The cloud market has been growing for several years and now offers customers a wide range of different services. More and more companies are using cloud computing to make their IT infrastructure agile and flexible. This can happen on public, private or hybrid clouds. In addition, companies can use the cloud in the different areas, depending on whether they focus on the infrastructure, platforms, management of resources or directly software as a service. (Source)
Cloud computing is becoming more affordable, more ubiquitous and therefore more relevant - which is why a sound knowledge of it is necessary. The four main types of cloud computing are:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - contains basic building blocks for IT. This tier provides the highest level of flexibility and control.
Examples: AWS EC2, Azure Virtual Machines, AWS S3
Platform as a Service (PaaS) - eliminates the need to manage underlying infrastructure (hardware and operating systems). It enables to focus on application deployment and management. The expenses caused by resource acquisition, capacity planning, software maintenance and patching are eliminated. PaaS is a suitable service model for companies with interlocking apps (e.g., a Django or NodeJS web application) that they want to deploy in the cloud without having to worry about the details when it comes to infrastructure.
Examples: AWS Beanstalk, Azure App Service, Heroku, OpenShift
Serverless Computing / Function as a Service - the management of resources is delegated to the cloud provider. Developers, in turn, focus on writing specific application code, which performs a specific task. The execution of this code is initiated by external events. Serverless services are particularly suitable when organizations have designed their application as a collection of loosely-coupled microservices, which can then be written individually as functions.
Examples: AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions
Software as a Service (SaaS) - complete product operated and managed by the service provider. In most cases, when SaaS is mentioned, end-user applications are meant.
Examples: Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce.
Find out how the different types of cloud and cloud services interact in practice in our next blog article on cloud.