services witnessed a transformation of businesses, facilitating them to use IT infrastructures and platforms, software and applications via the internet and online hotspots.
For organizations planning to shift their businesses to the cloud, there is an increased importance to understand the below 3 terms:
1 – Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS
IaaS works with cloud based services like storage, networking and visualization. Here the end user gets cloud based alternatives to on premise or physical infrastructures, thus facilitating businesses to purchase resources on-demand. The IaaS customers store data on the servers of their providers and use a dashboard or API to access their resources.
The IaaS platforms are extremely flexible and scalable, easily accessible by multiple users and cost effective too. This provides computer resources that are virtual and are eventually used to replace physical resources, such as servers. Shortly, IaaS allows its consumers to eliminate the expenditure of buying and maintaining physical servers as it allows multiple users on a single hardware.
While IaaS’s primary advantage is that the consumers have complete control over their infrastructure, it also has the disadvantage that the consumer has to make sure that its apps and operating systems are working properly and providing the utmost security. If any data is lost, it is up to them to recover it.
Some examples of IaaS are:
- Amazon Web Services
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud
- IBM Cloud
2 – Platform as a Service – PaaS
A PaaS facilitates developers with a certain framework that they can use to create custom applications. They don’t deliver software over the internet, rather they provide a platform for the developers to do so online, without having to deal with data serving, storing or managing. The developers access the various tools that PaaS offers online.
A PaaS is cost effective, thus making it a go-to option for developers as it also allows easy collaborations with an entire team. On a PaaS, developers build their app and can deploy it immediately, making it flexible and scalable.
Moreover, it also has its cons. It has limited customizations and also as the parent PaaS provider stores that data, this may pose a security threat to the end user.
Some examples of PaaS are:
- Red Hat Open Shift
- Google App Engine
3 – Software as a Service – SaaS
A SaaS is a cloud based software hosted online by an organization and is available for purchase on subscription basis. This is also delivered over the internet, to the end users. This is the most common cloud computing service and is used majorly by companies to grow their business. Much like its other counter parts, IaaS and PaaS, the SaaS is also highly flexible and scalable. But the major difference being this is very easily manageable as it doesn’t always require installation on individual devices for the entire company use.
The SaaS providers deliver products over the web for end-customer use. While ease of installation and use is the major advantage a SaaS product offers, its data security may strike a threat, as the security depends on the SaaS company’s security measures – if it leaks, all the data becomes vulnerable.
Some examples of SaaS are:
4 – Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud computing is widely used now-a-days as it is a perfect amalgamation of public and private clouds. While public clouds ran off- premises, private ones were on=premise (even though through vendor-owned data centers located off-premises).
Hybrid cloud computing connects multiple systems through a definite network by consolidating the IT resources. It incorporates a single unified management tool while orchestrating the processes by Automation.
For hybrid cloud strategy to run successfully, the prime requirement is a strong network connection, which may be a WAN or a dedicated networking service for additional security. The unique mix of public and private cloud resources makes Hybrid cloud computing easier for every application / workload and move the workload between the different clouds, as required.
5 – MultiCloud
When cloud services are used from more than one cloud vendor, it is referred to as Multi-cloud. It can be as simple as using a SaaS from various cloud vendors or running applications on PaaS or IaaS from multiple cloud vendors. This provides more flexibility to organizations to optimize their performance and is cost-effective as it works by leveraging the best cloud technologies available.
Multi cloud is a definitive cloud computing solution as it is portable across multiple providers’ cloud infrastructures. They are typically built on open source, cloud native technologies, such as Kubernetes.
Adopting a multi cloud strategy brings in choices. And with options, comes the ability to invest in digital transformations without expending humongously. It empowers organizations to maintain strict security compliances by optimizing the computing resources. Also, multi cloud hybridization reduces the chances of a single service failure taking down the entire enterprise offline.