Cloud computing is a great technology which gives access of data and programs outside of our own computing environment. By using this technology we can store data in “the cloud” rather than storing data and software in personal computers or servers. Cloud and computing both are different aspects. Computing is a service like servers, databases, storage, software, networking, analytics and more. Companies which are offering computing services on virtual servers are called cloud providers. These providers charge for the computing services as monthly or yearly subscriptions.
Different Types of Cloud Computing
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
This is a basic layer in cloud computing and provides infrastructure as a service. Networking, virtualization, storage, server comes under this category. Based on the requirement, businesses can also additionally opt for maintenance of the software and OS. In this model, the IaaS provider will host the applications and also handles backup and maintenance tasks. It may include handling file-based storage, firewalls, load balancer, IP addresses, virtual local area networks, virtual machines etc. Some examples of IaaS cloud services are Amazon web services (AWS), Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure, Google Computing Engine etc.
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
It is a second layer in the cloud computing and provides computing platforms like operating system, programming language execution environment, database, web server etc. The customers can buy software, hardware, OS, web environment etc. PaaS cloud platform service reduces the amount of coding for developers because it provides the framework for building applications. Businesses can use and scale the resources as they need them and pay for it based on the usage. Some popular PaaS providers are Windows Azure, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos etc.
- Software as a service (SaaS)
SaaS or Software as a Service allows access to software on the cloud. The software can be used via web without installing on local PCs or servers. There is no need to bother about coding and maintenance of software. The customer will be charged based on the service usage. Preinstalled and pre-configured software and apps are available to the users over the internet. Ex: Google Apps, Salesforce etc.
Cloud for Business Process Management (BPM)
Generally process means step or different steps used to reach a particular task. Business process means a way or no of ways used to reach a business goal. Business process management means effective, efficient and capable way of managing the business process. When compared to olden days now advanced technologies are available in cloud computing to run the business. For instance, organizations are increasingly adopting SaaS technology because of its affordability, scalability and collaboration. The data can be accessed from anywhere in the world provided the internet connection is available. In business, SaaS is used for emails, sales management, customer relationship management (CRM), financial management, billing, human resource management etc.