Cloud Services

When we speak of the could we are generally speaking of anything involving hosted services over the internet. These are often broken into three main categories:

  • IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service. Windows Azure and Rackspace Cloud provide you with infrastructure as a service.
  • PaaS: Platform as a Service. Google App Engine, PHP Fog, Heroku and similar types of application deployment platforms provide platforms as a service in the Cloud.
  • SaaS: Software as a Service. Popular software packages such as Google Apps, Basecamp and Mint, these are some examples of Cloud-based solutions providing software as a service in the Cloud.

People often think Amazon Web Service (AWS) is an example of infrastructure as a service, however AWS is really all of these.

Business benefits of using Cloud

  • Minimize your upfront infrastructure investment: You do not directly have to purchase or otherwise even think about things like racks or physical servers, power supplies, routers, cables and all the myriad parts and the connections between them that are needed to host your technology product.
  • Just-in-Time Infrastructure: Just-in-Time Infrastructure refers to being able to only allocate and use exactly what you need and only what you need at the moment you need it. For example where you did not plan for enough capacity to handle a load that you got as well as gone are the days of falling victim to your own failure or you have over allocated your capacity and you've overpaid. The Cloud allows you to keep costs low by allowing you to scale as you grow.
  • Maximize efficiency of resources: The cloud also allows you to maximize the efficiency of your resources. Applications can request and relinquish resources on demand, allowing system administrators to stop having to plan for hardware procurement or to figure out what to do with idle resources.
  • Only pay for what you use: the Cloud allows you to use only what you need and also pay for what you use when you are using it. No long-term committments. This also makes it very easy to test things out, experiment with different configurations and try different options while keeping costs very much under control. This of course is by no means an exhaustive list of the business benefits.

Above highlights some of the benefits from a business perspective, but what about the benefits from a technical perspective?

References & Resources

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