Digging deeper into the new opportunities offered by the cloud leads you to explore different types of cloud computing solutions. Before choosing the one that suits your particular case better, it’s important to dive into the sea of useful information about the way cloud solutions work. We reached out to IT experts from Springfield Managed IT company Bloo Solutions to give us a quick overview of cloud computing options.
3 Types Of Cloud Computing
Before going into the service models of cloud computing, let’s break down the clouds into three common types:
1. Public Cloud
Such cloud is owned and operated by a cloud provider, who is responsible for flawless operation and maintenance of the service. This cloud is available to any user. The payment model of the cloud is pay-per-use, making this type highly demanded and cost-efficient. Usually, the public clouds are preferred by companies and IT specialists, who are looking to save money on the cloud use.
Public clouds are a good choice for individual IT specialists, small, and medium-size businesses with a small budget. These clouds are fairly cheap, easy to use, don’t have geographical restriction and offer a high reliability. However, they may not be the best choice for companies that deal with highly sensitive data.
2. Private Cloud
A private cloud belongs to a company which uses it for its individual needs. The IT resources within one business are centralized. The hosting of such a cloud can be done by the company’s resources or can be outsourced. Private hosting requires a substantial investment, however it offers better security than public clouds. Meanwhile, it allows the company to customize the cloud to suit its current needs and IT requirements. The private cloud requires extensive IT expertise. It’s mostly suitable for large businesses and enterprises.
Note: there is also a possibility to create a community cloud. It involves several companies combining resources and funds to maintain one private cloud.
3. Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud seems to offer the benefits of both private and public types. It’s essentially a private cloud which relies on the public cloud when needed. This reduces the initial investment while maintaining the benefits of a private cloud. Hybrid clouds solutions are excellent for disaster recovery plans.
The hybrid cloud is flexible and scalable while being cost-effective. The enhanced security option is maintained until the data is migrated to the public cloud. A company can use the public cloud to interact with customers while exploiting the private cloud to store data. The network communication may be hindered when using a hybrid cloud.
Cloud Service Models
There are three major types of cloud-computing models:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – most common solution, which is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses due to being cost-efficient. This service is fully outsourced and available on all the cloud types. Examples: DigitalOcean, Linode, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) – similar to SaaS but provides access to IT products through a platform instead of the Internet. PaaS allows companies to create new apps within the platform. This option is easy to use and reduces the amount of coding. Examples: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, Google App Engine, OpenShift.
- SaaS (Software as a Service) – another common solution for businesses. It’s managed from a central location by a third-party provider. Majority of the apps are run through the browser making them highly accessible. It’s a great option for short-term projects. SaaS is usually used by small companies that need quick business launching options. Examples: Google Apps, Dropbox, Salesforce.
When choosing between different types of cloud computing, it’s important to consider the budget, company size, and the experience of the IT department.
Top 6 Cloud Computing Solutions
1. Amazon EC2 Cloud (IaaS)
This is a public cloud option, which has a big range of computing service offerings that include on-demand instances in various sizes. It also offers such services as EMR and Cluster GPU.
Amazon provides many storage options, including S3 block storage, EBS, and reduced redundancy. The cloud also offers infrastructure services, including message passing and workflows. The EC2 is being perfected and expanded on a regular basis.
2. Windows Azure (IaaS and PaaS)
Azure is one of the leading portals among cloud-computing platforms. It has a low learning curve. The platform works with a variety of options, including App Service to host websites. You don’t need to set up your own infrastructure so the IT specialists can focus on exploiting the solution instead of perfecting it.
Even though this solution has “Windows” in the name, it can be used for Linux virtual machines. Most of the services provided by Windows Azure are typical for IaaS. However, the ability to create such things as SQL server database reminds you of the PaaS definition.
3. Google Compute Engine (IaaS)
Google conquers the IaaS market by offering highly competitive prices. However, this solution doesn’t provide as big a variety of options as the above two. Google Compute Engine is still in its development stage. Nonetheless, it features several wholesome options which other IaaS providers can’t match up to. One of them we already mentioned: sustained usage discounts. It has a preemptible Virtual Machine capability, custom VM sizes and shared storage.
4. Engine Yard (PaaS)
This solution is designed for web app developers, who work with Ruby on Rails, Node.js, and PHP. It allows them to take full advantage of cloud computing without dealing with its management. The platform runs on the Amazon cloud while offering more services than AWS.
The Engine Yard users can also take advantage of the Amazon cloud and get mostly the same services. That’s why the product stresses its management features. VM configuration and imaging, automated scaling and resource optimization, among a few. Engine Yard deals with backups, clusters management, load balancing, and more.
5. Google App Engine (PaaS)
This PaaS cloud is created for distributed Web apps. Google App Engine deals with implementing and maintaining virtual servers, operating systems, and necessary development tools. However, this particular solution doesn’t allow environment customizations. The apps need to follow certain rules in order to be managed by App Engine.
This option is a good solution for developers who focus on the app code and don’t want to deal with the management routine. However, if the app doesn’t fit into the Google App Engine frames, you’d need another PaaS.
6. Google Apps (SaaS)
Google Apps is one of the most demanded SaaS solutions on the market today. It’s a combination of several useful apps, such as Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Docs. The biggest advanatage of this solution is the price. Most of the Google Apps are free of charge. Additional functions of these apps are being deployed on a regular basis.
This SaaS solution is cost-efficient, popular, and has a big potential. Its collaboration capabilities are priceless.