The World of Cloud Computing and Its Services

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services, which include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. These services operate over the Internet, or “The Cloud”, to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. Cloud services typically require users to pay only for what they use, helping to lower operating costs, run an infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as business needs change. Cloud computing is a massive shift from the typical ways that businesses think about IT resources.

The cloud computing infrastructure offers various benefits such as cost-effectiveness, speed, productivity, global scalability, performance, reliability, and security. Cloud computing is a service that has grown in many different ways over the years. We also have to remember that not all clouds are the same. There isn’t one type of cloud computing that is right for everyone. There are four different types of cloud services and there are three ways to deploy those cloud services. Today, we will be discussing the four main types of cloud services: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and Serverless.

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is a cloud computing service where enterprises rent or lease servers for compute or storage in the cloud. Users are able to run any operating system or applications on the rented servers without the maintenance and operating costs of those servers. IaaS gives customers access to servers in geographic locations close to their end users. IaaS has the ability to automatically scale up and down, letting you pay only for what you use. It also provides the fundamental IT resources that users require to deploy and run software, such as operating systems and applications. This type of infrastructure eliminates the need to manually provision and manage physical servers in a data center. By design, the underlying infrastructure remains unseen by the user. The benefits of this service include: Faster scaling, core focus, continuity and disaster recovery. 

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a cloud computing model where a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools to users over the Internet. These tools are normally used for application development. A PaaS provider hosts the hardware and software on its own infrastructure. This design frees developers from having to install in-house hardware and software to develop or run a new application. PaaS tools tend to be convenient and simple to use. This type of infrastructure allows users to pay on a per-basis use, which allows enterprises to eliminate capital expenses on hardware and software. A PaaS infrastructure does not replace a company’s entire IT infrastructure for software development. Instead, it is provided through a cloud service provider’s hosted infrastructure. PaaS can be delivered through public, private, and hybrid clouds to create services like application hosting and deployment. The main benefit of Paas is the simplicity and convenience for users.

3. Software as a Service (SaaS) 

SaaS is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is closely related to the application service provider (ASP) and on demand computing software delivery models. In the SaaS model, the provider gives customers network-based access to a copy of an application that the provider created specifically for SaaS distribution. Depending on the service level agreement, the customer’s data for each model may be stored locally or in the cloud. Organizations can integrate SaaS applications with other software using application programming interfaces. Saas has many benefits, including flexible payments, scalable usage, automatic updates, accessibility and persistence. SaaS also removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers and data centers. Organizations typically pay for SaaS applications through a subscription fee, on a monthly or annual basis. 

4. Serverless 

Serverless computing is a method of providing backend services on an as-need basis. A serverless provider allows users to write and deploy code without the hassle of worrying about the underlying infrastructure. Physical servers are still used, despite the name “serverless”. The vendor handles the server space and infrastructure concerns. “Serverless” means that developers can do their work without having to worry about the servers.

Serverless computing allows developers to purchase backend services on a flexible ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis, meaning that developers only have to pay for the services they use. This serverless cloud provider is responsible for executing a piece of code by dynamically allocating resources. This code typically operates inside stateless containers that can be triggered by a variety of events, including HTTP requests, database events, queuing services, file uploads, monitoring alerts, scheduled events, and much more. The code that is sent to the cloud provider for execution is usually in the form of a function. Because of this, sometimes “serverless” is referred to “Function as a Service”.

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