Cloud and security

Clear the mist of cloud computing jargon

Hybrid, public or private cloud? SaaS or IaaS? Here’s what they all mean and how your business could use them.

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In business, the cloud is here to stay. But getting your head around all things cloud is like learning a new language. It’s not just understanding the meanings of the terminology – it’s a new way of thinking about how we work and store data. To understand the different ways to use the cloud and why you might choose each, read on.

Public cloud means sharing

If you’re using public cloud, you’re accessing a pool of computing resources over the internet. And other businesses and organizations are using this same pool of computing resources.

Public cloud means sharing computing resources with others.

Why use public cloud?

Public cloud can be flexible and cost-effective. You’re outsourcing computing resources such as data storage and server processing power, but you only pay for what you use. If your business must change fast, whether increasing or decreasing activity, your cloud capacity and what you pay for it changes to match the needs of your business.

Go it alone with private cloud

Using private cloud means you’re using a pool of computing resources accessed over the internet but dedicated to your company.

Why use private cloud?

Private cloud is more customizable than public cloud. It may be more cost-effective if you need a lot of computing and storage capacity. There are fewer inherent security risks. Private cloud may be a good option if you know the capacity you need and can predict how it may change in future.

Hybrid cloud can be the best of both worlds

Hybrid cloud is a popular choice nowadays because it meets businesses’ needs better than public or private cloud alone. You can end up with a hybrid structure naturally by migrating some services to the public cloud, while others remain on premises or in the private cloud to be more secure. By using both public and private cloud, you can allocate computing resources to either environment as needed.

Hybrid cloud means allocating computing resources to whichever cloud environment best suits them.

Why use hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud lets organizations use the scalability that comes with public cloud and the data privacy and customization benefits of private cloud, depending on what they need at the time. Having servers distributed across several data centers also makes computing resources more reliable.

Get together with community cloud

Community cloud is another option in cloud computing that encapsulates aspects of both private and public cloud. You’re sharing computing resources in the same way you might with public cloud, but with a limited pool of users who have things in common with your business. For example, Salesforce offers Community Cloud to its customers for creating, hosting and taking sales through their own branded websites.

Why use community cloud?

Community cloud may be the simplest and most cost-effective way of doing something specific for your business. As with the Salesforce example, you may have an existing relationship with the provider, so you’re already sharing data with them, meaning you’re not adding an extra link to your data sharing chain.

Take it out of the building with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)

Today the world is full of acronyms ending in ‘aaS,’ or ‘as a service.’ When in the past, your business might’ve bought something and owned it until it stopped being useful, the ‘as a service’ model offers everything from office furniture to software to meeting rooms on a pay-as-you-go model.

What is IaaS, and why use it?

If you’re using IaaS (usually pronounced eye-as,) you’re using IT infrastructure like data storage and servers over the internet, rather than using infrastructure your company buys and maintains.

Big names in providing IaaS include Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Many IaaS providers offer public and private cloud options.

Why use IaaS?

IaaS saves on start-up costs, cuts day-to-day running costs like infrastructure maintenance and building space, and makes it easy to scale up or down as needed.

Simplify and secure with software-as-a-service (SaaS)

SAAS means your software provider hosts the software you use on their cloud infrastructure. You access that software over the internet.

Security-as-a-service (SECasS) is a type of SaaS that can be especially beneficial. You can also enhance your security with managed services from specialist suppliers.

SaaS can make your business more efficient.

Why use SaaS?

SaaS cuts down on software maintenance and security. It’s often faster and easier to get remote workers and new staff members set up. Because the software vendor takes responsibility for updates, you always get the most up-to-date features, and there are fewer risks around outdated software running without security patches.

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to develop and deploy

A place to develop and deploy software in the cloud, developers use  PaaS to deliver apps and applications of all sizes and levels of complexity. Servers, storage and networks as well as development tools and database management systems are all included in PaaS.

Why use PaaS?

With PaaS, you can bypass buying and managing software licenses, infrastructure and development tools. It lets developers focus more on managing their applications, will the cloud provider performs many jobs that would otherwise fall to developers.

Language is power

Now you know the meaning of some of the most common cloud-related terms. Further illuminate cloud jargon with CloudWatchHUB’s cloud computing glossary.

Cloud computing solutions have brought flexibility, scalability and better value for money to countless businesses and organizations. This lingo will make your cloud conversations less opaque. You’ll be able to better choose options that suit your business and take action to keep your cloud resources secure.

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About authors

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Hybrid Cloud Security