Cloud FAQs

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing power, databases, storage, applications, and other IT resources by accessing a cloud services platform, like Microsoft Azure, through the internet. Cloud computing provides businesses with rapid access to flexible and low-cost IT resources.

What type of computing is in the cloud?

  • IaaS

    • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides the basic building blocks of cloud computing. IaaS typically supplies access to networking features, computers such as virtual machines (Windows or Linux), and data storage space. IaaS provides you with the highest level of flexibility and management control over your IT resources and is most similar to existing IT resources. IaaS is usually the first step organizations take when starting to build in the cloud because many IT departments and developers are familiar with the existing methodology.

  • PaaS

    • Platform as a Service (PaaS) removes the need for your organization to manage the underlying infrastructure such as hardware, operating systems, and device management. PaaS allows you to focus on the deployment and the management of your applications rather than the infrastructure behind it. Pass helps you be more efficient as you don't need to worry about resource procurement, capacity planning, software maintenance, patching, or any of the other homogenous heavy lifting involved in running your application.

  • SaaS

    • Software as a Service (SaaS) provides you with a completed product that is run and managed by the service provider. In most cases, people referring to Software as a Service are referring to end-user applications. With a SaaS, you do not have to worry about maintaining the application or how the underlying infrastructure is managed; you need to decide how the software will fit into your organization. A typical example of a SaaS application is Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 is web-based email which you can use to send and receive email without having to manage feature additions to the email product or maintain the servers and operating systems that the email program runs on.

What are some advantages of the cloud?

  • Give up capital expenses

    • With cloud computing, there are typically no upfront costs. With no upfront investments, organizations do not have to worry about capital expenses for computing resources. The customary business model is that pay for only what you use.

  • Flexible, agile, and elastic

    • The cloud is incredibly elastic which means it can drastically scale (and shrink) to meet your computing needs on-the-fly. The cloud can perform these elastic functions automatically or manually with a few clicks. In the cloud, additional resources are only a click away; say goodbye to annual capacity planning.

  • Highly Secure and Redundant

    • The cloud is powerful, and the cloud provider wants to ensure it is running properly. When using the cloud, standard security features are typically included, while more advanced security features are added as services. The cloud provider guards both the physical data centers and the overall health of the data center. Data redundancy is the key to dealing with a disaster or an outage; the cloud is highly redundant both locally and globally. For example, the Microsoft Azure cloud is a highly secure and a redudant cloud option which is trusted by over 90% of the Fortune 500 and several government agencies.

How is cloud computing billed?

Cloud computing is billed a few different ways. Generally, it is billed based on how much you use. For instance, some resources are billed by how long you have them active for and other resources are based on how much data they process. Cloud pricing can be either a pay-as-you-go option or reserved pricing. Reserved pricing will require you to know approximately how much cloud usage you will use on a monthly basis. 

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