More Cloud-Based Services You May Be Using
Ben Jones is a regular contributor to The HRIS World.
Editor’s note: Ben continues his discussion here from his previous article, Have Any Clue What Cloud-Based Services You Already Use?, where he shares systems many are using but may not be aware of that they are using a cloud system.
Here, he groups more systems into their functional categories, giving you some means to associate each type of cloud system.
Be sure to catch his other article as well!
What is Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the latest buzzword in the IT world, with cost and efficiency savings to be made for both large enterprises and the SME sector.
Personal users also now have access to a vast array of cloud based tools to enhance their working and personal lives.
But what exactly is Cloud computing, and who provides these services?
Cloud computing is the provision of IT resources as a regular service across the internet, and can be either hardware resources or software applications.
Companies and personal users typically connect to these services using either a web browser or an application hosted on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device.
The interaction with the cloud services is seamless, just like their interaction with hardware resources and software applications that are based natively on the hardware device they are using.
For all intents and purposes, end users of cloud services experience little difference from when they use native applications.
In part the rapid rise of robust fast networks has allowed for this seamless interaction.
However, the differences from native resources and applications, are that cloud services are physically located in data centres spread across the world. And when it comes to service models, there are three that are widely accepted…
Software-as-a-Service is the most prevalent type of cloud computing for personal users.
- website building sites such Wix & Squarespace; Google’s vast array of web based applications from search to Gmail to YouTube
Business software for every type of business function is also available as Software-as-a-Service with examples being KashFlow accountancy software & Capsule Customer Relationship Management software.
Microsoft’s Azure cloud is an example of Platform-as-a-Service.
Microsoft hosts its operating systems and applications on its own data centres and allows businesses to rent access to these cloud resources rather than companies having to buy their own servers.
Businesses using Microsoft’s Azure Cloud can install third party applications on their instances of Microsoft’s servers but cannot install a different brand of operating system in the Azure cloud.
Businesses still have to purchase the required Microsoft licenses for the various operating systems & software applications.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is by far the most complex of cloud services to operate because effectively you are still running your own servers, storage & networks.
It is just that the service exists in a virtualised environment.
And according to Memset boss, Kate Craig-Wood, this type of service is best explained as “a bunch of unmanaged virtual machines”.
You can run any type of operating system that is supported by the Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider.
Amazon is probably the best known Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider and supports pretty much all operating systems.
Google has also launched an Infrastructure-as-a-Service but has chosen to limit the supported operating systems to open-source, keeping the likes of Microsoft operating system users out of their public cloud.
Some Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers, such as Memset, have adopted the OpenStack initiative making the portability of cloud based operations easier for businesses.
More articles by Ben Jones...
- Is Big Data All Its Hyped Up To Be? - 15-February-2013
- With Cloud Computing, What Do You Need to Know About IaaS? - 19-December-2012
- Have Any Clue What Cloud-Based Services You Already Use? - 13-August-2012
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