The Cloud. It's on everybody's mind but most don't know what it is or why it's important. The cloud can be a business' best friend or worst enemy. Call ConnectingBlox at 248-331-9520 and we'll help you make sense of it all.
Different Types of Clouds
"The Cloud" isn't really just one place. There are many different ways cloud computing can be implemented, each with its own purpose.
- Public Cloud
- What most people think of when hearing "the cloud" is actually a public cloud. Public clouds like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are shared computing systems where service providers make their resources available for public use. Public clouds are multi-tenant - many users are sharing the same hardware and typically billed like a utility so you pay by the hour of computer usage. Public clouds can offer significant cost savings, with the trade offs being less control over performance, far less security and no available methods of meeting compliance regulations. Public clouds are a good place to host web servers or utility storage (storing of files with lower importance and no confidential content).
- Private Cloud
- Private clouds are dedicated resources hosted by third parties. Private clouds are single-tenant and typically billed based upon the servers and resources configured. Private clouds offer a cost effective means of growing your corporate network - you are essentially leasing servers without having to build up the infrastructure to support them internally. Private clouds offer much better security than public clouds and in a private cloud it is possible to maintain compliance (SOX, HIPAA, PCI). Private clouds are a good place to host your applications, databases and other critical resources.
- Hybrid Cloud
- A hybrid cloud is a combination of private cloud and local resources. Most often used for storage and critical systems, a hybrid cloud simply creates a mirror of you internal resources in a hosted location. The advantage of a hybrid cloud is that you keep the control and performance of local servers but you have a live backup if your facility becomes unavailable for an extended period of time. Some companies also use hybrid deployments to offload intensive data operations - such as moving a very large database to a private cloud (instead of investing in very expensive dedicated hardware) but keeping the applications which access that database local.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- SaaS is often mistakenly referred to a cloud computing. While a SaaS system may be in the cloud, it is not technically cloud computing. SaaS is simply leasing software from a vendor who maintains all the servers and infrastructure for you. Cloud computing refers to resources that you can configure and use for any purpose you need, while SaaS refers to a specific application.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- PaaS is an advanced cloud concept typically used to rapidly bring applications to market. PaaS providers essentially build the "platform" for developers to deploy applications on top of existing public cloud systems. With traditional cloud computing you may lease a Windows or Linux server but in PaaS you lease a Windows or Linux server with a database, web server and development framework pre-installed.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- IaaS, sometimes also called MaaS (Metal as a Service), is similar to a private cloud with the exception that IaaS environments typically don't provide an actual "dedicated" server. Instead they are highly virtualized systems and what may appear to be "dedicated" is actually just one of hundreds (or even thousands) of virtual servers in a larger server farm.
How ConnectingBlox Fits
As a consulting firm, ConnectingBlox assists our customers in understanding the cloud and where they can reap the most benefits from its use. We have deep understanding of and excellent relationships with major cloud providers and can assist in procuring their services and deploying your applications to them.
As an IT services company, ConnectingBlox has our own private cloud infrastructure and offers our customers managed hosting of their servers, data and applications. We also offer cloud-based backup services with your data being backed up and protected on our secure private cloud infrastructure.