Cloud Services Explained
Cloud services are professional, enterprise-level information technology services that help in delivering, choosing and managing different technical resources that are based on remote computers. They allow easier access to, and simpler management of IT services and systems. These service are used to provide administration, development and productivity tools to users with the help of the internet. Often times, these remote computers are owned and maintained by third parties, eliminating many of the traditional tasks associated with IT management.
More and more, cloud-based IT services are making IT and business management easier and more cost effective. Cloud services eliminate the need for purchasing costly hardware and refreshing that hardware every three to five years. Further, IT maintenance tasks are no longer necessary because they are handled by the cloud services provider.
Examples of Cloud Services
Not all people are familiar with cloud services, especially those without technical experience. These service can be easily identified through examples.
Cloud Services you May have Used:
- Web-based email services
- Document collaboration services
- Virtualized Servers and Desktops
- Hosted Office Suites
- Backup Solutions
- Web-based help desk and ticketing systems
- Customized development environments
Different Cloud Services Types
There are three main types of cloud services being used today. Each can be leveraged to solve a specific need for a business or enterprise.
Software as a Service is a type of cloud service that gives users access to applications through the internet. The user simply logs on to the software from a web browser. The software, which can be anything from accounting applications to medical Managed Information Systems, is provided, managed and maintained by the software provider. With a SaaS, everything is managed by a third-party, which allows businesses to focus more on the functionality of the software and the user experience it provides.
Infrastructure as a Service is another type of popular cloud-based service. IaaS allows businesses to access virtualized hardware over the internet. Users can remotely access computers, severs, data storage devices, and network systems from remote desktop or through a browser. Administration and maintenance duties are greatly reduced with IaaS. Changes, such as updates or software installations, can usually be made once and then pushed to all the virtual operating systems simultaneously. Iaas is also particularly convenient when providing a unified and consistent desktop computing experience on many different pieces of physical hardware. With Iaas, the local hardware is only used to access the internet and connect to the remote computer.
Platform as a Service allows developers to write, run and test code in a controlled and easily restored cloud environment. Instead of purchasing and maintaining hardware and then building the development platforms that are required to create an application, PaaS delivers pre-made environments to users over the internet. This gives developers a distinct advantage over those using locally installed and managed development platforms. Disadvantages would include reduced ability to customize your environment, expense at scale and lack of some management features.
System administration is becoming increasingly difficult, and can be hard to handle on your own. It can also be expensive to hire staff to manage and maintain these systems. With cloud services, however, most of the labor-some tasks and responsibilities are shifted to the service provider. This allows businesses to achieving higher productivity, effectiveness and success.