What is Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing describes a scenario whereby computing resource is delivered as a service over a network connection, usually the internet.

Cloud computing relies on sharing a pool of physical and/or virtual resources, rather than deploying local or personal hardware and software. It is somewhat synonymous with the term ‘utility computing’, as users are able to tap into a supply of computing resource rather than manage the equipment needed to generate it themselves. 

Benefits

Scalable

Automatic increase and decrease of resource as and when it is necessary, thus ensuring the level of resource is matched to demand 

Cost effective

Users only pay for the resource they use, therefore avoiding inefficiencies and expense of any unused capacity 

Economies of scale

Several services can be set up using the same computing resource

Reliability

Services are hosted across multiple servers so individual system failures do not affect the continuity of the service

Flexibility

Great choice in the level of security and management, with an option to suit almost any business

How it Works

Types of Cloud Computing

There are 3 fundamental deployment models of cloud computing; public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is where services and infrastructure are hosted off-site by a cloud provider, shared across their client base and accessed by these clients via public networks such as the internet. Public clouds offer great economies of scale and redundancy but are more vulnerable than private cloud setups due their high levels of accessibility.

Private Cloud

Private clouds use pooled services and infrastructure stored and maintained on a private network – whether physical or virtual – accessible by only one client. The obvious benefits to this are greater levels of security and control. Cost benefits must be sacrificed to some extent though, as the enterprise in question will have to purchase/rent and maintain all the necessary software and hardware.

Hybrid Cloud

As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud combines both public and private cloud elements. A hybrid cloud allows a company to maximise their efficiencies; by utilising the public cloud for non-sensitive operations while using a private setup for sensitive or mission critical operations, companies can ensure that their computing setup is ideal without paying any more than is necessary.

Models of Cloud Computing

Broadly speaking, there are 3 models of cloud computing which describe the service on offer; these are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

As with the other cloud computing categories, IaaS refers to the delivery of virtualised computing resource as a service across a network connection. IaaS specifically deals with hardware – or computing infrastructure - delivered as a service. Offerings include virtualised server space, storage space, network connections and IP addresses. The resource is pulled from a pool of servers distributed across data centres under the provider’s control, the user is then granted access to this resource in order to build their own IT platforms. IaaS can provide enterprises with great business benefits.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is an extension of IaaS and describes a category of cloud computing that provides developers with environments in which to build applications over the internet. In addition to the fundamental computing resource supplied by the hardware in an IaaS offering, PaaS models also include the software and configuration (often known as the solution stack) required to create the platform on which clients can create their applications. PaaS packages can be tailored to meet individual user needs; they can cherry pick the features of the service that are relevant to them while disregarding those that are not. PaaS provides a number of benefits to enterprises, including simplifying the development process for geographically split development teams.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is arguably the most common of the cloud computing variations; it’s the term used to describe a software delivery model in which applications are hosted (usually by a provider) and made available to customers over a network connection. Many people make use of SaaS without realising it as many web applications are delivered in this way. 

Interoute’s networked cloud is the infrastructure platform for 98% of all the IT services that UEFA provides... Interoute understands our events process and has an agile model to fit with the needs of the ICT systems we use...

DANIEL MARION - Head of ICT, UEFA

Related Links

Cloud Articles

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing describes a scenario whereby computing resource is delivered as a service over a network connection, usually the internet

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting services provide hosting for websites on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from extensive underlying networks of physical web servers

What is a Private Cloud?

A private cloud is a particular model of cloud computing that involves a distinct and secure cloud based environment in which only the specified client can operate

What is a Public Cloud?

The public cloud model is where cloud services are provided in a virtualised environment, constructed using pooled shared physical resources, and accessible over a public network such as the internet

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud is an integrated cloud service utilising both private and public clouds to perform distinct functions within the same organisation

What are Cloud Servers?

When opting for cloud hosting, clients are renting virtual server space rather than renting or purchasing physical servers. They are often paid for by the hour depending on the capacity required at any particular time

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is one of the three ‘layers’ in the Cloud Computing model, whereby hardware is provided by an external provider and managed for you

What is PaaS?

Platform as a Service is a category of cloud computing that provides a platform and environment to allow developers to build applications and services over the internet

What is SaaS?

In today's digital world, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) generally refers to a new and alternative way of accessing software, as opposed to more traditional methods of access.

Keep connected