Cloud computing has a great number of benefits for businesses. To get an idea of how it can be utilized, it is usually described in terms of different services that organisations leverage. For example, you may have heard of the word ‘as a service in conjunction with cloud technologies. We spoke to a number of London IT support companies with experience in the cloud, and cloud services, to get an idea of some of the ways cloud services help businesses. Ultimately, the consensus was that cloud computing enables businesses to streamline and centralise various important processes – to understand how this is done, continue reading below…
How Does the Cloud Work?
A cloud, in the technical sense, is the term used to describe servers and compute resources that are accessed remotely, over the internet. When it comes to cloud computing, you have the endpoint, the data centre, and the cloud:
- Endpoint – This is your computer, or whatever device you are using the access the cloud service.
- Datacentre – This is where all the hardware and infrastructure required to create and maintain a cloud is kept.
- Cloud – The cloud itself is the virtual version of the data centre’s resources (such as storage or processing power). The software can be stored and run on a cloud in the same way that it can be stored and run on a physical computer.
This technology can be used in lots of ways; for example, most people will be familiar with the concept of cloud storage, but if you’ve ever used an app on a website, you will have been using software that was stored and deployed from the cloud. The outsourced IT support London businesses rely on nowadays is powered with the cloud – without it, IT providers would not be able to monitor and fix their customer’s networks and deploy solutions remotely. Having a great IT Partner is almost as though you have your own cloud experts or Office 365 Company right in your back pocket to call on at any time you need them.
Below are some of the common examples of how the cloud is used to provide different services:
- Infrastructure as Service (IaaS)
This is one of the broadest cloud services. As we mentioned, a cloud is made when a data centre is built, and the resources within that data centre are virtualised. Infrastructure as a Service is when a cloud provider gives access to these raw cloud resources. This means that, instead of setting up and configuring physical servers in their office, a business can set up and configure virtual servers in the cloud. They can also configure storage for their company data, and even build an internet network in the cloud.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Rather than simply offering the raw cloud computing resources, a cloud provider can provide specific resources and programs from within their cloud. This is what Platform as a Service is; more specifically, this service allows businesses to build their own software, in the cloud. There are many advantages to this. For instance, if a business develops software in the cloud, via PaaS, instead of developing software on a physical computer or server in their office, the software they create will be cloud-native, meaning it can be hosted in and deployed from the cloud.
- Software as a Service
If a business creates software in the cloud and deploys it from the cloud, this is known as a cloud app. Some companies create cloud apps hosted in their own cloud infrastructure and give businesses access to the software only. Customers pay them for access to the software, and this is why it is called software as a service.
- File Storage
The cloud can also be leveraged for very specific functions, which is precisely what Cloud Storage is. This is a service most people will be familiar with (think of Dropbox or Google Drive – these are both cloud storage solutions). The company configures storage resources in their cloud so that they can be used by other users or organisations. Cloud storage usually incorporates software-as-a-service elements, because there will be a user interface that makes using the storage easier.