Cloud computing is not a single piece of technology, like a microchip or a cell phone. Rather, it’s a system, primarily comprised of three services: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS)+ and platform as a service (PaaS). SaaS is expected to experience the fastest growth, followed by IaaS
SaaS involves the licensure of a software application to customers. Licenses are typically provided through a pay-as-you-go model or on-demand. This rapidly growing market could provide an excellent investment opportunity, with a Goldman Sachs report projecting that by 2018, 59% of the total cloud workloads will be SaaS.
Infrastructure as a service involves a method for delivering everything from operating systems to servers and storage through IP-based connectivity as part of an on-demand service. Clients can avoid the need to purchase software or servers, and instead procure these resources in an outsourced, on-demand service.
Of the three layers of cloud-based computing, PaaS is considered the most complex. PaaS shares some similarities with SaaS, the primary difference being that instead of delivering software online, it is actually a platform for creating software that is delivered via the internet. A report by Forrester indicates that PaaS solutions are expected to generate $44 billion in revenues by the year 2020.
Public clouds are the most common way of deploying cloud computing. The cloud resources (like servers and storage) are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and delivered over the Internet.
A private cloud consists of computing resources used exclusively by one business or organisation. The private cloud can be physically located at your organisation’s on-site datacenter or it can be hosted by a third-party service provider.
Often called “the best of both worlds,” hybrid clouds combine on-premises infrastructure, or private clouds, with public clouds so organisations can reap the advantages of both.