Cloud services refer to a wide range of services provided on demand to organizations and users over the internet. These services are designed to offer easy, affordable access to applications and resources, without the need for internal infrastructure or hardware.
What are cloud services?
Cloud services may vary from email services to collaboration of documents. In today's world most employees in any organization use cloud services throughout their workday, whether they’re aware of it or not. Users can access cloud services with only the need of a computer, an operating system, and a network connection to the internet.
What types of cloud services are there?
All infrastructure, platforms, software, or technologies that users access through the internet without requiring additional software downloads can be considered cloud services.
Generally speaking, there are three basic types of cloud services:
Software as a Service (SaaS)
The most widely recognized type of cloud service is known as software as a service, or SaaS. SaaS provides users with a fully functional app, as well as the platform on which it runs and the platform’s underlying infrastructure.
Examples of SaaS cloud service providers include Dropbox, G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Slack and Citrix Content Collaboration. In each of these applications, users can access, share, store and secure information in “the cloud.”
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS provides users with compute, networking, and storage resources. It serves as the complete data center framework, eliminating the need for resource-intensive, on-site installations.
Examples of IaaS are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine. These providers maintain all storage servers and networking hardware, and may also offer load balancing, application firewalls and more.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The cloud service model known as platform as a service, or PaaS, provides users with a platform on which applications can run, as well as all the IT infrastructure required for it to run.
PaaS provides a database, operating system and programming language that organizations can use to develop cloud-based software, without having to maintain the underlying elements.
How do cloud services work?
Like any other IT solution, cloud services depend on hardware and software. However, unlike traditional hardware and software solutions, with cloud services users do not need anything other than a computer, network connection, and operating system to access cloud services. Cloud services are fully managed by cloud computing vendors and service providers.
How are cloud services delivered?
Public cloud services
These are the services that a provider offers to numerous customers over the web. Examples of public cloud services include the SaaS, IaaS and PaaS - all providing public cloud-based services.
The biggest benefit of using public cloud services is the ability to share resources at scale, allowing organizations to offer employees more capabilities than would likely be possible alone.
Some of the most popular public clouds include Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and IBM Cloud
Private cloud services
Also known as managed cloud providers, private cloud providers serve customers a private cloud that's deployed, configured, and managed by someone other than the customer.
With a private cloud services model, apps and data are made available through the organization’s own internal infrastructure. The platform and software serve one company alone, and are not made available to external users.
Private cloud services are a cloud delivery option that helps enterprises with understaffed or under-skilled IT teams provide better private cloud services and infrastructure to users.
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