What are the different types of cloud computing?
Cloud computing as a whole describes accessing files, software or services via the internet, rather than through your local hard drive. However, within cloud computing, there are many different types of services available, including both hardware and software. Each come with varying levels of protection, access and flexibility.
Before investing in cloud services for your business, it's worth understanding the options available to you.
Types of cloud computing explained
1) Public cloud
You might hear the terms public and private cloud used. A public cloud is any form of computing available to everyone, as long as they have an internet connection. Gmail and Salesforce are examples of public clouds. Everyone can go to the relevant URLs and login, provided they have an account and the correct credentials.
2) Private cloud
A private cloud is what you might think of now as your company's network. It's essentially an internal cloud system that's protected from general public access and only available to those within the organisation it serves. It may be where the company stores all their files and applications so that they're accessible to all employees from every location.
Only people coming through a secure VPN connection can access a private cloud – a cloud that only authorised VPNs can see.
3) Hybrid cloud
The hybrid cloud is a blend of the public and private solutions described above. Commonly a company have internal resources that they want to connect to their cloud-based applications or infrastructure. With a hybrid cloud solution, companies can share data and applications between the two. Using a hybrid cloud gives organisations flexibility in terms of how they manage, scale and access their programs and resources without investing in physical equipment. However, their critical data is still protected behind company firewalls and invisible to the general public.
With SaaS, users can access the software from anywhere with an internet connection.
4) Software-as-a-service (SaaS)
Before the cloud took off, buying software involved a physical disk from which to load the product. Now, many software services are available over the cloud instead. What this really means is that users login over the internet, rather than via software installed on their machine.
There are a number of well-known examples of SaaS, such as Salesforce or Hubspot. The benefits of SaaS to users are that they can access the software from anywhere in which they have an internet connection and use the software on multiple devices, often without having to pay additional fees. The software company keeps the product updated as new upgrades come through or security enhancements are released.
5) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
Companies can now use the cloud to host and hold their own custom services or products, as well as software they buy into. Those that buy into PaaS might set up their own website or mobile application, for example, without having to understand or organise the underlying components, such as servers and databases. The PaaS company they work with sorts out all of these technical components and provides a ready to use space. As well as all the tech set up, the PaaS provider also deals with general maintenance.
6) Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)
This option allows businesses to forego huge investments in physical infrastructure by making use of what's available from other companies over the internet. Tech giants like Google, Amazon and Microsoft all rent out infrastructure that other companies can use to store their own networks. In fact, Netflix use Amazon's cloud services to make themselves accessible to their users.
Infrastructure could include anything from servers and storage, to operating systems and networks. IaaS provides lots of flexibility, as companies haven't invested in the physical assets. It's much easier to arrange to change their level of storage, for example, when they're only renting it.
Implementing cloud computing into your business
At Biztech, we've helped companies of all sizes switch their operations into the cloud. Especially for small to medium-sized enterprises, it can really help save money in the long term, as there's no need to replace expensive kit every few years. We help you find a solution that allows you to grow as and when you need to, without significant expense. In fact, we start by preparing a cloud services cost model for your business, so you're clear what the pros and cons are for your business.
Not only do we help our clients switch, we also manager their cloud services for them too. We deal with infrastructure updates, security changes and all other forms of maintenance. All you have to do is your day-to-day.
To find out more about what types of cloud services your business could benefit from, get in touch with the IT experts at Biztech. We'll talk you through the options, get you started and keep an eye on your services as you grow and expand.