Types of Cloud services : Have you ever sent an e-mail? If so, you’ve already used the cloud. Basically, what you load into your machine is simply an application (e.g. Gmail, Outlook). The real storage and email software does not exist on your computer but exists instead in the cloud. Cloud computing is now widely used in e-commerce companies, and fundamentally in all companies, and is changing the growth of the industry as a whole.
What is Cloud?
A cloud is a collection of hardware, network connections and software providing services that individuals and companies can operate from anywhere in the world. Before the advent of the cloud, to obtain computing power it was necessary to acquire hardware (processors, servers, etc.) and software. With the cloud, the consumer uses the power made available by the players specialized in the cloud through his Internet connection.
The cloud is characterized by 5 main axes:
- Resources are self-service: this means that resources can be automatically adapted to demand according to the consumer’s needs. This is done fully automatically and the service responds immediately. This is one of the strong points of the cloud: it is no longer necessary to make a written request to your host to obtain an increase in computing power.
- Broad network access: The services offered by the cloud must be available everywhere in the world thanks to an internet connection (meeting standard web techniques) and those for any type of device (computer, tablet or mobile).
- Resource pooling: Resource pooling allows you to combine different resources (whether hardware, software or network resources) to serve several users to whom the resources are automatically assigned. It increases scalability and elasticity. In addition, it facilitates the adaptation of resources according to the users of the services.
- Elasticity: The ability of the cloud to adapt to different application needs within a given timeframe. Elasticity is the ability to respond as precisely as possible for access to the resources of an application.
- Payment for use only: Users only consume what they have used. The amount of service consumed is measured in order to control billing.
The cloud uses several technologies:
- Hardware virtualization: Virtualization consists of running operating systems (system virtualization) or applications (application virtualization) on a host machine. The best known tool in this field is Oracle VM VirtualBox.
- Grids: This is a virtual infrastructure that consists of a set of computing resources. They are potentially shared, distributed, heterogeneous, delocalized and autonomous.
- Service-oriented architecture: This is a technical means of integrating the various information systems of the company, considering each IT resource as a service. It allows the construction of building blocks that will make up the urban planning of the information system.
- Web services: This is the protocol that enables communication and data exchange between applications and systems in distributed environments.
Among the services provided in cloud computing is cloud gaming. It allows video games to be played normally on the computer screen, while the game software(s) runs on remote servers, which return the video of what has been played in streaming mode. It no longer requires media, such as CDs, or hardware, such as game consoles. Players only need to have a computer connected to the Internet and the required peripherals. One of the best-known players is the Shadow company, which has been specializing in cloud gaming for a few years.
And cloud computing ?
Types of Cloud services : Cloud Computing is a general term used to refer to the delivery of on-demand resources and services over the Internet. It refers to the storage and access to data via the Internet rather than via the hard drive of a computer. It thus contrasts with the concept of local storage, which consists of storing data or launching programs from the hard disk. Generally speaking, we speak of Cloud Computing when it is possible to access data or programs from the Internet. Enterprise Cloud Computing is driven by cost reduction, but also by changes in the outside world.
There are 3 categories of cloud computing deployment:
- public cloud
- private cloud
- hybrid cloud.
Types of Cloud services : Public cloud
Public Cloud services are provided by a third party through the Internet. The main advantage of a Public Cloud is its versatility and pay-as-you-go structure that allows customers to pay only for the CPU cycles, storage or bandwidth they consume. The main public cloud providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM and Google Compute Engine. The companies provide both services and infrastructure that are shared by all customers. Users of Public Cloud services do not need to invest in hardware, software, or infrastructure that is managed by vendors. Public clouds typically have huge amounts of available space, which can result in easy scalability. A public cloud is most often recommended for software development and collaborative projects. It contains many professional SaaS applications ranging from CRM to transaction managers to data analytics tools. IaaS for storage and computing services are also based on the public cloud. The same is true for PaaS for cloud application development.
Types of Cloud services : Private cloud
A Private Cloud is an infrastructure entirely dedicated to a single company, which can be managed internally or by a third party, and hosted internally or externally. This model offers versatility to companies, while preserving management, control and security. The benefits are self-service access to the control interface, allowing the IT team to quickly provision and allocate or deliver IT resources on demand. Likewise, resource management is automated for both storage and analysis. Similarly, security and governance are tailored to the specific needs of the business. The additional control offered by a private cloud makes it easy to restrict access to valuable assets and ensures that an organization will be able to move its data and applications where it wants, when it wants. The weakness of private clouds is the lack of versatility. They can only be expanded by adding more physical computing and storage capacity, making it difficult to scale up when urgently needed.
Types of Cloud services : Hybrid cloud
Finally, the Hybrid Cloud is the combination of the Public Cloud and the Private Cloud. They are designed to allow the two platforms to interact seamlessly. For example, enterprises can perform very important tasks or sensitive applications in the private cloud, and use the public cloud for tasks requiring resource scalability. The goal of the Hybrid Cloud is to create a unified, automated and scalable environment that takes advantage of Public Cloud infrastructures while maintaining full control over data.
Most organizations using the Private Cloud are gradually converging to the Hybrid Cloud. The main advantage of the Hybrid Cloud is its ability to deliver the scalable computing power of a public cloud coupled with the security and control of a private cloud. This allows enterprises to choose between a traditional data center or a private cloud for data storage. It also allows them to take advantage of public cloud resources such as the latest SaaS or elastic virtual resources of IaaS. Finally, it facilitates the portability of data, applications and services and offers more choices in terms of deployment models.
Most companies today are turning to the multi-cloud. The goal of a multi-cloud model is versatility and specialization. Not all departments in different parts of a company have the same need for the cloud. Multi-cloud models also reassure companies because they do not depend only on a single provider (this avoids a complete breakdown of a service if the provider has big problems on its servers).
Types of cloud computing services
There are 4 main categories of service:
- IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service)
- PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)
- SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)
- FaaS (functions as a service)
Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers, such as AWS, offer virtual server storage, as well as APIs that let users transfer their workloads to virtual machines (VMs). IAAS can be servers, networks, storage or space within data centers. Users have allocated storage capacity. They can then start, stop or configure the virtual machine and storage as they wish. The infrastructure provided can be small, medium, large or very large to suit different needs. With this type of infrastructure, companies do not need to invest in their own hardware. IaaS are also scalable and flexible, and adapt to the workload.
Platforms-as-a-Services are Cloud environments that provide everything needed for the complete lifecycle of Cloud applications, from development to delivery. They provide freedom from the purchase and maintenance of hardware, software, and hosting. Platform as a Service providers host the development tools on their infrastructure. Users can access these tools through APIs, web portals or gateway software. PaaS is used for general software development and many providers also host the software once it is developed. Key vendors include Salesforce.com, Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk and Google App Engine. PaaS helps accelerate development and market entry. They allow new applications to be deployed in the cloud in minutes.
Software-as-a-Service are Cloud-based applications launched from remote computers owned and managed by vendors through the Cloud. The SaaS model is based on the distribution of software applications over the Internet. Users can access SaaS applications and services from any location using a computer or mobile device with access to the Internet, typically from a browser. SaaS allows users to quickly sign up and use innovative business applications directly from any computer connected to the Internet. In addition, data is backed up in the event of a computer failure since it is stored on the Cloud. The service can be dynamically adapted to the needs of these users.
FaaS (functions as a service)
Functions-as-a-service adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS, so that developers are completely isolated from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of dealing with the hassles of virtual servers, containers and application runs, they download tightly functional blocks of code and configure them to be triggered by a certain event. FaaS applications do not consume any IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use charges.
There are also other services that we will quickly review:
Data as a service : Corresponds to the provision of delocalized data somewhere on the network.
Desktop as a service (DaaS): This is a service for outsourcing a virtual office infrastructure to a service provider.
Network as a service (NaaS): Network-as-a-service is the provision of network services, based on the concept of software defined networking (SDN).
Storage as a service (STaaS): STorage-as-a-Service corresponds to the storage of files with external service providers who host them on behalf of their customers.
Communication as a service (CaaS): Corresponds to the provision of communication solutions replacing local hardware and servers (PABX, ACD, IVR…) with shared resources on the Internet.
What are the advantages of cloud computing?
Cloud Computing brings three major advantages to companies:
1- The costs of Data Centers and IT services can be reduced and established in proportion to usage. Depending on the amount of usage, costs will be higher or lower thanks to the fast elasticity.
2 – Expenditure and risk-taking for innovation can be considerably reduced thanks to Cloud Computing. New projects can be supported directly if they gain scale, or abandoned if they fail.
3 – Cloud Computing allows an organization to collaborate in a new way with its business partners. Collaboration is the key to achieving competitive advantages within the value chain. By developing shared workspaces in Community Clouds, employees from multiple companies can work together in a virtual corporate network as if they were working for the same company.
The market share of different cloud computing providers
In 2018, Amazon will remain the clear leader in the cloud market. Its growth has not slowed over the past year. It achieves an increase of 47.1% in its turnover, to 25.4 billion dollars. As a result, its market share increased slightly. It rose from 31.5% to 31.7% year-on-year.
Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud all saw their market share increase more significantly. By three points for the first (to 16.8%), by two points for the second (to 8.5%) and by one point for the third (to 4%).
The public cloud market is booming. According to Gartner, the global market for cloud services will reach $354 billion by 2022. Software as a Service (SaaS) remains the largest market segment.
Some examples that use cloud computing
Google Drive: Google Drive is a pure Cloud Computing service. It offers online storage, and works with the Cloud applications Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides. This service is accessible from a computer, a tablet, or even a smartphone. Most of the services offered by Google can be categorized in Cloud Computing. This is the case of Gmail or Google Maps for example.
Apple iCloud: Mainly used for online storage, it is also useful for synchronizing emails, contacts, or calendar. All data is available on iOS, Mac OS, or Windows devices from the iCloud control panel. The platform also allows iPhone owners to use the Locate My iPhone feature.
Amazon Cloud Drive: Amazon primarily offers storage of MP3 music and photos. Amazon Prime subscribers enjoy unlimited storage capacity. Amazon Cloud Drive is also used to store content purchased for Kindle.
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