Cloud computing services are changing how businesses and public institutions use information technology. Today cloud services are available to meet most any IT need. Although there's great variety among cloud computing services, all such services have certain basic features and benefits in common, and all can be categorized into a few basic cloud service types.
Cloud Computing Services Features and Benefits
By now most people have heard about cloud computing services, but what does cloud mean? While cloud services may vary in their particulars, a cloud computing definition identifies the core features and benefits that are common across all clouds.
From the perspective of service users, cloud computing services have these main features:
- Hosted and maintained by the provider. The cloud hosting provider purchases, hosts, and maintains the necessary hardware and software in their own facility. Service users avoid the capital expenditures and maintenance headaches that they would have if they developed the service themselves on-premise.
- Self-service through a web interface. Service users can initiate specific service functions, and increase or decrease their service usage level, though a web interface with little or no interaction with the service provider.
- Pay for use. Service users pay only for the amount of service that they use. This can result in substantial cost savings compared to the traditional approach of developing on-site IT capacities geared toward maximum usage scenarios, and then having that capacity be under-utilized much of the time.
- Near-limitless scalability. Cloud computing services providers typically have the infrastructure to deliver their service at massive scale. For cloud service users, that means that the cloud can easily accommodate business growth or periodic spikes in service usage.
Cloud Computing Services Types
The wide range of services offered by cloud computing companies can be categorized into three basic types:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS provides users access to raw computing resources such processing power, data storage capacity, and networking, in the context of a secure data center.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS). Geared toward software development teams, PaaS offerings provide computing and storage infrastructure and also a development platform layer, with components such as web servers, database management systems, and software development kits (SDKs) for various programming languages.
- Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS providers offer application-level services tailored to a wide variety of business needs, such as customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, or business analytics.
Cloud Computing Services Acceleration
Whatever type of cloud computing services you use, one thing is certain: large quantities of data will move back and forth between your end users and the cloud provider's data centers, over the internet.
That's why whatever type of cloud services you use, Akamai can help your organization have a better cloud experience and reap greater benefits from your cloud services investment.
Leveraging our own global cloud network consisting of more than 216,000 application acceleration servers in over 120 countries, Akamai enables our customers to experience consistent high performance from the IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS services that they use, thereby boosting adoption rates and user productivity. In support of mobile cloud computing, we also offer services for automated content transformation and optimization, so your end users can tap into the cloud from any device, from anywhere, at any time.
Learn more about how Akamai can make cloud computing services work harder for your organization.