Over the last few years the term cloud computing has been used from everything to describing some on the internet or companies using in their description of their product and services. But, do we really know what it means or are we using the cloud computing term incorrectly?
So today, I decided it would be a great idea to explain in simple terms what is clouding computing and how we are using it today. Image Source: Wiki – Cloud Computing
What is Cloud Computing in Simple Terms
In simple terms, cloud computing is using computer resources (software/hardware) that are delivered over the internet (sometimes over a network).
This means you do not have to go out and purchase a high end beast of a computer to serve up whatever service you might need. With cloud computing, you do not have to worry about purchasing extra hardware, it failing, or it never getting used. The company that runs the cloud computing service you are using has to worry about those things. If there is a problem they get to fix it. If you find the services they provide are not needed anymore, you can cancel your service plan and start it up again when needed.
Types of Cloud Computing
Currently there are nine types of cloud computing services.
- Infrastructure Service (laaS) – “In this most basic cloud service model, cloud providers offer computers, as physical or more often as virtual machines, and other resources. The virtual machines are run as guests by a hypervisor, such as Xen or KVM. Management of pools of hypervisors by the cloud operational support system leads to the ability to scale to support a large number of virtual machines. Other resources in IaaS clouds include images in a virtual machine image library, raw (block) and file-based storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks (VLANs), and software bundles. Amies, Alex; Sluiman, Harm; Tong IaaS cloud providers supply these resources on demand from their large pools installed in data centers. For wide area connectivity, the Internet can be used or—in carrier clouds — dedicated virtual private networks can be configured., Qiang Guo (July 2012). “Infrastructure as a Service Cloud Concepts”. Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud. IBM Press. ISBN 978-0-13-306684-5.”
- Platform Service (PaaS) – “In the PaaS model, cloud providers deliver a computing platform typically including operating system, programming language execution environment, database, and web server. Application developers can develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. With some PaaS offers, the underlying computer and storage resources scale automatically to match application demand such that cloud user does not have to allocate resources manually. Examples of PaaS include: Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, Cloud Foundry, Heroku, Force.com, EngineYard, Mendix, Google App Engine, Windows Azure Compute and OrangeScape.“
- Software Service (SaaS) – “In this model, cloud providers install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access the software from cloud clients. The cloud users do not manage the cloud infrastructure and platform on which the application is running. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on the cloud user’s own computers simplifying maintenance and support. What makes a cloud application different from other applications is its elasticity. This can be achieved by cloning tasks onto multiple virtual machines at run-time to meet the changing work demand. Load balancers distribute the work over the set of virtual machines. This process is inconspicuous to the cloud user who sees only a single access point. To accommodate a large number of cloud users, cloud applications can be multitenant, that is, any machine serves more than one cloud user organization. It is common to refer to special types of cloud based application software with a similar naming convention: desktop as a service, business process as a service, test environment as a service, communication as a service. The pricing model for SaaS applications is typically a monthly or yearly flat fee per user, so price is scalable and adjustable if users are added or removed at any point. – Examples of SaaS include: Google Apps, innkeypos, Quickbooks Online, Successfactors Bizx, Limelight Video Platform, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Office 365.”
- Storage Service (STaaS) – “is a business model in which a large service provider rents space in their storage infrastructure on a subscription basis. The economy of scale in the service provider’s infrastructure allows them to provide storage much more cost effectively than most individuals or corporations can provide their own storage, when total cost of ownership is considered.
- Security Service (SECaaS) – “is a business model in which a large service provider integrates their security services into a corporate infrastructure on a subscription basis more cost effectively than most individuals or corporations can provide on their own, when total cost of ownership is considered. These security services often include authentication, anti-virus, anti-malware/spyware, intrusion detection, and security event management, among others.”
- Data Service (DaaS) – “Like all members of the “as a Service” (aaS) family, DaaS is based on the concept that the product, data in this case, can be provided on demand to the user regardless of geographic or organizational separation of provider and consumer. Additionally, the emergence of service-oriented architecture (SOA) has rendered the actual platform on which the data resides also irrelevant. This development has enabled the recent emergence of the relatively new concept of DaaS.”
- Test Environment Service (TEaaS) – “sometimes referred to as “on-demand test environment,” is a test environment delivery model in which software and its associated data are hosted centrally (typically in the (Internet) cloud) and are typically accessed by users using a thin client, normally using a web browser over the Internet.”
- Desktop Service (DaaS) – “(sometimes called client virtualization), as a concept, separates a personal computer desktop environment from a physical machine using the client–server model of computing.”
- API Service (APIaaS) – “is a service platform that enables the creation and hosting of APIs (application programming interfaces).”
As you can see, there is a broad range of services that can be classified as cloud computing. But all you really need to know is that you can use the cloud computing to share resources over the internet and most people will benefit from clouding computing for storage and software services.