Cloud-based applications are everywhere. For those of you who are not familiar with the cloud, or applications hosted on that type of infrastructure, today we will give a bit of a primer of how it all works.
When people say the word “applications” or “apps”, what they are referring to is the software that has been developed for computing constructs to add functionality, or completely streamline, access to an Internet-based address. While there are apps that don’t utilize connectivity, a vast majority of apps are developed around the ability to connect to other users of the app. These applications cover the entire range of a business’ computing infrastructure. From payroll to taxes, from procurement to distribution, from management to production, there are cloud-based apps for nearly every task your company has.
The cloud is effectively a data center that provides access to software, processing, or storage over an Internet connection. Since the computing resources are made available to customers as a service, most developers have begun to implement some sort of cloud-based solution. Cloud computing is looked on by many as cost effective because customers pay per month per license. Apps that are deployed in this fashion typically are slightly more expensive than purchasing the license outright, but since many of these developers host, manage, and maintain the hardware and software systems as a part of the cloud agreement, it provides a company a way to transfer what was once a capital cost into an operational one.
Public, Private, Hybrid
Not all cloud platforms are constructed the same. Most Software as a Service (SaaS) apps are offered as a public cloud solution. That means that the application and any processing or storage that is associated with it is on shared hardware and is available through a browser or a dedicated app. Since a lot of users are utilizing this hardware, costs are lower.
The private cloud is typically hosted on your in-house computers and is meant to be much more secure. By controlling all the maintenance and management of that hardware and software, you can have the control you want over your own IT.
The hybrid approach is a mixture of the two platforms. Some data is more sensitive than other data is, but if you need to provide anywhere, anytime access to information, having cost-effective public cloud interfaces mixed with secure private cloud systems provides both accessibility and data security.
There are plenty of different applications that businesses and individuals can take advantage of in the cloud, but there are three major categories in which cloud services are sold. They are:
- Software as a Service – Software delivery. Anything from communications (telephone, email) to productivity (Office 365) to security (SECaaS) can be found in the cloud.
- Platform as a Service – For development. Allows users to create applications, collaborate, and test new software without having to purchase or pay to maintain the hardware.
- Infrastructure as a Service – Complete virtualized computing apparatuses that include processing, storage, software, and more.
If you would like more information about cloud computing and how it really provides a lot of upfront value over the alternatives, contact the professional IT technicians at COMPANYNAME today.