Simply put Cloud Computing is the utilisation of a network of remote servers or computers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than having a physical server or computer located with the user. Cloud computing allows resources, such as space, to be allocated dynamically and is not restricted by local physical server hardware. Cloud computing also allows data to be easily backed up over multiple servers.
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Infrastructure as a Service, this is all about providing computing infrastructure. Usually this would be servers either physical or virtual machines and the user would rent the cloud computing infrastructure rather than buy. Included could be firewalls, load balancers and networks. These resources would be available on demand and would be controlled as the business needs change. The user would be responsible for installing, maintaining and patching the operating system and application software.
Platform as a Service is the provision of a cloud computing platform including the operating system, programming environment, database and web server. This often would include network connection, servers and storage. PaaS offerings enable the deployment of application without the user having to manage the underlying hardware and software. PaaS services would normally be charged for on a monthly or annual rental basis.
Software as a Service is where the cloud provider installs and operates application software in the cloud and the application is then accessible remotely by the user, either from a PC, notebook, tablet or mobile. The infrastructure and platform are still delivered by the provider, however the need to install applications on the userís computer is eliminated. One benefit is elasticity, where tasks can be cloned onto multiple virtual machines and work load distributed over those machines by load balancers, this delivers flexibility and scalability as the user demands. Saas application fees are normally charged per user, either monthly or annually.