What is the cloud? The term “cloud” when talking about technology or computing is not new. You are probably familiar with this word and relate it to servers, the internet, etc. The term refers to the fact that the server used is not visible or physically accessible to the user.
In simple terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.
Cloud computing, popularly called «cloud», is the provision of different services over the Internet, which are on physical or virtual servers, and which are maintained and controlled by a cloud provider. These resources include tools and applications such as data storage, servers, databases, networks, and software.
Within the cloud, there are services that we can make use of, as we will see below (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS), but before we move on to the next point we leave you with an explanatory video on “What is Cloud Computing?” explained by Simplilearn.
Cloud variants: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS
If you are considering migrating to the cloud, you should be aware of the three main service models in cloud computing and have a good understanding of their characteristics in order to choose the one that best suits your company’s needs.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
This service model is the most widespread cloud variant, a distribution model that delivers software applications over the Internet. At this level, you don’t need to know anything about technology, unlike PaaS or IaaS platforms. Users can access SaaS applications and services from anywhere and on any device, as long as we have internet. One of the best-known examples of the SaaS model is the Microsoft Office 365 application.
PaaS (Platform as a service)
Cloud platform services, also known as Platform as a Service (PaaS), are based on IaaS environments. Users access these tools via the Internet through APIs, web portals or gateway software. PaaS provides a framework for developers to build on and use to create customized applications. Common PaaS providers include AWS Elastic Beanstalk or Google App Engine.
IaaS (Infraestructura como servicio)
IaaS providers, such as AWS, consist of highly scalable and automated computing resources, i.e. they provide a virtual server instance and storage, as well as APIs that allow users to migrate workloads to a virtual machine (VM) and allow customization of instances, for various workload needs.
In short, the benefits of the cloud are that there is no need to invest in hardware, is scalable and the services can be tailored to the needs of your business.
Types of cloud
Public platforms are third-party providers that offer computing resources over the Internet. Users do not have to do anything or buy anything, because the entire infrastructure is owned by the company or provider, which takes care of support and upgrades. In addition, services are paid for on a subscription basis, which reduces the need to invest large amounts of capital and frees up your internal IT resources.
A private platform is unique to a single organization. Broadly speaking, it is a cloud service designed only for the end-user, usually located in an on-site data center or hosted by an external service provider. The private cloud can be associated with Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud.
It is the combination of private cloud structures with public cloud integration, providing greater flexibility by moving workloads between different cloud solutions as needs and costs fluctuate, as well as helping to optimise infrastructure, security and compliance. Learn more about the benefits of migrating to hybrid cloud.
Advantages of migrating to the cloud
If you are considering migrating to the cloud, but before you make the switch, it is important to ask yourself the question: “Am I ready? Here we explain the main advantages of taking this step:
- Pay-per-use: You only pay for the resources and workloads you use.
- Disaster recovery: An important advantage of the cloud is data backup, i.e. the cloud can help you protect your files. In case of emergency, such as natural disasters or power outages, data can be recovered quickly.
- Lower cost: Using cloud infrastructure can reduce costs, as you don’t have to invest large amounts of money in buying and maintaining equipment: hardware, facilities, utilities or building large data centres.
- Scalability: A cloud environment offers companies scalability and flexibility since it does not require such high performance in terms of data processing and storage. In this way, companies can add or subtract resources according to their needs. As businesses grow, your system will grow with them.
- Elasticity: is one of the key defining characteristics of cloud computing. Enterprises can scale up the capacity they have in the cloud and the resources available as computing needs increase, and scale down again when demand decreases.
- Availability 24/7: A cloud infrastructure maximises business productivity and efficiency by ensuring that your application is always accessible, enabling easy collaboration and sharing between users in multiple locations.
- Multi-tenancy: allows many users to share the same physical infrastructures or the same applications, while maintaining privacy and security over their own data in a flexible manner. This enables cost reduction through economies of scale.
If you finally want to make the jump to the cloud, in our post “Steps to take before migrating to the cloud” we explain some of the things to think about before migrating to the cloud.
Choosing a cloud provider
Today, there is a wide variety of cloud providers offering cloud services. When considering a cloud service provider, you must take into account certain considerations, in the following link we explain some keys to choose the best cloud provider. Below are some of the most important and well-known cloud providers:
Why choose Geko Cloud?
As you can see, cloud computing is very complex, so to make the most of the advantages offered by the cloud it is important to have a team of experts in cloud infrastructure and development. The Geko team has experience in different areas, working with DevOps methodology and guaranteeing our clients 100% adaptation to their infrastructures and technologies when migrating to the cloud.