What is cloud, cloud computing and cloud-based deployment?

In practical terms, both cloud and cloud computing are terms used to describe the concept of storing and accessing information on the Internet, usually through third-party services.This covers everything from Google services (Gmail, Google Drive, etc.) to Dropbox, billing applications, CRM, etc. Specifying more we would say that while cloud is the Internet in general and we refer to it when we talk about having data, applications or infrastructure outside our company’s facilities, cloud computing. It tells us about the products and services that work in the cloud and which we can access through the Internet. It refers to access to computers, other IT elements and software applications through a network connection, often accessing data centers using extensive area networks (WAN) or Internet connectivity.

Almost all IT resources can be in the cloud: a program or application, a service or a complete infrastructure. For example, if a business wanted to build an IT infrastructure, it would be customary to install the servers, software and network resources it needs. but almost all of those services and resources are now accessible through third parties that offer them in the cloud. The term cloud also refers to the storage system, which is what is known as cloud storage, a model that allows data to be stored in logical groupings, which also need a physical location and environment, which is usually managed by the company proprietary storage provider. It is she who must keep the data available and accessible, and the physical environment protected and functioning, since she thus engages with those who buy or rent the ability to store data from users, organizations or applications, to whom she appears responsible.

2. SaaS, Iaas, Paas, Faas, iPaaS, iDaaS,…, the different cloud services

The cloud offers the business all kinds of possibilities in the form of service, which help drive the improvement of its operations. However, not all cloud services are the same, in fact, three standard models and other options that have been incorporated to meet the needs of a network of users increasingly familiar with working in this environment can be distinguished. The services originally associated with the cloud have common characteristics, although, to better understand what these cloud services can offer the business, you have to know what they are and what they consist of:

  1. Software as a service (SaaS): Through this service the user company can use the provider’s applications, executed in its cloud infrastructure, without being able to exercise management or control capabilities. Although it offers the advantage of virtually unlimited access and from any type of client device;It has the disadvantage that the last word on issues related to the network itself, servers, operating systems, storage or even the capabilities of individual applications is taken by the cloud service provider.
  2. Platform as a service (PaaS): In this case, the company can deploy its own applications in the chosen cloud infrastructure. Again, the one who manages the underlying infrastructure in the cloud is the provider. PaaS allows the user to prevent the cost and complexity of buying and managing licenses of software, extra costs, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware or development tools and other resources; guaranteeing scalability, since the client accesses the resources he needs from his supplier as he requires.
  3. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): the cloud service provider gives its client the ability to take advantage of the processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources based on which he can deploy the software of his choice, including applications and operating systems. Although the consumer company has no control over issues related to cloud infrastructure, in some cases it could be granted some limited control rights over selected network components, such as some related to security. After SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, new alternatives were emerging that covered the expectations of businesses that wanted to continue growing in this new environment. Many companies from very different sectors have already found a way to exploit the full value of cloud services such as: 
  • Integration platform as a service (iPaaS): A service model that has more and more followers thanks to the growing importance of data integration in companies, much more in the case of businesses that use SaaS. IPaaS providers often offer preconfigured connectors to share data between popular SaaS applications and local business applications. They also make it possible for workflows, transformations or data mapping to be implemented as part of the cloud integration process. The difference between some providers of iPaaS and others will be in the type of integration in which they specialize, being possible to resort to those that put the focus on the SOA, B2B or cloud integrations. 
  • Security as a service (SECaaS): security is delivered as a cloud service, integrated into a corporate infrastructure with a subscription base,generally very profitable, if aspects such as total cost of ownership are taken into account.
  • Functions as a service (FaaS): It is the arrival of cloud computing through serverless architectures. This means that software developers can take advantage of this service to implement, from an individual function or an action, to a piece of business logic. A special benefit of FaaS applications is that they do not consume any IaaS resources until an event occurs, multiplying their scalability and reducing pay-per-use rates.
  • Mobile “back end” as a service (MBaaS): also known as BaaS (back-end as a service), it is a novel way to link applications with cloud computing services and these with APIs. Usually, this class of services includes user administration, push notifications and integration with social networking services, among others.
  • Identity as a service (IDaaS): These are SaaS-based IAM offers that allow institutions to use single sign-on, authentication & access controls to for secure access to their software and SaaS applications. This service resolves one of the most worrying security problems in relation to cloud computing, which is the management of the user’s identity and their associated rights and permissions through private data centers and public cloud sites.

3. The different deployment models: public, private, hybrid and other clouds

A cloud-based deployment model represents a specific type of cloud environment, which is distinguished primarily by ownership, size and access.Today, we can talk about four common cloud-based deployment models to which some new features are added:

  1. Public cloud: Based on an open network for public use, the new computer service is offered to all external customers who need this technology on the Internet.In this model, scalable and elastic capabilities are used to support those looking to reduce costs and increase technology options, sometimes even for freeOn a technical level, this form of cloud computing should not present differences with the architecture of a private cloud. However, it should be borne in mind that, in terms of security, public cloud service providers own and operate the infrastructure in their data center and access is generally via the Internet, offering services Direct connection that requires customers to buy or lease a private connection to an exchange point offered by the cloud provider.
  2. Private cloud: It is the one that allows to centralize the access to the IT resources of the organization, using its own cloud computing technology. The management of this environment can be carried out by the same company or outsource it to third parties, although, regardless of the option chosen, we must not forget that the client and cloud service provider coincide. Another peculiarity of this type of cloud is that, despite the fact that the private cloud can physically reside in the organization’s facilities, the IT resources it houses are still considered cloud-based deployment, since they are accessible remotely by users.
  3. Hybrid cloud: The composition of this cloud computing model varies depending on the needs of the business, and may result from the combination of a private and a public cloud or one of them and a community cloud. In the same way, different cloud computing service providers also  The industry’s compliance requirements and the priorities that each organization establishes in terms of information security will mark the configuration of its cloud and the uses they decide to give to the cloud.
  4. Community cloud: This interpretation of cloud computing closely resembles the public cloud with the difference that, in this case, access is limited to a specific community, or, at least, to some of its members, who must define the rules and take care of their development.
  5. Virtual private cloud: This model results in an autonomous cloud environment that, although it is hosted and managed by a public cloud provider, who makes it available to a cloud consumer in exchange for a certain cost and compliance of the conditions of use that are established.
  6. Intercloud: It is a twist to the concept of cloud computing constituting what, for many, is a cloud of clouds. This complex network is globally interconnected and, rather than promoting the relationship between cloud providers and their customers and users, it is aimed at fostering direct interoperability between public cloud service providers. 
  7. Multicloud: In this way it is called the use of multiple cloud computing services in a single heterogeneous architecture that encompasses a variety of services, unlike the hybrid cloud, and that can occur both publicly, privately or in legacy. The advantage of multicloud is its flexibility,since it expands the possibilities of choice reducing dependence on single suppliers.