No matter the size of your business, designing and maintaining an IT department to support it requires incredible dedication. It also can require heavy investment in even heavier things, like clunky drives and expensive infrastructure. But the power of cloud computing continues to change the way companies manage their IT departments.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing refers to third-party hosted software, infrastructure, or platform that is delivered over the Internet. Cloud services are a convenient way to share resources, store data, use software and process data online – meaning cloud services can go anywhere the Internet does. These services are extremely agile and convenient, making it an ideal solution for businesses who are looking to save money and time on IT infrastructure development.
What are the Different Types of Cloud Computing Services?
Cloud computing services are the epitome of convenience. These Internet-based platforms do not require users to mess with additional downloads. Instead, these services can be operated and managed within a cloud-based platform, making it easy for users to pick and choose which services they need.
Here are a few examples of cloud computing services available today:
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS). SaaS allows companies to deliver software services to their customers on-demand.
- Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). This service allows you to rent storage, networks, and other operating systems on an as needed basis.
- Platform-as-a-service (PaaS). This cloud computing service allows companies to test and manage software and applications quickly, without relying on databases or infrastructure.
- Function-as-a-service (FaaS). FaaS is a type of cloud computing service that allows users to utilize code in response to certain events or circumstances. All operating systems are handled by a third-party, putting FaaS in the serverless category of cloud computing.
These services are also known as cloud computing “stacks,” because they complement one another. Understanding what they are and their unique differences will help you choose which service is best for your company.
What are the Benefits of Using Cloud Computing Services?
- Cloud computing services are cost-effective. Utilizing the cloud eliminates the need for physical networks and other costly equipment, which greatly reduces the cost burden.
- Cloud computing is fast and efficient. Because all information is stored online, cloud computing services can be accessed anywhere anytime, with just the click of a button.
- Cloud computing saves resources. Internet-based cloud services cut down significantly on capacity planning, and also help conserve staff output and resources.
- Clouds and cloud computing services are secure, and can be easily backed up.
What Type of Cloud Computing Architecture Do You Need?
The decision to shift or upgrade your storage to the cloud is just the first step. Next you’ll need to determine the architecture of the platform, i.e., a private, public, or hybrid cloud. All of them have their benefits, but it is important to understand which is the best option for your business needs.
A private cloud lives behind a firewall on a company’s intranet or within its hosted data center. Sometimes, this is also referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IASS). Platform as a Service (PASS) is the mid-range option, which enables companies to use a pre-existing platform for services.
- Pros: For organizations that have already invested in a costly data center, using a private cloud enables them to simply add to existing infrastructure. They can also offer heightened security and reduce the number of outside parties interacting with the data center.
- Cons: The responsibility for maintenance now sifts with the organization to manage, maintain, and update data centers. And, when pricey servers need updating, the organization must front the cost.
A public cloud is managed by a third-party provider who is responsible for maintaining the data center. Software as a Service (SaaS) allows businesses to purchase the software, typically as a subscription, and use it over the internet.
- Pros: Because a third party oversees the maintenance, organizations don’t have to worry about the staff or costs of upkeep. In addition, businesses can cut testing and lead time with a public cloud when deploying new products.
- Cons: Some organizations worry about security given the lower degree of control at a company level.
As the name suggests, hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. Hybrid clouds share data, providing even more flexibility and optimization for your business.
- Pros: Hybrid clouds allow a seamless, flexible integration of public and private clouds. There are also a range of service models to choose from in a hybrid model.
- Cons: Because of the combination of public and private platforms, hybrid clouds can be challenging to set up. The cost associated with installation and server management can be higher than private and public clouds. Also, hybrid clouds are not as secure as fully private ones.
Once you understand what cloud computing is, and the types of cloud services available, you can find a cloud solutions consultant to help implement these services for your business.
What Should I Ask a Cloud Solutions Consultant?
If you’re trusting a third party with your data, you should expect your partner to take the time to audit your current operations and infrastructure and understand your IT needs.
Here are some important things to ask when vetting a cloud solutions consultant:
- How do you get in front of security?
- What experience do you have with cloud services?
- Do you offer multiple solutions?
- How will you integrate our existing systems?
- What analytic capabilities can you offer?
These questions will give you a good basis when looking for an IT services partner. Above all, make sure you partner with a company who can build up your value. And we can help. Contact TechGenies today to discover how cloud computing services can help your business.