What is Cloud Computing? – Definition, Categories, and More
Cloud Computing Definition
In principle, cloud computing is about the dynamic provision of applications on-demand and the corresponding IT resources over a network, mostly over the Internet.
The respective service providers bills for the use in the subscription model at usage-dependent prices – pay-per-use.
Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google are among the leading providers in the cloud computing environment.
The service models of cloud computing
According to a definition by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from 2009 and 2011, in the principle, divided into three different service models: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Also, the NIST names four deployment models :
- Public Cloud
- Private Cloud
- Hybrid Cloud
- Community Cloud
In the meantime, various mixed forms of the cloud types mentioned above have also been established.
These include, for example, the virtual private cloud as an individual computer cloud on publicly accessible IT infrastructures, or even the multi-cloud, i.e., the bundling of different cloud computing services. The various types of cloud computing seem to have no limits.
What are the main categories of Cloud Computing?
There are three main categories for services, which are based on each other:
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) means that IT infrastructures are rented for use by a cloud provider. These can be servers or storage space.
2. Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform as a service (PaaS) is cloud computing services that provide servers, storage, networks, and databases for software development. PaaS enables faster development, testing, and management of web or mobile apps.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) means that software applications are made available online, mostly based on a subscription model. And also, The software is hosted and managed in the cloud. The cloud provider takes over updates, security updates, etc.
What are the advantages of cloud computing?
Cloud computing offers the respective user the opportunity to access servers, databases, storage, and application services over the Internet.
The following advantages can identify:
- The users can access the capacity they need. After short notice, the capacity requirement can then adapts to the current conditions and circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
- Also, users can benefit from the massive economies of scale of the providers, since the high usage rates lead to lower prices. In general, pricing is dependent on usage (pay-per-use model).
- And also, It only has to pay for used IT resources. Investment costs, for example for own servers and data centers, eliminated when outsourcing, Agility, and speed increased.
- Since new IT resources are always available in a cloud computing environment, the coordination of a company rises enormously.
- Because of the effort for development and experiments, as well as the costs, decrease to a significant extent.
- Appropriate applications can be quickly put into operation in several regions worldwide. In this way, companies increase their global reach in a matter of minutes.
- And also, there are no costs for operating your servers, general data processing, or for the maintenance of data centers.
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