As a business owner, you know your company needs to use cloud technology. But how do you choose the right one? For a breakdown of the different types of cloud computing, plus a list of the most common types and their advantages and disadvantages, see this article.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services over the Internet rather than from a local computer, server, or data centre. Cloud computing delivers shared resources, software, and information to computers and other devices on demand.
The advantages of cloud technology
Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing infrastructure that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a public utility. Cloud computing is an evolving concept, meaning that the definition, uses, and interpretations of the term are often unclear.
The disadvantages of cloud technology
As an owner of a small business, you’ve probably had the same question. Which cloud technology has the best ROI? We put together this list of the most common types of cloud computing as well as a comparison, to bring you the best cloud options for your business today. While we encourage you to check out the platform that best suits your business’ needs, we’re also listing off some of the major cloud selections you may be familiar with (in case you already use one of these platforms).
Platforms & features
The major cloud technology platforms include three basic categories: public, private, and hybrid (some levels of hybrid are shared environments, like your shared printer or server in the cloud). Each has its own set of benefits and disadvantages. If you do decide which platform to use for your company, check out this section for helpful comparisons, insights, and comparisons, and this section for what to expect from each of the major platforms.
The public cloud (also known as public cloud technology computing or public internet) is managed in the cloud, by a host platform (think Amazon, Rackspace, or Apple). An internet service provider (ISP) is paid by your customers to provide internet connectivity for these platforms, and usually a host server is connected to the platform, so you don’t have to worry about managing the connection or itself.
The most important feature of the public cloud is that it’s completely unmanaged. You don’t have to manage servers like you would with managed hosting or using a mixture of open source and managed hosting. Another important benefit of the public cloud is that it’s feasible for small businesses to host their websites (and use a CDN) on one platform.
Common types of cloud computing
There are three main types of cloud technology computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). IaaS offers the resources needed to run your hardware. PaaS is a platform that provides resources to run your software. SaaS offers the resources needed to develop and maintain your software.
Cloud computing is also known as colocation, virtual private cloud technology, hosted computing, or colocation. Cloud computing usually involves leasing space from a platform that websites can rent from. This process is called the provider side of the cloud.
Your choice of cloud platform will differ depending on the size of your organization and its history of success. Cloud platform companies can include many different entities from the hardware provider to the software provider. Here are a few general types of cloud platforms:
These companies offer computers to consumers on an individual or company-wide subscription basis. The resources to run this subscription are provided by a range of different providers. Examples of public cloud platforms include AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
These companies offer dedicated computers to individual consumers on a subscription basis. The unique offerings of private cloud include one-time, persistent storage, failover, and migration support. You subscribe to the resources, and in some cases may pay monthly for access. Examples of private cloud platforms include Rackspace, AWS, and Microsoft Azure; check with your IT department before choosing any one.
These companies rely on the demand of the Internet for computational capacity. These services aren’t hosted or provided by the platform company per se, but rather the service provider’s computing power is used to speed up certain specific tasks at an agreed upon price. Examples of on-demand cloud platforms include Tinted Logic, Elastic compute and Box.net.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service companies implement a custom software on top of an existing infrastructure. For a PaaS company, that infrastructure includes everything needed to simply put your website online.