Cloud services have transformed the way computers are used today. The underlying concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1950s, and since then it has advanced at a very rapid pace and continues to grow.
Cloud computing makes hardware and software resources to be available on the Internet and are managed as third party services. These services typically provide access to everything from simple backup applications to advanced server virtualization.
The advantage of cloud computing is that it helps in increasing capacity and capabilities without requiring any additional infrastructure to be added – providing great savings.
IAAS – Infrastructure as a Service
A business may not want to invest into datacenters, servers, networking equipment and the manpower required to maintain all these resources. They may wish to utilize more computer resources as they grow. This is where the Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) comes in.
The vendors who provide the IAAS maintain all the hardware required so the businesses utilizing their services do not have to worry about it.
IAAS allows organizations to have an unlimited storage potential of the cloud. This allows them to grow and shrink their storage as the requirements demand. The IAAS is used by companies offering disaster recovery services.
SAAS – Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SAAS), also referred to as software on demand, can be used by many people for a variety of functions. It allows users to benefit from the functionality of particular software without having to worry about storage or other issues. The software can easily be accessed by multiple users using just a web browser. Google Docs is a great example of SAAS.
The software is hosted on the cloud servers and requires no installation on client computers in most cases.
Platform as a Service (PAAS)
Platform as a Service (PAAS), is a variant of SAAS. A client runs their own copies of the application, using the cloud provider’s infrastructure. Clients don’t have to worry about storage spaces and maintaining servers or hard disks.
Network as a Service (NAAS)
Network as a Service (NaaS) is a business model that aims at providing network services over the internet.
From a client’s point of view, they only require a computer that is connected to the internet – along with the access to NAAS provider’s portal.
This is a very cost-effective service that allows new businesses to reduce costs on their network hardware and the required personnel to maintain this hardware. The network just functions on the pay-as-you-go basis, just like water and electricity services.
Utility Cloud Services
Utility cloud services provide virtual storage and creation of a virtual data center – which the clients can access on demand. This is very useful for companies that require a lot of storage space which they want to be able to access remotely from anywhere.
Backup is also provided by the utility cloud services, allowing users to securely store their data on the cloud from computers, smart phones and tablets.