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May 24, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 12:05pm

Cloud computing basics

Public, private, or hybrid cloud.

By James Nunns

Understanding the basics of cloud can be essential to knowing how exactly a business can leverage it.

The term cloud shrouds the technology behind a buzzword that makes it difficult to navigate, but the basics are quite easy to understand.

Cloud computing is basically an enabler of convenient access to services via the Internet. The kinds of services that are available are extremely varied but some of the most popular are Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastrusture-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service.

Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) is basically applications that are hosted by a provider on a cloud infrastructure. The benefit of this is that it increases flexibility for the company by providing quick access to services, it also helps to reduce costs.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers deliver both infrastructure and middleware and solution stacks for application building, development and deployment.

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Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is the delivery of computing infrastructure, this takes away the need for IT to provide the infrastructure to host data, applications and more.

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Cloud computing can be delivered in a number of different ways and architected in an architecture that is best suited to the demands of the business.

The deployment models are public, private and hybrid.

The public model is where computing resources are provided by a cloud provider on a pay as you use model.

Private cloud is where the cloud infrastructure is owned by an organisation and can be maintained by it. This can also be managed by a third party and can be located either on-site or off-site where computing resources are behind a corporate firewall.

Hybrid cloud is a combination of the two previously mentioned models. It works by connected the two through either standardised or proprietary technology.


The basics of the cloud boil down to the benefits that it provides to the business.

Benefits are often presented as being agility, scalability, sustainability, faster time to market, and the ability to develop prototypes more easily.

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