What are the advantages of cloud computing? How do I know if cloud hosting is right for my company? Does the cloud keep my information safe and secure? Who are the most common cloud hosting providers?
In this blog, we dive into all these questions and more — helping you understand how cloud computing offers speed to market at low cost with scalability and reliability.
Defining cloud computing
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of a global network of remote servers over the internet to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. They’re hooked together and meant to operate as a single ecosystem.
You typically pay only for cloud services you use — a concept known as pay-as-you-go pricing. This helps organizations lower their operating costs, run their infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as their business needs change.
The cloud is secure, flexible, reliable, cost effective, elastic, and easy to use. It allows businesses to expand their services and computing beyond their data center.
For example, it’s very challenging to use machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI), but the cloud allows companies to use these services in a cost-effective way.
Comparing the 3 major cloud providers: Amazon AWS, Google GCP, and Microsoft Azure
There are three major cloud computing platforms: Amazon AWS, Google GCP, and Microsoft Azure. In their own ways, they offer accessibility, reduce network and hardware costs, and provide businesses with access to a range of applications.
There also are a handful of solution-specific players — including Alibaba Cloud, IBM Cloud, Oracle, and Salesforce.
Here we detail the three most commonly used platforms.
Amazon AWS is one of the longest-operating cloud computing platforms. It has been an industry leader for more than ten years and is most suitable for businesses that want to work on the public cloud.
Gartner has listed AWS as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure and Platform services for multiple years in a row.
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that integrates seamlessly with Windows, making it a smooth process for businesses that use the Windows platform on-premise. It allows for an easy transition for moving on-premises software to the cloud.
While it has been criticized for not being as well-developed as some of its competitors, is a great hybrid cloud service solution.
Later to the game, Google GCP applies its technical experience to create a large number of tools that incorporate deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data analytics. As a newer player, Google GCP has fewer data centers and offers a smaller range of tools.
Comparing the 3 types of clouds: Public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud
Some of the confusion around cloud computing stems from the fact that there are multiple types of services that fall under the large umbrella. These are the three types of clouds.
The Public Cloud
Public clouds are the most common form — and the version we at Augusto use most often.
In this type of platform, the cloud resources are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and delivered over the internet. You share the same hardware, storage, and network devices with other cloud tenants.
Advantages of public clouds:
Lower costs: no need to purchase hardware or software; pay only for the service you use.
No maintenance: your service provider offers the maintenance
Near-unlimited scalability: on-demand resources meet your business needs
High reliability: a vast network of servers decreases risk
The private cloud
A private cloud is used exclusively by one organization. While the cloud can be located in your onsite datacenter or hosted by a third-party provider, the services are always maintained on a network dedicated solely to your organization.
Advantages of a private cloud:
More flexibility: customize your cloud environment to meet specific business needs
More control: higher levels of privacy are possible
More scalability: compared to on-premises infrastructure
The hybrid cloud
A hybrid cloud combines on-premises infrastructure — a private cloud — with a public cloud, allowing data and applications to move between the two environments.
This type of platform offers greater flexibility and more deployment, security, and compliance options. Organizations receive the flexibility and innovation of a public cloud while keeping highly sensitive data within their own datacenter.
Advantages of the hybrid cloud:
Control: your organization maintains a private infrastructure for sensitive assets
Flexibility: take advantage of additional resources in the public cloud when needed
Cost-effectiveness: pay for extra computing power only when needed
Ease: you can migrate to the cloud gradually—phasing in workloads over time
The 4 types of cloud services that make up the cloud computing stack
Although there are many types of cloud computing services, they all have a few basic features and advantages in common and can be categorized into four basic cloud service offerings.
IaaSInfrastructure as a service
The most basic category is infrastructure as a service (IaaS). In this case, organizations rent IT infrastructure (including servers, storage, networks, and operating systems) and pay as they go. Many organizations start with this model as a way to move physical servers from their data center to a virtual server in the cloud — called lift and shift in the industry.
IaaS is helpful for customers who want to create cost-effective IT solutions while outsourcing most of the complexities to a service provider. This type of cloud service provides scalability, security, and performance increases over the traditional datacenter.
IaaS allows a business to migrate the cost and responsibility of maintaining the underlying hardware, network, infrastructure, and security to the cloud service provider.
Additional benefits of IaaS include:
Cost savings: You’ll no longer need to maintain hardware and software or pay for any capacity beyond what you need.
Scalability and flexibility: Companies can scale up and down as needed, only paying for the services they need. This provides the ability to expand as you grow.
Support for disaster recovery and business continuity: Companies can use the cloud service providers’ solutions for a highly redundant disaster recovery plan outside of the traditional datacenter.
Examples of IaaS include virtual machines and hypervisors.
PaaSPlatform as a service
In addition to providing IT infrastructure, platform as a service options add in the computing platform and solution stack as a service.
PaaS allows software developers to build custom applications without worrying about data storage and management. It’s easier for non-experts to develop an application through single click functionality.
Speed to market: PaaS allows developers to build, configure, secure, and deploy applications quickly. It removes the typical barriers of hardware, software, and infrastructure.
Pre-configured: Developers can take advantage of pre-build and pre-configured components.
Scalability: PaaS environments can handle large workloads.
Future proof: They also automatically receive bug fixes, updates, and features. This allows developers to focus on creating — not on the environment.
One common use for PaaS is databases. Augusto often uses Amazon RDS in our client solutions.
SaaSSoftware as a service
SaaS incorporates both IaaS and PaaS service offerings, providing application-level services tailored to diverse business needs — on-demand. It provides cross-device compatibility and no initial setup cost.
It’s the most familiar cloud computing service, as users are accustomed to interacting directly with SaaS applications like Gmail, Dropbox, or Netflix. Augusto integrates with these services, helping people to use productivity tools like these.
FaaSFunctions as a service/serverless computing
FaaS is a young cloud computing service that’s becoming a game-changer. It’s a serverless computing concept that allows software developers to build applications and deploy actions without maintaining a server.
This type of cloud service increases efficiency by eliminating server logistics. At Augusto, we use this type of cloud service very often. For example, we use Lambda from AWS.
“Cloud development allows Augusto to quickly turn your ideas into solutions. Using Infrastructure as Code (IAC) and serverless (SaaS) architecture, we can quickly create secure, scalable, and flexible applications,” said Jim Becher, Augusto solution architect and technical lead.
Benefits of cloud computing and why Augusto Digital uses it
At Augusto, we help a variety of people and organizations take full advantage of cloud computing. From the CEO to the Vice President of IT to the product owner, everyone has unique preferences and priorities for cloud usage.
Here, we outline five ways Augusto uses cloud computing to help our clients succeed in their business objectives.
1.Speed to market innovation
Cloud platforms are typically self-service — meaning, provided on demand. This gives businesses great flexibility when bringing an idea to market.
We can use the cloud to test new ideas, allowing a cost-effective, self-service model. If an idea works, great; if not, we can turn it off — all without waiting or relying on IT.
2.Pay only for what you need
Most cloud computing services are “pay as you go,” meaning you can start and stop services (and payments) as often as you’d like. You’ll get exactly as much storage space and as many features as your organization or project needs.
For example, businesses can limit what they spend in the cloud by turning servers or services off when not used — such as on the weekends.
Different companies have different needs, and using the cloud enables organizations to efficiently scale their IT infrastructure and services up or down according to business demands. And it’s scaleable both horizontally and vertically, meaning it can deliver the perfect amount of IT resources, right when you need them.
4.Reliable method of data security and disaster recovery
Cloud platforms significantly decrease disaster recovery risks because data and services can be mirrored at multiple sites on the cloud provider’s network.
5.Continuous new features and updates
Cloud providers continually add new technology features and products, so take advantage of this benefit. PaaS and SaaS services and applications can automatically refresh and update themselves, saving valuable IT staff time.
This is hugely helpful because, in a traditional data center, you’re responsible for updating hardware and software occasionally. In the cloud, the systems can be updated for you.
Augusto’s 3 cloud computing services
Whether you’re just making the leap into cloud computing or need more advanced solutions, Augusto Digital is here to help.
“With cloud computing, we can give our customers the ability to quickly innovate on new solutions and applications. Cloud based development allows for speed, agility, and flexibility when creating new software applications,” said Jim Becher.
Learn about our three core cloud computing services.
Cloud strategy, architecture, and migrations
You know that moving to the cloud offers greater business agility. You also know you likely need a team to implement a migration plan — that includes what to migrate, where, and when. So when it’s time to move your data and workloads to the cloud, we’re here to help.
Cloud hosting and managed services
We have the flexibility you need to develop and design cloud solutions that meet — and exceed — your expectations. We offer DevOps collaboration for all our cloud services, including Serverless backend, containers, database development and analytics, security, and identity access management (IAM).
Cloud data analytics & insights
The cloud is an ideal place to store critical data used in day-to-day operations. We understand the concepts behind quality data analytics. And we can help deploy your cloud computing with powerful analytic software to identify patterns in your data and extract new insights.
2021 cloud computing trends
We’ve explored the history and present state of cloud computing. But what’s next? What should we each be prepared for? And how can you begin implementing these tactics?
Here are six trends we’re seeing in 2021.
92% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy: IT departments are realizing that the platforms they’re using require it, and are making the work happen.
There’s currently a higher than expected cloud usage due to COVID-19 restrictions throughout 2020: Remote workers needed to be outside of physical buildings and data centers.
There’s a higher cloud spend than ever: But organizations are struggling to optimize their existing cloud usage and spend.
The adoption of Azure draws the platform closer to leader, AWS: Specifically with companies that have a Microsoft platform.
There’s greater adoption of data reporting and analytics inside the cloud: With so much data contained, it’s easier for companies to report via the cloud. Machine learning and forecasting also use large quantities of data.
There’s a higher adoption of low-code or no-code solutions: Developers and business users are able to assemble code rather than develop code into applications.
We’ll continue to monitor other trends and keep this updated as we enter 2022. What additional trends would you add to this list?
Security is the base component of the cloud. The graph then moves into the various activities people can do in the cloud. As you move up the stack, you can see which services are available with each of the different types of cloud service.