Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services from processing power to storage including application services over the internet on a subscription basis. Rather than building your own computing infrastructure or data centers, companies can rent anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider. Another major benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, instead pay for what they actually use.
What cloud computing services are available
Cloud computing services cover a vast range of options from the basics of storage, networking, and processing power through to natural language processing and artificial intelligence as well as standard office applications. Pretty much almost all application services are now can be delivered via cloud.
How to select the right cloud service provider
As more and more IT systems are externalized, making sure you pick the right cloud providers has become critical to long-term operations. However, the available market is crowded, with a wide range of providers offering an even larger number of services. From market giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Google through to smaller niche players offering bespoke services.
The exact benefits will vary according to the type of cloud service being used but, fundamentally, using cloud services means companies not having to buy or maintain their own computing infrastructure. No more buying servers, updating applications or operating systems, or decommissioning and disposing of hardware or software when it is out of date, as it is all taken care of by the supplier.
For commodity applications, such as email, it can make sense to switch to a cloud provider, rather than rely on in-house skills. A company that specializes in running and securing these services is likely to have better skills and more experienced staff than a small business could afford to hire, so cloud services may be able to deliver a more secure and efficient service to end users.Using cloud services means companies can move faster on projects and test out concepts without lengthy procurement and big upfront costs, because firms only pay for the resources they consume. This concept of business agility is often mentioned by cloud advocates as a key benefit. The ability to spin up new services without the time and effort associated with traditional IT procurement should mean that is easier to get going with new applications faster.
Public cloud is the classic cloud computing model, where users can access a large pool of computing power over the internet (whether that is IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS). One of the significant benefits here is the ability to rapidly scale a service. The cloud computing suppliers have vast amounts of computing power, which they share out between a large number of customers -- the 'multi-tenant' architecture. Their huge scale means they have enough spare capacity that they can easily cope if any particular customer needs more resources, which is why it is often used for less-sensitive applications that demand a varying amount of resources.
The private cloud is defined as computing services offered either over the Internet or a private internal network and only to selected users instead of the general public. private cloud computing gives businesses many of the benefits of a public cloud - including self-service, scalability, and elasticity etc. with the additional control and customization available from dedicated resources over a computing infrastructure hosted on-premises. Private clouds also deliver a higher level of security and privacy through both company firewalls and internal hosting to ensure operations and sensitive data are not accessible to third-party providers. Company’s IT department is held responsible for the cost and accountability of managing the private cloud infrastructure. Private clouds require staffing, management, and maintenance as traditional datacenter ownership.
Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms. The primary benefit of a hybrid cloud is agility. The need to adapt and change direction quickly is a core principle of a digital business. Your enterprise might want to combine public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises resources to gain the agility it needs for a competitive advantage. According to research, the main reasons for choosing hybrid cloud include disaster recovery planning and the desire to avoid hardware costs when expanding their existing data center.
Cloud infrastructure services, known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are self-service models for accessing, monitoring, and managing remote datacenter infrastructures, such as compute (virtualized or bare metal), storage, networking, and networking services (e.g. firewalls). Instead of having to purchase hardware outright, users can purchase IaaS based on consumption, similar to electricity or other utility billing. IaaS users are responsible for managing applications, data, runtime, middleware, and operating systems etc. Cloud Service Providers still manage virtualization, servers, hard drives, storage, and networking etc. Many IaaS providers now offer databases, messaging queues, and other services above the virtualization layer as well. What users gain with IaaS is infrastructure on top of which they can install any required platform.
Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.
Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.
Serverless computing focuses on building app functionality without spending time continually managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so. The cloud provider handles the setup, capacity planning, and server management for you. Serverless architectures are highly scalable and event-driven, only using resources when a specific function occurs. Microsoft and cloud computing Microsoft is a leading global provider of cloud computing services for businesses of all sizes. learn more about the Microsoft cloud platform