The cloud has changed the way that we do business. In this video, you’ll learn about platform as a service, software as a service, infrastructure as a service, and cloud deployment models.
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Cloud computing has not only affected the way we work, but also ways that we live. In this video, we’ll look at different ways of implementing cloud technologies.
One popular implementation of cloud technologies is Platform as a Service, or PaaS. With a Platform as a Service, you don’t have any servers. You don’t own any software. You don’t have any maintenance or IT team. You don’t have to maintain a data center with HVAC. Someone else is handling everything about the platform. All you have to do is use the product.
With Platform as a Service, you have zero control over what’s happening with that platform. You don’t employ any of the people that maintain it. You’re not in charge of the data center. You don’t have access to the infrastructure. You are paying to have people handle that piece of it for you. That’s one of the benefits of Platform as a Service.
So you have to choose very carefully what platform you’re going to use. You want to be sure that it’s managed by the proper people, and that it’s going to be there for days to come.
Platform as a Service is generally a structure that you’re able to then build to make whatever you need. A good example of this is salesforce.com. That gives you the platform, and then you can build customer relationship management and other technologies onto that platform.
Unlike Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, or SaaS, is much more specialized. This is generally software that normally we would have run on our own servers or our own workstations, but instead, we’re running that software somewhere out on the web. It may be a third party that we’ve contracted with. And we’re going to use the software that’s running in their environment instead.
A good example of Software as a Service is something like email distribution. Maybe you’re sending out an email newsletter every week. Instead of having your own email servers and your own software to manage that distribution process, you’re instead using a third-party provider that’s allowing you Software as a Service. The software and the service running somewhere else in the cloud. And you’re simply using that to send your email newsletters. That way, as your email newsletters get more popular, you need to scale up, you’re going to use the resources available at that third party.
Another example something like payroll. It has to work every week or every two weeks or every month. And instead of you having your own software that you have to manage and you have to maintain, you’ll use a third party software as a service to be able to handle all your payroll in the cloud.
There are concerns, of course, with using Software as a Service, because your data is somewhere else. All of your mailing list information is at the mailing list provider. Or all of your payroll information is run through a payroll provider. So you may have to require additional security, especially if you have sensitive information that you’re trying to do use with this software as a service. You may be using Software as a Service every day. If you’re using something like Google Mail, like I am, then all of your email is going in and out through that Software as a Service provider.
Infrastructure as a Service is called IaaS. You may see this referred to as Hardware as a Service. In this particular case, we need hardware that’s located in the cloud, but we’re going to manage everything else ourself. So I’m going to manage the devices and the operating systems and the software that’s running on those pieces of the hardware. But the hardware itself is somewhere else, and is managed by someone else. That means if I need more hardware, I’m ramping up a particular campaign, or I need additional computing power, I simply take advantage of hardware out in the cloud with Infrastructure as a Service.
Obviously, your data in this particular case is out in the cloud as well. Since the hardware is there, our data must also reside in the cloud. And in this particular case, you’re generally in charge of securing that data. All we’re doing is using Infrastructure as a Service to gain access to the hardware. All of the security around that needs to be handled by you.
A common example of Infrastructure as a Service is something like web server providers. It’s very common for them to provide you with a device. Maybe it’s running a basic operating system. And then everything else is up to you to configure. You would need to add the web server components, all of the web server pages themselves, manage the security, and manage all of the other software you need to get that web server running.
There are many different ways to deploy a cloud technology. It doesn’t have to be all public somewhere out on the internet. Doesn’t all have to be private within your organization. There are different flavors in between.
Very common implementation is one that is private. The private cloud is one that might be running in our own data center, but it’s one that we can use anywhere in our organization to access this centralized bit of data. The other side of that would be the public cloud, where anybody on the internet can gain access to those particular services or those particular resources. Sometimes it’s a mix between the two, with a hybrid cloud offering, where there’s a little bit of a public cloud, but a little bit, also, of a private cloud offering. In some cases, you’ll also see a community deployment model, where several organizations are sharing the same hardware or the same software in order to keep those costs low.