Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that’s often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.
Cloud computing is providing developers and IT departments with the ability to focus on what matters most and avoid undifferentiated work like procurement, maintenance, and capacity planning. As cloud computing has grown in popularity, several different models and deployment strategies have emerged to help meet specific needs of different users. Each type of cloud service, and deployment method, provides you with different levels of control, flexibility, and management. Understanding the differences between Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service, as well as what deployment strategies you can use, can help you decide what set of services is right for your needs.
Cloud Computing Models
There are three main models for cloud computing. Each model represents a different part of the cloud computing stack:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Infrastructure as a Service contains the basic building blocks for cloud IT and typically provide access to networking features, computers, and data storage space.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platforms as a service removes the need for organizations to manage the underlying infrastructure and allow you to focus on the deployment and management of your applications.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Software as a Service provides you with a completed product that is run and managed by the service provider. In most cases, people referring to Software as a Service are referring to end-user applications.
Amazon Web Services: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 165 fully featured services from data centers globally. Millions of customers —including the fast-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs.
Google Cloud Platform: Google Cloud Platform is a set of Computing, Networking, Storage, Big Data, Machine Learning and Management services provided by Google that runs on the same Cloud infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Photos and YouTube.