More and more companies are discovering that they need to take advantage of the cost savings, convenience and stability of cloud computing to help keep their business thriving in today’s highly competitive market.
Cloud computing service providers typically divide services into three tiers. The three-tier model offered by providers includes Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service.
Having modular tiers makes it easier for you to adjust or replace a tier without interfering with work being done with the other tiers. It’s good for you to have an overview of these cloud computing tiers to help you determine how they will benefit your organization.
Three Tiers of Cloud Computing
At the bottom of the three tiers of cloud computing is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). When your company uses IaaS, you can run applications on computer hardware that is owned and maintained by the cloud computing service provider.
This is beneficial to organizations because you don’t have to plan ahead or guess about how much computing hardware you might need at your facility. Instead, you rely on the cloud computing service provider’s hardware.
You’ll have access to your own virtual private server, for example, enabling you to back up your crucial data in the cloud and give your employees access to information no matter where they are located.
Organizations typically use tier 2, Platform as a Service, or PaaS to help developers test out, implement and then deploy their software. PaaS is useful throughout the application development process, using an identical integrated environment for development.
The third tier is Software as a Service (SaaS). Companies find SaaS to be particularly useful because it eliminates the need for managers to plan ahead when it comes to buying software licenses for their employees. All you need to access an application through SaaS is a standard Web browser running on a computer that’s connected to the Internet.
The software obtained through SaaS could be a suite of office applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet and a presentation application.
One of the best features is that your IT department will no longer need to be responsible for updating applications or checking to see if they need to be patched or are otherwise having any security issues.
Other examples of SaaS include customer relationship management software, media editing applications and calendars that people can share across groups.
The cloud computing service provider’s IT staff is in charge of handling all of these updates and maintenance procedures, freeing up your own staff to focus on more pressing matters.
Platform as a Service Details
The middle tier, Platform as a Service, may be the most important cloud computing tier for your organization. It has a number of notable components and features:
Application Servers in a cloud computing environment enable you to reserve hardware for the express use of particular applications, making the system more efficient and easier to use.
Database Management Systems work as a go-between, storing data needed by the application server.
The multi-tenant architecture of PaaS enables multiple people to use the same development application simultaneously. Because PaaS integrates with databases and Web services, it can make it much easier to get your project up and running.
PaaS enables your developers to easily change or upgrade operating system features, use services from multiple providers and in different geographical regions. It also helps you collaborate with team members who are working in far-flung locations.
The three-tier model of cloud computing is designed to help companies obtain the best service from their cloud provider. It can give your business a competitive edge in terms of access to as much computing hardware and platforms you need, when you need them, as well as the software, databases and other tools necessary to thrive in your industry.
Matt Smith is a Dell employee who writes to help raise awareness on the topic of Dell Cloud Computing and other network management subjects.