Everything You Need to know About Cloud Computing

Many organisations have either already adopted or are seriously considering a move to the cloud largely due to its convenience and the associated cost savings. However, the question of which cloud model is appropriate for your business can be a dilemma for many IT teams. 

In this blog, we explore cloud computing, and the different types available, to help you decide which model is right for your business. 


What is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing is a delivery model in which storage, servers, and apps are delivered via the internet. This type of computing depends on resource sharing, rather than using local servers or individual devices to host applications. The cloud is delivered on demand as a service, typically on a pay-per-use basis.  

With a cloud computing model, users access virtual compute, network, and storage resources made available online by a remote provider. Rather than having to buy and maintain their own extensive IT infrastructure, and requiring in-house expertise available to manage this equipment, this is largely the responsibility of the cloud service provider. 

Cloud computing provides a broad range of functions over the internet such as virtual and storage servers and authorisation for desktop applications. It primarily capitalises on resource sharing, which allows it to be consistent and achieve economies of scale.


Moving to Cloud Computing 

Before cloud computing became available, companies had to store all their data on their own on-premise equipment. They had to manage and maintain the equipment and if they required increased capacity they would have to buy and install new hardware, software, and networking infrastructure, which was a time-consuming and costly process. 

Nowadays, cloud computing resources can be provisioned instantly over the internet, with the ability to scale up and down easily, as required. Companies only pay for the resources they use, as they use them, without having to worry about capacity management, hardware refreshes, or other maintenance and management tasks. 


The Three Main Types of Cloud Computing Deployment Options 

There are three main cloud computing models relevant in the enterprise space, each meeting different business needs: 

Public Cloud 

Public cloud is when shared cloud infrastructure is owned, maintained, and managed by a cloud service provider (CSP). Services are delivered over the open internet. Examples of public cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.  

The main benefits of public cloud are on-demand scalability and pay-as-you-go pricing. Common uses for public cloud computing include file sharing, email, and application development and testing. Workloads with high volume or fluctuating demands are suited to a public cloud. 

Private Cloud 

A private cloud runs on an enterprise’s intranet, behind a firewall, and is hosted within an on-premises or co-located data centre. With a private cloud, infrastructure is used by a single organisation and can be configured and managed according to that company’s specific requirements. Data stored in a private cloud remains fully under that company’s control.  

Private clouds are frequently used for mission-critical, secure applications, as this is the best model to alleviate privacy and security concerns. Workloads with predictable use patterns are usually better suited to the private cloud. 

Hybrid Cloud 

Hybrid cloud allows organisations to leverage both public and private cloud computing solutions, including the use of multiple public cloud providers. Hybrid cloud allows organisations to take advantage of the strengths of each cloud model, including flexibility and scalability, protecting sensitive data and operations, and minimising dependency on any single CSP.

Some of the main benefits of hybrid cloud systems are that they do not have a single point of failure and that they benefit companies dealing with highly variable workloads.


What are Cloud Computing Services? 

Cloud computing can be broken down into three main as-a-service (aaS) categories:  

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)  
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 

With IaaS, users access basic infrastructure including servers, network, data storage, and virtualisation, through an API or dashboard, and essentially rent the infrastructure. System administrators within the business are responsible for managing the company’s databases, applications, security measures, and the operating system, while the cloud service provider manages the servers, hardware, hard drives, networking, and data storage. The IaaS model comes the closest to replicating the functionality of a traditional data centre in a hosted environment. 

Platform as a Service (Paas) 

Primarily for developers and programmers, PaaS means the hardware and an application-software platform are provided and managed by an external cloud service provider, but the business handles the apps running on top of the platform and the data the apps rely on. PaaS offers a full development environment, including the tools and software developers need to build, test, and run their applications, eliminating the need for developers to deal directly with the infrastructure layer when deploying or updating applications.  

Software as a Service (Saas) 

SaaS applications are designed to deliver a software application for end users, managed by a cloud service provider. Typically, SaaS apps are accessed via a web browser and are usually charged per user or per seat. SaaS apps eliminate the need to have an app installed locally on each individual user’s computer, allowing more methods of team access to the software. They provide a huge range of functionality in the cloud, including business applications such as word processing and spreadsheet programs, to CRM and ERM applications, to photo-editing suites and video-hosting platforms. 


Market-Leading Cloud Services from HPE GreenLake  

Whilst many companies want the flexibility and ease of use of cloud computing, some are put off by issues such as compliance, app dependency, and security, so need to host some of their apps and data in colocations, data centres, and at the edge, which that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data.  

HPE GreenLake brings the cloud experience to your apps and data wherever they live and delivers visibility and control across all your clouds, in a single operating model. It allows you to experience pay-per-use pricing, point-and-click self-service, scalability, and flexibility of the cloud, with the security of dedicated on-premises IT. 

The HPE GreenLake cloud services portfolio features modular building blocks that enable workloads with a stack of infrastructure, software, and services. Solutions are available for a variety of workloads, such as: 

Techbuyer’s Cloud Computing IT Solutions

HPE GreenLake is just one of the cloud services our cloud experts can advise on. To discuss the right cloud model for your business, please contact Techbuyer Enterprise Solutions here. 

For advice and recommendations on developing your cloud computing IT system, get in touch with our industry experts who are on hand to help create the best solution for your business. With vendor partnerships with HPE, Microsoft and VMWare to name a few, our team has access to high quality IT infrastructure from some of the biggest names in technology. Learn more here or contact us for more information.