Professional quarrels shadow from time to time cloud-based IT, but nowadays we can state that cloud computing is here to stay. We can agree that we are talking about the most important IT trend of past, present and future besides mobile computing. We are living a paradigm shift but on a higher level. At the end of the PC era, we are returning to the beginning of computing. Today users reach resources located in a cloud through terminals.
Big question: what is cloud?
It’s almost impossible to give a full definition of cloud computing due to its extremely complex technological nature; this is also the common cause of misunderstandings. IVSZ, ICT Association of Hungary’s definition: cloud-based services are shared infrastructure, platform or software services running in a virtual environment accessible through internet, which provides dynamic deployment, control and accounting of IT resources. Its main criteria: accessible through data connection, self-serviceable and standard portal, scalable, pay as you go, automated processes (no need for human intervention), packaged solution with standard services.
Cloud is very popular among private users, but enterprise level employment is more important. One kind or another of cloud is useful for every company – if needs are carefully assessed, preparation is right, and decision is wise. Has many advantages: there’s no need to manage a large IT infrastructure; less hardware is needed; work processes are scalable; availability is high, and often (but not always) is cheaper than owning a system. Newest cloud services offering mobile device management are more attractive to businesses.
Based on characters the following cloud services (and its hybrids) are available:
IaaS – Infrastructure as a service: provides resources to services and applications of all kinds through virtualisation
PaaS – Platform as a Service: provides a platform in a cloud for developing, running or reaching applications in the same software environment. This environment provides tracking for full lifecycle of applications.
SaaS – Software as a Service: service for using, reaching an application in the cloud. Updating and managing these applications falls to the service provider.
DaaS – Desktop as a Service: provides a virtual desktop through cloud. Virtual desktops are stored on a main server, separated from each other.
Hosting services are also cloud based and have one purpose: to provide online storage space for free or for a fee.
Based on accessibility two main types (and its hybrids) are present: public and private cloud. All components of a public cloud are provided by the service provider. In case of a private cloud for safety reasons the user (company) builds its own cloud on rented or owned infrastructure, and manages it with the help of its own staff and software.