In meteorology there is a detailed classification of clouds, numbering at least 12 species. IT professionals do not lag behind in this regard- they can conventionally distinguish several categories of “cloud services“. It should be noted that the conventional classification generates a certain amount of confusion in concepts, so it’s important to give at least a brief description of categories.
There are three major types of cloud-based technologies: SaaS; software as a service, PaaS; Platform as a Service and IaaS: infrastructure as a service.
SaaS Model – A lease of the software, which is developed by the service provider, and the user can access it via the Internet. This model allows us to reduce the cost of implementation and maintenance of software. A striking example – popular with the U.S. system of Customer Relationship Management Salesforce.com. Paying for its services in proportion to consumption, you can use the ready business process for working with clients. This completely eliminates the need for costly implementation of the system in operation.
PaaS Model involves the provision of a platform as a service, for example, to develop or test software. Thus, any organization can get the missing computational resources for the development and subsequent operation of their own applications. Google App Engine is one of the leaders in such services.
Finally, in case IaaS as services are provided by the hardware resources (infrastructure). IaaS feature is that, this model consists of three main elements – a hardware component (servers, networking equipment and other), the operating system and middle-ware software to manage the first two components. Such services are in a cloud of ESDS “Data Center“.
From my experience I can say that, from the three models of the cloud on the market, today, IaaS is in demand. Gradually, the demand will grow for other models, but so far IaaS is closer to potential customers. One reason for this phenomenon lies in the fact that “cloud” infrastructure involve the use of virtualization technology, which allows you to create boundaries between different users of the cloud.
This is especially important when it comes to the use of cloud computing for large customers.
In addition to the above types, it is important to distinguish between the “cloud” type property – public clouds and private clouds. So, if the company rents a “cloud” from a third party provider, it works and stores its data in the public cloud. This option is suitable for companies in the sector of small and medium businesses (SMBs), as well as for projects in the initial stages of development (start-up). If the company creates its own data processing center (DPC) or within an existing data center expands ‘cloud’ for the needs of its employees, affiliates, etc., then it is private cloud. The second option is suitable for large companies who are interested in reducing costs to ensure the manageability of the infrastructure and software. Thus, in this case the “cloud” is an excellent way to centralize all the IT systems of large holding. Using a private cloud, the company receives all the benefits of the cloud and thus has the ability to completely control its software and content.
It is important to note that, it is economically feasible to create a “cloud” that is only based on its own infrastructure. They can also extract some benefits from the use of public cloud, for example, in test mode to get acquainted with the proposed business applications in order to make the final decision on the necessity of their implementation in their own information environment.