You’ve heard the words, but have no clue what they mean. “Cloud Computing” might sound like something that would be used by meteorologists to predict rain, but it is really used to describe where computing technology is headed.
In cloud computing, scalable resources are offered as a service over the Internet. These resources can take the form of software, a computing platform or an entire infrastructure, where all the computing power and software you need are provided as a single service.
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is the most common type of cloud computing in use today. This is where a piece of software is licensed to an end user on a subscription basis. Upon subscribing, the user would have access to a given application for as long as the subscription was renewed.
Next, we have Platform as a Service, or PaaS. Like all other cloud computing services, it is subscription based. PaaS gives an end user access to computing power on demand and the ability to reconfigure the service, adding or removing resources as needs change. As resources are added or removed, the subscription price would adjust according, allowing users to pay only for what they need, when they need it.
Last, but not least, is IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service. This is where the future of computing is headed. IaaS provides everything in one bundle as a single, billable service. All software licensing and platform needs are wrapped into a single subscription, without need for the end user to have training, expertise or control over the actual resources that make up the “cloud”. This will reduce IT costs for many businesses by hosting their entire infrastructure, including all applications, servers, websites and security, thereby removing the need to hire internal support, as well as reduce maintenance costs.
Cloud Computing is already here, and already in use. Apps4Rent, for instance, offers cloud computing components through our hosted Exchange and hosted SharePoint services. Through hosted Exchange and hosted SharePoint, your employees can run individual blogs, wikis, share documents, collaborate on a project, check their emails and more, all on one secure system dedicated to your business. This is the beauty of cloud computing.