The popularity of cloud computing has continued to grow in recent times and this can be largely attributed to the many benefits of cloud computing that has seen businesses and even individuals embrace the concept. The question that however continues to bug the minds of many is which of the types of cloud computing is best for their business.
There are different types of cloud computing and these types have been broadly categorized into three namely, Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The choice of the type of service is dependent on several factors with the major one being the need of the business or individual as the case may be. It is also worth noting that the requirements of the user will determine whether the different types will be employed individually or combined with others.
Below is a brief explanation of the three different types of cloud computing services mentioned earlier.
Software as a service (SaaS)
This type of cloud computing is also referred to as “on-demand software”, where the client or user prefers to rent the license of the software from time to time, as opposed to an outright purchase of the software. The rented software is of course subsequently used via an internet browser and most people and businesses opt for this alternative when they are running on a tight budget as a measure of reducing cost.
There are quite a number of software applications available through this type of cloud computing service, leaving clients with a wide range of options to choose from. The different software applications handle such issues as content management, accounting, customer relationship management, human resource management, ERP, and such other important business functions.
The popularity of the SaaS type of cloud computing is growing at an amazing rate with the largest market being in the customer relationship management aspect or CRM as it is called.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
As the name depicts, this cloud computing type involves the provision of computing platforms to clients of cloud computing. It is also regarded as the link that joins the other two types of cloud computing service, that is, SaaS and IaaS.
A computer is required to have a computing platform which would include hardware architecture and a software framework. This platform serves as the base for the collaboration of the software and hardware which includes the architecture, languages, and the operating system of the computer.
The platform therefore takes the place of a real computer when the subject of cloud computing is being discussed. The platform as a service therefore involves the provision of all the requirements that makes up a computing platform.
There are a variety of facilities offered by PaaS all of which are important to cloud computing. Some of these facilities include deployment, app development, hosting, and application design. In addition to these facilities, cloud service providers that offer PaaS add some other features to the facilities mentioned earlier. This is done to distinguish their brand from the competition and as a Unique Selling Point to attract clients.
All the facilities in this category of cloud computing can be enjoyed by businesses as well as individual clients and all it requires is to subscribe to the desired package that has all the features included.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is the third type of cloud computing service that can be enjoyed by individual and business clients and just like the other two types that deliver cloud based platform services for clients; IaaS also delivers a platform that is virtualized.
Here, the idea of hardware virtualization as it connotes involves showing users the abstract computing platform as opposed to the physical features. This results in the creation of what is referred to as hypervisor or virtual machine monitor, enabling the creation of third part of cloud computing, that is, Interface as a Service.
With the different types of cloud computing briefly explained above, it can be clearly seen that the different types offer different services and features to clients and as one will expect, the cost of each of them differs.
It is worth noting that there is usually no fixed cost of using the service as the cost is dependent on the amount of activity done by the client. However, service providers have a minimum charge that applies to every client depending on the number of facilities opted for.