Services made available to users on demand via multiple types of connectivity (telecommunication providers). Cloud providers are able to provide services from their network of servers as apposed to a business’ own servers on or off-premise. These cloud services are designed to be on demand as needed. These also are scalable and can be customized according to your applications, resources, services and architecture. Cloud services can also be managed at various levels depending on access requirements and needs.
A cloud service can dynamically scale to meet the needs of its users, and because the service provider supplies the hardware and software necessary for the service, there’s no need for a company to provision or deploy its own resources or allocate IT staff to manage the service. Examples of cloud services include online data storage and backup solutions, Web-based e-mail services, hosted office suites and document collaboration services, database processing, managed technical support services and more.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Chances are, you are using it today in your organization. Any web-based application is software-as-service because it exists in the cloud and is accessed over the Internet. Think Skype, Google Apps, Salesforce.com or the huge variety of industry-specific software packages that your organization might be using through the web in the normal course of business.
- Most software that used to be available only by buying and loading it on company servers is now available in a cloud version which offers some advantages (like access from anywhere and predictable monthly cost structure), but also drawbacks (like lack of flexibility and customization).
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
When adding or upgrading storage and servers in your environment, you can take advantage of the cloud in several ways:
- Shared – your business is given access to server(s) and storage securely virtualized to accommodate multiple customers
- Dedicated – your business has allocated its own machine(s) in the cloud that you fully control, manage, and don’t share with other customers
- Hybrids – the majority of large companies are an ideal fit for cloud services with some applications (like storage) but may have other equipment that can’t be virtualized (like AS400 servers or a Cisco Call Manager). Many carriers are great at offering hybrid solutions that can accommodate both standard dedicated hosting services and cloud services from the same facility.