We have previously established the fact that computing systems and services can either be hosted on-premises or in the cloud. We had also stated that this is the yardstick that determines the cost of such services.
Usually and in the long-run, it is more cost effective to host computing systems over the cloud than on premises. One key advantage of cloud computing is that it takes away the unnecessary and unwanted distractions of running your IT and affords you the time, space and opportunity to run your business.
Also, there are other advantages associated with using cloud computing one of which is network reliability and good storage capacity.
This will invariably cause operational efficiency and reduced service failure. Cloud computing brings about a reduction in costs because you wouldn’t have to spend much on hardware and upgrades.
Also, its flexibility is such that as your business grows to meet the demands of your customers, a cloud environment is always there to accommodate such increase.
Cloud services also provide a good level of security such that your business is protected from anything that is brand-eroding or against loss of revenue.
Depending on the type and nature of your business and also the size of your company or establishment, there are three types of cloud services from which you can pick from, namely, SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
SOFTWARE AS a SERVICE (SaaS)
Another name for this cloud service is ‘on-demand software’. An advantage enjoyed by businesses and individuals that use Saas is that they do not have to buy the complete package of the software. All they need do is to hire such software for a time period and use it on the internet through any convenient browser of their choice.
Statistics have shown that companies that engage in customer relationship management use the Saas mostly. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networking websites are popular examples of a software-as-a-service type of cloud services.
PLATFORM AS a SERVICE (PaaS)
The PaaS is an intermediary between SaaS and IaaS. In fact, it is a level higher than the SaaS because, with it, a user can design or create his/her own computer application.
PaaS can work without the presence of a real computer even if cloud services and computing entails a collaborative effort between a hardware and software or computer operating system.
Paas is useful for implementation, hosting, the design of application, development and testing of computer application etc.
INFRASTRUCTURE AS a SERVICE (IaaS)
This is a virtualized type of cloud service. In virtualizing hardware, the user will not see the real physical functions. Instead, what will be displayed is the abstract computing platform.
The cost accrued from this service is largely dependent on the frequency of usage/ activities and the number of facilities subscribed to. IaaS also allows users to develop applications, software and even operating systems
We have been talking about how cloud services help grow businesses and its overall usefulness. However, it will be misleading if we don’t point out the fact that it has its own disadvantages too.
Firstly, it is important to note that not every IT tasks can be executed over the cloud. For example, there are some old applications that can only run on specific servers. In such situations, it is best to let such an application run on the server to which it is dedicated.
Also, regarding security, such applications would be more secure in their natural habitat instead of moving it to the cloud. Also, if your business demands that all servers must run at all times, a dedicated server can perform the same task with the same level of efficiency and at a cheaper cost.