Long gone are the days of creating every function and need from scratch, now whenever a new requirement shows up we can search the internet, and more often than not, there’s already a solution for the problem, this extends far from simple coding, email domains, websites, databases, even entire infrastructures can be run on servers, and enable companies many opportunities, so let’s take a look at the many Cloud-based Services.
Cloud-based services can be divided into many categories, but before we dive into that, let’s talk about what is a Cloud-Based Service, and why has it become so popular.
A Cloud-Based Service is any type of Service that is run on an external server over the internet, a database, a website, an email server, this can all be outsourced, meaning the only requirement someone needs is an Internet connection, this means that we don’t need to set up anything, and we can have all the benefits of the full implementations, this also means that maintenance costs are reduced, we no longer have to worry about that.
It becomes extremely convenient, but that is only one of the attractive parts, arguably the best characteristic of Cloud-Based Services is that they’re dynamic, they can grow or shrink as it is needed, a company starting out can get a small plan, and then as they get more and more customers simply upgrade to a bigger plan, instead, when implementing an in-house solution, the only way to handle the increase of customers, would be to increase the capacity of our own servers.
So now we know why they are popular, so let’s see some categories.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), this is one of the main categories, IaaS is a model where we buy Servers, Storage, etc. so, for example, we can get big clusters of servers for our video rendering, or large storage capability to store our data. We are basically buying computing power, one key aspect of this service is that we have complete control over how the hardware is run, we can completely customize it to our needs.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS), this service is more oriented to the development and maintenance of software, here we have Software Tools, Environments and Hardware needed to develop, for example, need to develop iOS native applications? You need an Apple computer, so we can get that as a PaaS, other things we can get are databases, web servers, and runtime environments.
- Software as a Service (SaaS), this service offers the Applications themselves over the cloud. The biggest advantage is that we don’t have to worry about compatibility, application versions, or any configurations, we can be sure the Application one developer is using is the exact same the other developer is using.
Now we can paint a picture, there is a startup, with very little hardware, a couple of developers and no software installed. Using Cloud-Based Services, we can obtain the hardware needed to run a company, the development environment and the development tools, and the programs, the only thing we need is an internet connection. Cloud-Based Services we can get everything we need, without spending time and resources for storage or maintenance.
The Internet has undoubtedly brought many opportunities, and it’s not hard to find a Service that suits your needs, many big names are offering Cloud-Based Services, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, are just some of the big players.
Of course, all the advantages come with some problems, we don’t have direct control over our data is a big concern, the lack of local data is another big one, there is also the problem of internet outages if we’re don’t have internet, we’re out of luck. However, the services have become extremely reliable, so much, that for many, the disadvantages are small compared to the great advantages and flexibility that they offer.
Author: Ing. Erwin Gonzalez