Cloud computing is usually described in one of two ways. Either based on the cloud location, or on the service that the cloud is offering.
Based on a cloud location, we can classify cloud as:
Based on a service that the cloud is offering, we are speaking of either:
Previously, we have explained how cloud works. Basically, programs that are needed to run a certain application are now more popularly located on a remote machine, owned by another company. This is done in order not to lose on the quality performance due to processing power of your own computer, to save money on IT support, and yet remain advantageous on the market. These computers that run the applications, store the data, and use a server system, are basically what we call “the cloud”.
When we talk about public cloud, we mean that the whole computing infrastructure is located on the premises of a cloud computing company that offers the cloud service. The location remains, thus, separate from the customer and he has no physical control over the infrastructure.
As public clouds use shared resources, they do excel mostly in performance, but are also most vulnerable to various attacks.
Private cloud means using a cloud infrastructure (network) solely by one customer/organization. It is not shared with others, yet it is remotely located. If the cloud is externally hosted. The companies have an option of choosing an on-premise private cloud as well, which is more expensive, but they do have a physical control over the infrastructure.
The security and control level is highest while using a private network. Yet, the cost reduction can be minimal, if the company needs to invest in an on-premise cloud infrastructure.
Hybrid cloud, of course, means, using both private and public clouds, depending on their purpose.
For example, public cloud can be used to interact with customers, while keeping their data secured through a private cloud.
Image 1 – Private vs Public Cloud (Image Source: TalkCloudComputing)
Community cloud implies an infrastructure that is shared between organizations, usually with the shared data and data management concerns. For example, a community cloud can belong to a government of a single country. Community clouds can be located both on and off the premises.
The most popular services of the cloud are that of either infrastructure, platform, software, or storage.
As explained before, the most common cloud service is that one offering data storage disks and virtual servers, i.e. infrastructure. Examples of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) companies are Amazon, Rackspace, Flexiscale.
If the cloud offers a development platform, and this includes operating system, programming language execution environment, database, and web server, the model is known as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), examples of which are Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce. Operating system can be frequently upgraded and developed with PaaS, services can be obtained from diverse sources, and programming can be worked in teams (geographically distributed).
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), finally, means that users can access various software applications on a pay-per-use basis. As opposed to buying licensed programs, often very expensive. Examples of such services include widely used GMail, or Google Docs.
Image 2 – Cloud Services Types and Examples (Image Source: TheGadgetSquare)
The longer list will include Storage as a service (STaaS), Security as a service (SECaaS), Data as a service (DaaS), Test environment as a service (TEaaS), Desktop as a service (DaaS), API as a service (APIaaS).
Once you have understood the types of cloud computing, based on location and services, the most important step is to choose the right type of cloud and service, for a specific task with your clients.
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