How much time do you spend searching for cloud services for your business? If you don’t know where to start, you might want to take a look at these four types of cloud services.
Cloud computing has become a major part of our lives. From storing data to running applications, cloud services are everywhere. And now, businesses are starting to adopt them too.
There are several different types of cloud services out there. Each type offers its unique benefits. Which ones should you choose? Let’s take a look at four different types of cloud services. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect from each service.
1. Software as a Service (SaaS)
This is probably the most popular form of cloud service. It allows users to pay once and then access software over the internet without installing it on their computers. The main advantage — if you can call it that — of this cloud service is cost savings. Because all the resources needed are located with the provider, SaaS doesn’t need to invest in hardware or software.
Instead, they charge customers monthly fees ranging from $10 to more than $100 per month, depending on how many users you have. In return, those companies provide an assortment of software programs and other services, such as email clients, database management tools, accounting systems, and so forth. So, if you only need one or two pieces of software and don’t require regular maintenance, SaaS could be a great choice for your small business.
2. Platform As a Service (PaaS)
A PaaS provides a platform that will allow developers to build web-based applications that run within specific environments called “environments.” These platforms offer virtual servers, storage areas, databases, security controls, content management systems, application programming interfaces (APIs), user interface development tools, and deployment support. Some examples include AppFog (free PaaS), Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace Cloud Hosting.
These PaaS providers act as middlemen between IT managers and the developers building apps. They’re generally very easy to use because they update operating system libraries or provide virtual machines for developers’ apps. However, when you decide to go this route, make sure you select a vendor who specializes in providing API-first solutions. When considering which one to choose, remember that PaaS comes with various limitations, including but not limited to bandwidth and storage capacity.
3. Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)
If you need a lot of infrastructure resources to get started — say you want 10 server instances on demand — Iaas may be the right solution. That’s because Iaas requires you to purchase fixed amounts of computing power. You also have control over the underlying physical components and software. But be aware that Iaas isn’t always cheaper than purchasing dedicated hardware.
Some vendors are charging anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour. Of course, if you’re building servers yourself, you might save by using existing parts rather than buying new equipment. For instance, an AWS savings plan can help save the cloud bill even though you are still in charge of the infrastructure. But you’ll still need to factor additional time into the equation for researching and setting up shared servers, making sure everything works properly, and keeping everything secure.
4. Storage as a Service (Saas)
Saas allows enterprise businesses to scale storage capacity while reducing costs through elasticity. By paying for storage based upon the actual amount used, enterprises eliminate the need to buy expensive hard drives upfront. This eliminates the risk of underutilization and maximizes space utilization. This approach also reduces capital expenditure since large initial purchases aren’t necessary. SaaS companies often provide data backup tools, file sharing capabilities, cloud computing features, and disaster recovery products.
Additionally, there’s no longer a requirement for enterprise businesses to maintain internal IT departments. The provider handles all day-to-day tasks allowing employees to focus on what they do best: running their businesses. A few notable players in the SAAS market include Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Box.net (now owned by IBM). Pricing depends on the size of the company and its requirements.
The cloud has changed how businesses use technology. In addition to increasing efficiency, it is now possible to outsource many different functions without investing in hardware and software. Because of this flexibility, more companies are turning to cloud services to drive innovation and create competitive advantages for their business.