Cloud computing has undeniably secured its seat as a future player in the world of technology. Unfortunately, cloud computing is also a term we have all heard ad nauseam over the last few years, echoed in a slew of business adverts and tossed around as a value added proposition by companies large and small. From online file storage platforms such as DropBox, to the multitude of B2B solutions available today, cloud computing is an impressive, but often confusing, subject.
In order to better understand the cloud and its place in both our history and future, we have provided some insight into the mysterious world of cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service instead of providing a traditional product. Computing services include resources, information, and software accessed on computers or other devices over a network. In layman’s terms, cloud computing is the use of the internet to store data or run applications. While cloud computing is often placed in the context of business solutions, it can be easily spotted in use during your own personal life. Google Apps, Email, Twitter, Facebook – all implement cloud computing.
However, just as there are a variety of real clouds (Cirrus, Nimbostratus, etc.), there are also variations when it comes to cloud computing. Identifying the differences between these cloud based solutions is the first step in truly understanding cloud computing and how it is implemented across businesses and our own lives.
Types of Cloud Computing
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): As with all cloud services, IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service, provides access to a computing resource in a virtual setting via a public connection. IaaS specifically provides virtualized hardware or computing infrastructure.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): A service that provides a computing platform and a solution stack (software subsystems required to perform tasks). In short, you are able to run your own applications on a cloud provider’s infrastructure. This particular service model of cloud computing allows consumers to create an application or service using tools from its provider. It also allows for the control of software configuration and deployment over a provided network, server, or any other service required to host an application.
Software as a Service (SaaS): Just like IaaS and PaaS, Software as a Service provides…you guessed it – software. Rather than installing and providing upkeep to software, you can access it over the web. This helps to eliminate the need for advanced software and hardware management.
Service Commerce: These cloud solutions are a blend of software as a service and managed service solutions. Service commerce cloud computing provides a centralized place of services in which end-users interact. Implementations include e-commerce, travel apps, and virtual aid services.
Managed Services: The oldest type of cloud service, managed services entail solutions implemented by the service provider instead of the customer. An example of this may include application monitoring or anti-spam services.
Utility Services: Utility services include virtual storage and/or server solutions, allowing organizations to access files on demand or create virtual data centers. Utility services are essential when implementing business process solutions such as automated workflows and enhancing access to data.
Web-based Services: Web-based services utilize web functionality instead of implementing a fully developed application. For example, this can include the use of API’s to help streamline invoice processing or other important workflows.
Is a Cloud Solution Right for You?
New England Document Systems is very fluent in the world of cloud computing, especially when it comes to the storage and management of your business files. To learn more about our cloud-based document management software, or to hear about any of our process improving services, please contact us today.