Cloud Computing Terminology

This article will look at common terminology used for Cloud Computing. I am sure that any articles you read related with Cloud will use this terminology.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):

Cloud infrastructure services, also known as “infrastructure as a service” (IaaS), deliver computer infrastructure – typically a platform virtualisation environment – as a service, along with raw (block) storage and networking. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data-center space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service. Suppliers typically bill such services on a utility computing basis; the amount of resources consumed will typically reflect the cost of the service.

Software as a Service (SaaS):

Cloud application services (or “SaaS”) deliver software as a service over the Internet, eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer’s own computers and simplifying maintenance and support. SaaS has been around for a long time for example by checking your online email you have been using SaaS. However, many more applications are readily available now which have been secured properly and ready to enhance a businesses processes. A small set of examples of SaaS applications out there are

• Accounting services (such as Xero or SaaSu)
• Data protection services
• CRM services
• ERP services
• Office application services
• Telephony services
• Invoicing/Billing services
• Backup and Recovery Services (such as our very own Infraworx Cloud Backup: )

Platform as a Service (PaaS):

Cloud platform services, also known as platform as a service (PaaS), deliver a computing platform and/or solution stack as a service, often consuming cloud infrastructure and sustaining cloud applications. It facilitates deployment of applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. Cloud computing is becoming a major change in our industry, and one of the most important parts of this change is the shift of cloud platforms. Platforms let developers write certain applications that can run in the cloud, or even use services provided by the cloud.

The following terms have been discussed before in our File Server Cloud solutions article, but are included here for completeness’ sake:

Private Cloud:

This means that all your data is hosted within your office premises and not using another provider’s resources. This is still called a “cloud” solution as it will enable you and your users to access the files that are hosted within your local premises from anywhere i.e. via an Internet connection. This means you would need to maintain the hardware running the cloud solution. This option may be viable to those who have very sensitive data that they do not wish to host anywhere. The speed of access of 
this solution from a remote location would depend on the businesses connection speed to the Internet.

Public Cloud:

This means that data is stored in a different provider’s data centre, and again the data can be accessed by users from anywhere. This takes the burden of hardware maintenance from the business owner and all they need to worry about is paying a subscription fee. There are many cloud solutions that fit under this category. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, ranging from different security levels to ease of use and so on.

Hybrid Cloud:

A hybrid cloud attempts to have the best of both worlds. It involves having a solution physically located at the business premise, so that when users are working from the office, they access the data with high speed. But when they are away from the office, they can access the same data from anywhere by talking to the provider’s server’s directly instead of the hardware based 
in the business’s premises. And in the background the solution in your office continuously and automatically synchronises with the solution provider’s hardware, providing seamless integration.

Which solution that is best for your business would depend on your requirements.

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