Cloud Computing Defined and Explored

Evaluating Options, Risks, and Benefits



What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing, commonly referred to as “the cloud”,  is the delivery of on-demand computing services, typically over the internet, on a pay-as-you-go basis.1  Shared pools of configurable computer systems resources and higher-level services are used to create the computing services from applications, to storage and processing power.2

The computing resources are shared “to achieve coherence and economies of scale, similar to a public utility.”2

The cloud is actually many computer servers in a secure data centre providing applications (.i.e. Office 365, Salesforce,  Slack, etc),  virtual computing (i.e. file server, database server, web server, etc.), and services (i.e. Apple iCloud, Ebay, Adobe, etc.).

Private-public-hybrid-cloud-video-thumbnail-results-matter-cloud-services

A short video explaining Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud

What Is X-as-a-Service?

X-as-a-Service (XaaS) is the generic version of the three cloud computing models: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).1

The fundamental business model at the heart of XaaS is the service rental model.  You rent what you need or want.  cloud-computing-concept-results-matter-cloud-servicesInnovation and deployment are faster with lower maintenance costs.

What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)?

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) refers to providing the fundamental building blocks of computing that can be rented: physical or virtual servers, storage and networking.1

This is the provisioning of what can be thought of as the hardware.  You need it but you cannot do anything useful with it yet.

This layer is the foundation upon which the other services are built.  Think of it as online shopping for computing with virtually instant delivery.  Deployments are faster with lower maintenance costs.

The IaaS layer is what is being talked about when you here the terms public vs private cloud.

What is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)?

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is the next layer up from IaaS.  In addition to the infrastructure layer of servers, storage, and networking, addition tools and software are added.  The additions would include operating systems, database management, middleware, (services provisioned to applications beyond the operating system), and development tools.3

This layer is primarily for developers and operational professionals.  Very few business people interact with this layer.  This is the layer where you put the code and it will run.  This allows companies to build applications and solutions, with control over the parts, without necessarily having the technical expertise to put it all together.

What is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the user facing delivery of application-as-a-service. This is the version of cloud computing most people experience.  The underlying hardware (infrastructure) and software (operating system) are irrelevant to the end user because the service is accessed using a web browser or app.

SaaS is a packaged service that looks the same to all users.  You don’t control updates or upgrades – it just happens. There are often some level of customization or personalization, but the entire stack is managed for a third-party.

Sources:
1 Ranger, Steve, What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know about the cloud, explained. 13 Dec. 2018, https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-cloud-computing-everything-you-need-to-know-from-public-and-private-cloud-to-software-as-a/
2 Wikipedia.org. Cloud computing. 7 Jan 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing. Accessed 8 Jan. 2019.
3 Forrest, Conner. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS: Understand the Differences. ZDnet, ZDnet, 7 Nov. 2017, www.zdnet.com/article/saas-paas-and-iaas-understand-the-differences/
Evans, Bob. “Microsoft Cloud Hits Superscale As Huge Customers Migrate Mission-Critical SAP Workloads To Azure.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 1 Mar. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/bobevans1/2018/02/28/microsoft-cloud-hits-superscale-as-huge-customers-migrate-mission-critical-sap-workloads-to-azure/#5780f5905993.

Cloud Computing Options

  • Secure File Sync & Share

    Business-class file sync and share solution. Its rich feature set goes far beyond those of consumer-grade services, which put businesses at risk of data theft, data leakage, and data corruption.

    Flexible enough to match your use case, with options for private or public deployments, custom branding, and rich security and control features. Stop sending finds through email or on consumer-grade services.

  • Office 365 or G Suite

    Switching to Office 365 or G Suite in the cloud makes sense. Eliminate the need for a server, you always have the latest software, administration is easier, and you can leverage the power of the cloud.

  • Cloud Backup

    You need more than a backup to a USB or external hard drive. Secure and scalable file backups are the minimum you must have in place, especially for small businesses.

    User friendly and cost effective options are also easy to deploy.  Ensure you have your SaaS applications (i.e. Office 365, G Suite) backed up as well.

  • Cloud For You, In A Box

    Your cloud computing solution deployed quickly. Imagine securely updating data, contacts, appointments, email, and task in real time. Starting a 5 users logged in at the same time.

    You can add applications to your solution.  Running them in full screen make it feel like you are working on your local PC but it is actually a virtual desktop.  We take care of the rest – backups, 24/7 support, software upgrades, server administration. You are able to focus on running your business.

  • Cloud Security Solutions

    Ensuring your remote connections to your office and applications are secure, require different solutions than even just five years ago.

    Implementing Multi-factor authentication (MFA or 2FA), tackling identity and access management are areas we can help.

  • Remote Access

    A growing number of businesses are running virtual offices. Whether it is to save costs that incur from having a physical office location or to show care to their employees by offering work-life flexibility.

    Whatever may be the reason, working remotely seems to be the new norm. Our solutions delivery ease of use and security.

What Are Your Cloud Computing Options?

You probably are using some cloud services today – Google Apps, Office 365, line of business applications like Salesforce or other CRMs, ERP systems, accounting, or email.

cloud-computing-blue-skies-clouds-results-matter-cloud-services-512pxMoving more to the cloud is a big decision which depends on how you work and what you are hoping to achieve. This decision should be part of your technology strategy.  The decision needs to support your business goals, your desired business processes, and your team.

The cloud is not right for every business and anyone recommending you transition should be asking tons of questions to deeply understand how you work and what you want to achieve.

Our goal is to ensure you have the right information to evaluate the alternatives.  On-premise, in the cloud or a combination – the right solution for you is the one that enables your team to achieve your strategic goals and deliver on your customer promise.  That is what we will help you implement.

Let’s get the conversation started.