Cloudy times part 2
Available Cloud Services
To better understand cloud solution, it is good to start with its concepts. There are three basic services in cloud:
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
This is external service, based on delivering IT Infrastructure by Public Cloud provider. In comparison to on premise, you do not have to purchase any piece of hardware. Cloud providers allows you (for certain price) to rent their computing power without worrying about datacenter, equipment, hardware etc. e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure, Akamai CDN, Symmetrix Storage.
It is base layer and contains components such as Virtual Machines, Storages (blobs), Virtual Networks.
- You do not have to take care about purchasing hardware which brings cost reduction benefits
- Also hardware maintenance is out of scope
- Physical network setup is also excluded from your concerns the same as power supply
- Most of licenses you do not have to purchase, I am writing most, because in some cases it may be necessary to order some special licenses which are not available in Public Cloud Portfolio
- Quite important next to not purchasing hardware is dynamic scalability of your environment. In case your environment grows you can extend it without engaging lots of your capital. The infrastructure is available, Public Cloud provider is making sure that resources such as RAM, CPU, Storage etc. will be available.
- Security of Data Center and its components is out of your concerns, also security of resources in the cloud is in the scope of responsibility of Cloud Providers. Of course it does not mean that you can just skip this part totally.
Paas – Platform as a Service
This is external service, based on delivering complete working platform. It means that you have fully functional solution which is designated to your needs such as a pack of operating system, with programing environment, dedicated database, webserver etc. in it. Mostly it is designated for developers or partners/customers for developing applications.
It is running on top of IaaS and using Runtime Environment (such example could be Java), Databases (MS SQL, Oracle), Webservers (Apache).
- Completely build and functional environment / solution that fulfills needs of group it is dedicated for
- While using the platform, you can concentrate of your work and do not take care about maintenance of machine, patches or upgrades
- Do not have to take care about licenses and hardware cost
- Basic set up and platform configuration is prepared in advance for you
e.g. cloudera, Oracle, RedHat, AppScale, Microsoft SQL Azure.
Saas – Software as a Service
One of cloud computing models that enables using application which is hosted (running and being executed) in the Public Cloud provider infrastructure and is being shared via Internet. This easily eliminates any need of application installation, configuration and execution on any private computer/server. It transfers maintenance, upgrades, updates, configuration, installation and any other managing responsibility on Cloud Provider. This layer runs on top of PaaS.
Examples of SaaS are Office 365, CRMs, HRMs, ERPs, New Relic, NetApp, CloudPassage.
- no need of doing any maintenance work such upgrades, updates
- Solution is hosted in the Public Cloud Provider environment which excludes any need of hardware and data center
- SaaS providers manages both hardware and software
- Decreasing the costs. Paying for what you need and use.
- Easy to be used, everything is already prepared the most knowledge you have to have is how to manage the application itself.
- Scalability -the public Cloud provider infrastructure is big enough to adjust and fulfill customers’ needs.
Popular trend from Software as a service is to bring as much as you can to be executed in Cloud. Often, the term SaaS is substituted by the name of application/service it provides e.g. Database as a Service, CRM as a service and so on.
Growth of popularity is also among simpler things. When you buy a laptop you receive information that there is 1TB of space but within this 500GB is available in the cloud, this is dedicated storage provided by Vendor of Hardware or application. Basically this is good for example for backups, because the transfer is relying on your network bandwidth, therefore bigger files could be have longer execution time. Also it is not your drive, this is virtual drive so applications could be not installed there.
Another example are email accounts where just for registering email account you obtain virtual storage space for your personal files/emails. e.g. Gmail is offering you the Google Drive, but not only in parallel you receive Office Suite as a Service. The same is with Microsoft and its Outlook. The office suite is not the full version, it has its restrictions, but with only registering account you can use standard office suite free of charge.
Additionally there are also bonuses for customers. For example, Microsoft offers buyers additional space on OneDrive for buying Office365.
Examples of Virtual Storages: iCloud, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, Asus Cloud, Dell Cloud, Qnap Cloud etc.